His first work consisted of fragments from the minor Greek poets, with notes (Elegiaca Graeca, 1759); and in 1763 he published a fine edition of the inscriptions among the Arundel marbles, Marmora Oxoniensia, with a Latin translation, and a number of suggestions for supplying the lacunae.
In 1764 he was introduced by Robert Wood, who had produced the Ruins of Palmyra to the Society of Dilettanti and sent by them, accompanied by Nicholas Revett, an architect, and William Pars, a painter, to explore the antiquities of Ionia and Greece (1764-1766).
The Society's brief, drawn up 17 May 1764 was that the travelers make Smyrna their headquarters, and from there "..to make excursions to the several remains of antiquity in that neighborhood; to make exact plans and measurements, to make accurate drawings of the bas-reliefs and ornaments..copying all the inscriptions you shall meet with, and keeping minute diaries."
Having explored numerous sites in Anatolia and Ionian Islands, they continued to Athens, where they purchased fragments of sculpture from the Parthenon: "We purchased two fine fragments of the frieze which we found inserted over the doorways in the town, and were presented with a beautiful trunk which had fallen from the metopes, and lay neglected in the garden of a Turk".
The result of their labours were the Ionian Antiquities in two magnificent folios published by the Dilettanti in 1769, and, later, Chandler's record of the tour, Travels in Greece, or an Account of a Tour Made at the Expense of the Society Of Dillettanti (1776).
Other works by Chandler were Inscriptiones Antiquae pleraeque nondum editae (Oxford, 1774); Travels in Asia Minor (1775); Travels in Greece (1776); History of Ilium (1803), in which he asserted the accuracy of Homer's geography. His Life of Bishop Waynflete, Lord High Chancellor to Henry VI, appeared in 1811.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Chandler, Richard". Encyclopædia Britannica. 5 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 838.