Located in the attractive Northamptonshire market town of Higham Ferrers, Chichele College is a rare surviving example of a chantry college. It was founded in 1422 by the locally born Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury. Such colleges, common in England in the 14th and 15th centuries, were groups of priests who shared a communal life that was less strictly controlled than that of a monastery.
The gatehouse, chapel and other remains of the college buildings survive, and the chapel is now regularly used for events, and art and heritage exhibitions.
Managed by Higham Ferrers Tourism, Business and Community Partnerships - visit their website for more information about the college and its garden.
Read more about Chichele College's history.
Before You Go
Parking: There is a small free car park on Saffron Road within a two-minute walk of the site.
Access: Access to the college building and usual garden entrance is via a gravel drive. Please be aware that there may be the occasional vehicle using this drive. The garden has no formal paths but has closely mown grass and is flat. There is a step down into the college building from the entrance door and a portable ramp is available to help with this.
Opening Times: The gardens are open any reasonable time during daylight hours.
The college interior is open during the summer for events, art exhibitions and some specific open days. The 2023 programme is now complete but check back for details of the 2024 programme early next year.
For more details of these events and exhibitions, visit Higham Ferrers Tourism's website.
Facilities: There are toilets, including one suitable for wheelchair users, and baby changing facilities at the college. These are generally open when the chapel interior is open for events and art exhibitions. The college is in the centre of the pretty, historic market town of Higham Ferrers with plenty of places to eat and shops nearby.
Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome in the garden but only assistance dogs are allowed inside the college.
Plan a Great Day Out
11 miles from Chichele College is Bushmead Priory. The priory is a rare survival of a complete refectory of an Augustinian priory.
Also 11 miles from the college is Rushton Triangular Lodge. The building's use of the number three is a testament to the designer's Roman Catholicism and is an intriguing structure.