The church of The Holy Trinity, Bosham, is one of the earliest churches in Sussex and documented evidence show that there was a small Christian community in Bosham in the 7th century, making it the oldest site of Christianity in Sussex.
The tower is the oldest part of the church and was built in four stages, the first three are Saxon and the top stage is Norman. The spire was added in the 15th century. The chancel arch was built in the 11th century shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066.
Bosham is depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry in scenes at the very beginning where Earl Harold, later King Harold is seen riding to Bosham with his retinue, praying in Bosham Church, feasting in his manor house before embarking on his ill-fated trip to Normandy in 1064. There is also a long held tradition that early in the 11th century King Cnut’s young daughter was drowned in the millstream and was buried in the church. In 1865 a small stone coffin was found just in front of the chancel arch.
Other notable features in the church include the 14th century crypt (once a charnel house) with All Hallows Chapel above which is dedicated to the memory of the dead. There is also a late 12th century font and several piscinae. In the Fishbourne Chantry there is a particularly fine 12th century trefoil-headed piscina which has a hollow column forming the drain and to the right of the high altar there is an unusual double piscina.
The chancel was constructed in three clearly defined stages, the first is Saxon, the second Norman and the third is 13th century Early English and includes the beautiful five-light lancet window with detached slender Purbeck marble columns.
Although Bosham church is an impressive historic building, dating back to Saxon times, it remains above all a place of worship. It is a place of encounter where something of the divine can be experienced and where those of faith and those of none have found peace and solace within its walls.
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