The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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THE FAR WEST                         61
Part of the same scheme of extension was to pro­vide aisles to the nave, apparently for the first time; there are four arches aside, and the round pillars have foot-ornaments, some of which display reptiles' heads ; on the north over the pillars are round clearstory windows. At the east end of the south aisle is a crypt, only half underground and so forming a platform in the church ; it is lighted by two little windows deeply splayed downwards and vaulted in two bays with plain ribs resting on corbels. It probably formed the charnel-house.
The font is a little earlier in character than the Early English extensions just noticed, it is of black marble and consists of an octagonal bowl with shallow arcading resting on a round pillar and four shafts, this method of support being very much more usual for square fonts.
To the early fourteenth century belong the present aisle windows, which are of Decorated character but much restored, and also sepulchral recesses in the south aisle and the chancel, the latter having a female recumbent effigy.
An old legend, which A. Stanley Cooke, of Brighton, has made the subject of a poem, records how the great bell of Bosham church was cap­tured by Norse pirates—
"A kingly gift, 'twas said, and kingly too For size, for rich and mellow tone when heard Anear or far, or when at midnight deep Its warning voice, to friend and foe alike, Would give seafarers pause and warrior watch, 'Gainst rock and shoal; but most at set of sun, When o'er long level lands it reached the sea, Bringing a sense of calm and peace, tho' all Around reigned tumult."
It was placed on board their vessel and they
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