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Holy Trinity Church, Bosham
Made famous by the Bayeux Tapestry

One of the most famous Saxon churches in Sussex, Bosham stands in a dramatic location overlooking Bosham Creek, an offshoot of Chichester Harbour. The tower is Saxon, with unmistakable late tenth century windows on the exterior. These take the form of a double opening with central dividing pillar, the arches of which have semicircular headed openings.

Inside the church the east wall of the tower displays an over-restored Saxon doorway with a triangular headed opening (formerly a doorway to a gallery) above. The chancel arch, too, is Saxon, its tall round headed arch with plain square slabs as capitals similar to that at Stoughton Church a few miles to the north. At the south-east corner of the south aisle is a rare crypt dating from the thirteenth century. Like many crypts in our greater churches it is built partly above ground level, creating a very strange appearance from the body of the Church.

The nave has three circular windows of Saxon date showing that the walls here are also Saxon, although they were pierces by the present north and south arcades at a later date. Bosham Church appears on the Bayeux Tapestry in the scene where Harold leaves England to travel to Normandy, stopping to pray in Bosham Church en route. It is also traditionally the burial place of King Canute's daughter, and the King himself may have been responsible for building the Saxon features that visitors so enjoy seeing today.

Article by John E. Vigar


    John E. Vigar 2001. All Rights Reserved.