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Livestock Market

The Livestock Markets of Chichester

'The Livestock Markets of Chichester' commemorates Chichester's history as a market town, and will open on Saturday, 24 October 2020, exactly 30 years since the Chichester livestock market closed.

Chichester has been a centre for trade since the Roman period. Livestock sales were held in the streets of Chichester from medieval times onwards. In 1872 Chichester Cattle Market opened near Eastgate Square and livestock sales were transferred there. Market day sales soon grew in importance and by 1900 Chichester Market was described as 'the largest in the South of England'.

It was not until the 1980s that the future of Chichester Cattle Market became uncertain, following a decline in its trade and debate about the future of the market site. The last livestock market in Chichester was held on 24 October 1990.

Drawing on the museum's social history collection, the exhibition and accompanying community engagement project will connect Chichester's history as a market town with the farming landscape of the South Downs. The historical exhibition at The Novium Museum will act as the catalyst to explore contemporary issues highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic, including resilient food supply chains, sustainable farming and the transient harvesting workforce.

The exhibition and accompanying programme of activities has been made possible thanks to grant funding of £9,904 from the South Downs National Park Authority Covid-19 Recovery Fund, and a £2,843  South East Museums Development Programme and Art Fund Project Recovery Grant. These grants have been designed to support cultural organisations as they try to recover from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.