Around the world with the Chichesters exhibition
A new exhibition entitled ‘Around the world with the Chichesters’ at Arlington Court explores the travels of the Chichester family. The most famous Chichester was Sir Francis and 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of his solo around-the-world voyage.
Voyages of discovery
Francis was by no means the first Chichester to sail across the world. Sir Bruce Chichester travelled to Australia and back in 1863-4, even surviving a ship wreck on the way, and his daughter Rosalie followed suit in 1921.
What's the connection?
Francis was Rosalie Chichester of Arlington's step-nephew. Her widowed mother married his grandfather, Sir Arthur Chichester in 1883. Francis grew up in the village of Shirwell, just four miles from Arlington, where his father was the Rector. He often visited his aunt and wrote to her while he was away.
Love of the sea and sailing
The sea seemed to be in the Chichester blood. Sir John joined the Royal Navy at the age of 16; Sir Bruce joined the Royal Yacht Squadron in the 1860s and took his family on a sailing trip around the Mediterranean and to Malta in 1877. This voyage may well be what sparked young Rosalie’s urge to travel in later life.
The exhibition highlights some of the souvenirs collected by the family on their travels. However the whole house is a testament to their love of collecting and the sea. The collections of model ships and shells cannot be missed and the eclectic objects on display hail from as far away as New Zealand.