The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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THE FAR WEST                         57
in the straw, so as to stand fully six feet high at times if the summer chances to be moist, as indeed most summers do.
Early in the nineteenth century efforts were made to reclaim the shallow water between Chid-ham and Bosham, the once-famed harbour over which Harold and so many others used to sail. This contempt for history, however, the very sea resented, and in a great storm during 1822 it successfully vindicated its age-long rights and Bosham is still a port.
The little town is extremely picturesque, the shingled church-spire rises above the red-tiled roofs of old houses irregularly placed, the sea-weedy and shell-strewn expanse of muddy harbour is set off by brown sails and green trees, small boats are anchored or aground or sailing or getting repaired in the miniature dry dock, there are generally fishy smells; the water at high-tide washes in one place the walls of houses, in another the edges of lawns, on the land side spread grassy meadows with tall hedges : Bosham has a charm that is all her own.
Numerous Roman remains have been found, including foundations of buildings and two fine white marble busts; one is mentioned on p. 105; another more recently discovered perhaps repre­sents Germanicus, or some other member of the Claudian house. Roman bricks are used in the church, and two large bases of columns are employed at the bottom of the responds of the chancel arch, while some hypocaust tiles are preserved in a case.
The first definite reference to Christianity in Bosham is Bede's frequently quoted remark : " but all the province of the South Saxons were
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