Thursday, 14 July 2016

Bosham

Sitting on Chichester Harbour, the little village of Bosham was unknown to us before my cousin Simon recommended a visit. There has been a settlement here since Roman times and it was the Romans who built the Mill Stream which runs through the village.
The Romans knew this area as Magnus Portus along with several other ports on Britain's coast. It is said that King Cnut chose Bosham as the site from where he commanded the sea to 'go back'. Given the nature of the low-lying mud-flats, it might have been a pretty neat trick to see your King seemingly in control of the outgoing tide.
The village church was built on the site of a much older Roman basilica and legend has it that Cnute's daughter was buried here after drowning in a nearby brook.
Inside the church, a plaque on the wall shows how Bosham is mentioned on the Bayeux Tapestry with the words "Ubi Harold Dux Anglorum et sui milites equitant ad Bosham ecclesia" (Where Harold, Earl of the English, and his army ride to Bosham church.)
The tower is the oldest part of the church starting at the bottom three stages of building with the Saxons and finishing at the top with a fourth stage built by the Normans. The spire is 15th century.
There is a 14th century crypt and a 12th century font and a chancel of both Saxon and Norman architecture, with a 13th century, five-light lancet window.
Something else caught our eye as we walked around the grounds of the church however. Walking across the path was a female Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus.) Sadly now endangered in the UK this was a rare sight and a first for me. So, that's another 'tick' for the list!
Much more tomorrow...!
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