West Sussex Record Office

What's on at the Record Office

3 Orchard Street, Chichester, PO19 1DD

Find out about events coming up at the Record Office.

Tell me more

We hold regular evening talks on Tuesdays and family history workshops on the first Wednesday of each month.

Contact details

  • Email record.office@westsussex.gov.uk
  • Tel: 01243 753602
  • Fax: 01243 533959
  • Address
    3 Orchard Street, Chichester, PO19 1DD
  • Additional information
    Our address for correspondence is: County Archivist, West Sussex Record Office, County Hall, Chichester, PO19 1RN

Find us

By car

We are based in the heart of Chichester, very near to County Hall. The A27 trunk road runs through Chichester for links to Brighton and Portsmouth, while links to London are provided by the A23 and A24. Chichester is approached from the north via the A286 from Midhurst; and the A285 from Petworth.

By train

We are about a 10 minute walk from Chichester train station, which is served by a regular train service from London Victoria. There are also services from Brighton and Portsmouth.

By bus

The closest bus stops are at Orchard Street, West Street (Cathedral) and Avenue de Chartres.


About our events

Talks on Tuesday

'Talks on Tuesday' cover a wide range of fascinating subjects presented by our experts. All talks start at 7.00pm and last 1 to 2 hours, including refreshments. Tickets cost £8.00 (non-refundable) for each talk and must be booked in advance from the Record Office.

See below for our current scheduled talks.

Coffee Time Workshops

Our Coffee Time Workshops are perfect if you want to research your family tree but don't know where to start. It doesn't matter if you are new to the subject, unsure of computers, or if you want to look beyond the obvious sources, you will be introduced to the incredible range of archive material available at the Record Office.

Each session costs £7.50 (tickets non-refundable) and places are limited. To book a place on any of the sessions please contact us. Workshops are subject to last-minute cancellation if there are insufficient bookings (we will notify you of any change at least the day before).

See below for our current scheduled workshops.

Special events

As part of 'Explore your Archive' week please come and see behind the scenes at West Sussex Record Office.

To reserve a place, or for further information please phone 01243 753602 or email record.office@westsussex.gov.uk

Booking is essential as places are limited.

Date: Monday 20 November 2017

Time: Tours are available at 10.00am, 11.00am, 2.00pm and 3.00pm.


Talks on Tuesday

‘Learning by Rote’ - Going to school in Victorian West Sussex

An illustrated talk by Ruth Brown.

Date: Tuesday 30 January 2018

Time: 7.00pm

Tickets: £8.00 (non-refundable) - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

‘A Slice of Life’ - Exploring the Quarter Sessions records

An illustrated talk by Dr Caroline Adams.

The Quarter Sessions records are a valuable but underused resource for local and family historians. It was in these courts that Justices of the Peace sat in judgement over minor criminal cases - anything from theft and poaching to assault and vagrancy.

And, amongst their many civil responsibilities, the JPs also supervised the poor law, oversaw relationships between apprentices and masters, and licensed alehouses.

The talk will provide an insight into this fascinating material and show how volunteers have helped to open up access to the collection.

Date: Tuesday 27 February 2018

Time: 7.00pm

Tickets: £8.00 (non-refundable) - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

Stories from the surgeon’s table - Exploring the Queen Victoria Hospital archive

The talk will explore the rich and fascinating archives of the Queen Victoria Hospital at East Grinstead, which have recently been catalogued, conserved and partly digitised through a partnership project led by West Sussex Record Office and funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The archive includes a unique series of records relating to the Guinea Pig Club – Royal Air Force personnel who had been badly burned or injured and who received pioneering treatment under the care of Sir Archibald McIndoe and his team of surgeons.

Date: Tuesday 27 March 2018

Time: 7.00pm

Tickets: £8.00 (non-refundable) - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

Priory Park 100 - Romans, Roundheads and the Rolling Stones

A talk by Richard Plowman.

This event will celebrate the centenary of Priory Park being gifted to the people of Chichester. It is part of a programme of events by the Friends of Priory Park.

Date: Tuesday 24 April 2018

Time: 7.00pm

Tickets: £8.00 (non-refundable) - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

‘On The Beat’ – The history and archive of West Sussex Constabulary 1857-1967

An illustrated talk by Holly Wright

Date: Tuesday 26 June 2018

Time: 7.00pm

Tickets: £8.00 (non-refundable) - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.


Coffee time workshops

Introduction to family history sources at the Record Office

Date: Wednesday 10 January 2018

Time: 10.00am

Tickets (non-refundable): £7.50 - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

Dating old photographs

Date: Wednesday 7 February 2018

Time: 10.00am

Tickets (non-refundable): £7.50 - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

Beginners guide to Ancestry.co.uk

This workshop will incorporate a practical, hands-on session on the public access computers in the Searchroom, giving you the chance to try out this popular website under our guidance.

Date: Monday 5 March 2018

Time: 10.00am

Tickets (non-refundable): £7.50 - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

Reading old handwriting

Date: Wednesday 4 April 2018

Time: 10.00am

Tickets (non-refundable): £7.50 - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

Researching the history of your house

Date: Wednesday 2 May 2018

Time: 10.00am

Tickets (non-refundable): £7.50 - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

Beginners guide to Findmypast.co.uk

This workshop will incorporate a practical, hands-on session on the public access computers in the Searchroom, giving you the chance to try out this popular website under our guidance.

Date: Monday 4 June 2018

Time: 10.00am

Tickets (non-refundable): £7.50 - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

Discovering wills and other probate records

Date: Wednesday 4 July 2018

Time: 10.00am

Tickets (non-refundable): £7.50 - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

Beginners guide to Ancestry.co.uk

This workshop will incorporate a practical, hands-on session on the public access computers in the Searchroom, giving you the chance to try out this popular website under our guidance.

Date: Monday 3 September 2018

Time: 10.00am

Tickets (non-refundable)£7.50 - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

‘Granny was a pauper’: exploring poor law records

Date: Wednesday 3 October 2018

Time: 10.00am

Tickets (non-refundable): £7.50 - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

Reading old handwriting

Date: Wednesday 7 November 2018

Time: 10.00am

Tickets (non-refundable): £7.50 - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.



Record Office friends

A regular programme of events is also organised by the West Sussex Archives Society. For more information, visit their website.