If you visit Chichester Harbour with your school or college, you are likely to see Dell Quay and sites nearby, such as Fishbourne meadows or Chichester Marina.
On the quay you will find the Harbour Education Centre. What a wonderful place to have a classroom! Converted from an old boat shed, it has everything you need to go exploring with your students or organisation. This is the centre for many of our field trips. Dell Quay is a small hamlet, with a pub and several houses. Nearby are lovely walks on public footpaths. It is home to Dell Quay Sailing Club and two boat yards.
Five hundred years earlier it was the 7th most important port in the Kingdom. Small coastal barges and local boats carried wool and grain to London and foreign ports, and brought back coal, timber and cargoes of anything needed for the City of Chichester. In the early 1800s there were over a hundred ships registered here.
Goods were landed at Dell Quay until World War 2 At Copperas Point South of Dell Quay archaeological work has found what is believed to be a Roman Tilery, where craftsmen used local clay to make roof tiles. The Fishbourne Channel was only deep enough for large Roman boats as far as Copperas Point, so it is possible that there was some sort of Roman harbour here, where large boats were unloaded and the goods taken north by land or in shallow boats.
This has made people think that perhaps Stane Street (the Roman road from Chichester to London) may have started at Copperas Point. South of Dell Quay, short walk along the shoreline, is Chichester Marina. The marina is one of the biggest in the UK .Chichester Marina provides a contrast with its shiny boats neatly moored in rows against a natural backdrop of open water. The lock gates can often be seen in action.