Holy Trinity Church
High Street, Bosham, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 8HX
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Services: Sun: 8:30, 9:00, 11:00 (1st & 3rd Suns). Visits & prayer - generally daylight hours.
1 review of Holy Trinity Church in English
Bosham is a lovely village, set on the harbour of the same name, near Chichester, in Sussex. It is a popular place for tourists.
The Romans founded a settlement here, close to their magnificent palace at Fishbourne, and it was from here that King Harold set sail for Normandy on his fateful trip to meet Duke William - more of that later. It is also said to be the place where King Canute tried to hold back the tide.
The church itself is set close to the harbour. It was mentioned by Bede in the eighth century, and St Wilfrid met a group of Irish monks who had settled here in 641 AD. Their leader, Dicul, is said to be buried in the crypt, and the cell in which he lived can be visited.
But what the church is really famous for is its depiction in the Bayeaux Tapestry, which shows King Harold worshipping here prior to his journey to Normandy in 1064. This makes it probably the earliest surviving British building depicted in art. That visit set in train the events that would result in the Norman conquest and Harold's death.
The present building has some significant Saxon elements, most importantly the impressive Romanesque chancel arch, with roll mouldings and a slight horseshoe shape, which dominates the interior, and dates from around 1040 AD, (though some scholars have dated it to immediately after the Conquest). Also Saxon are the lower stages of the tower, the nave itself, the western part of the chancel (with herringbone masonry) and a triangular-headed window in the east tower wall. The two-light openings in the tower are both Norman.
The handsome Early English arcades were inserted in the 12th century, although the aisle windows were renewed in the 14th century (and those in the south aisle were renewed again in Victorian times). The rib-vaulted crypt in the south aisle was also built in the 14th century. The chancel was extended in the 13th century, and to this we owe the impressive five-light Early English east window with marble shafts on the rere-arches, and matching pairs of lancets to the north and south.
Fittings and furnishings are rich: the attractive font dates to 1200; the north aisle has a 13th century piscina with a Norman pillar as its drain; and the base of the easternmost north aisle arcade pier has beasts on three of its corners with wonderful grimacing expressions. In the south aisle is an empty 14th century tomb recess, and in the chancel is a late 14th century tomb recess with a rather worn female effigy. The north aisle has a 13th century chest with lock.
Finally, in the south east aisle window are four roundels of 15th century Flemish glass, showing angels holding the implements of Christ's Passion - pincers, spear, scourge and hammer. They are said to be from Norwich cathedral.
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