Photo © Phil Gullen 27 September, 2003

Bosham (pron. boz'um), a little village on a creek of the same name, off the Chichester Channel, delightfully situated in unspoiled surroundings. Quay Meadow by the waterside is preserved by the National Trust. The place is of great antiquity and historical interest. Many signs of Roman occupation have been found-Caesar is supposed to have landed here after taking the Isle of Wight-and in Saxon times, a community of Irish monks was established. The village church has the rare distinction of appearing in the Bayeux tapestry, though in a more or less conventional form. The Saxon tower still exists, though now surmounted by a steeple, and there is further Saxon work in the nave and chancel, which also has some Norman features and Early English lancet windows. Roman material can be distinguished in the fabric of the walls. Among the many interesting things inside is a quaintly carved Norman font and a Norman pillarpiscina. King Canute is reputed to have had a palace here, and a strong local tradition that his daughter was buried here had little support from antiquarians until, in 1865 during restorations, a Saxon coffin with the remains of a child of about eight was found exactly at the legendary spot. A contemporary piscina nearby may have belonged to the altar erected for her. Another tradition, equally strong though not so easily tested, avers that it was at Bosham that Canute rebuked the waves. It was also from here, we are told, that Harold set out for Normandy, hence the scene of Bosham in the Bayeux tapestry mentioned above.

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