Bosham (West Sussex) in Paint

Bosham, West Sussex . . . Watercolour – WHB: 2000

Bosham is a delightful village situated on an arm of Chichester Harbour (West Sussex). Bosham has a long history; it is thought that it was one of the first sites in Sussex were the Saxon St Wilfrid preached, around the year 681 AD. Three centuries later, it was at Bosham that King Canute, tongue in cheek, ordered the waves to cease their movement. Canute’s daughter is buried at Holy Trinity parish church, which features a superb 11th century chancel arch and a Saxon tower.

One of Canute’s successors, Harold, set sail from Bosham in 1064 on the voyage which was to eventually cost him his kingdom, after a storm cast him into the hands of William of Normandy.

Today, Bosham remains a popular boating centre, and it retains many charming 17th and 18th century buildings in the narrow, winding streets and alleys that lead to the harbour. The manor of Bosham House, which may stand on the site of a Saxon house built for Canute, was the home of Henry Hamblin, the popular writer and spiritualist known as the ‘Saint of Sussex’.


Two more watercolours of Bosham Harbour . . . WHB c.2000

Bosham Revisited

The village of Bosham (pronounced ‘Bozzam’) in West Sussex is said to be where King Canute, in the early 11th century,  attempted to hold back the waves of the incoming sea.  He did not succeed, as in fact was his purpose in order to demonstrate to his gullible subjects that kings were not all-powerful.  No-one else, either before or after him (barring perhaps Moses) has succeeded either.

I first published an article on this small West Sussex coastal village on the 8th August. Here is a link to it  . . .      Bosham, Sussex, UK

In that blog, one of my very first, I included a number of my photographs of this charming and historic village.  Perhaps the major feature of the village is its delightful waterside setting with the Church of The Holy Trinity dominating the skyline.  I now add below 3 of my panoramic pen and wash sketches, in different styles, of this view from across the waters of the inlet of  Chichester Harbour on which Bosham is situated.






Bosham 0-painting

High Tide at Bosham

BOSHAM (pronounced ‘Bozam’) is a small village on the West Sussex coast approximately 5 miles from Chichester.

It has a long and fascinating history.  It is claimed that King CanKing_Canuteute had a palace in Bosham, and that it was on the seashore here that, in the early 11th Century, he demonstrated  that, unlike the power of God, the power of a king was not supreme.  He is said to have done this by standing on the shore line and commanding the sea to recede – apparently without success!

It is more certain, or so a memorial in Bosham’s Church of the Holy Trinity states, that King Canute’s daughter, Gunhilda, was interred in the church after, legend has it, she drowned in the nearby mill stream.  (There is a photograph of the church memorial plaque in the gallery below).

Whatever the truth of these historical claims, it is certain that Bosham is one of the most delightful waterside villages on the south coast of England.  The inlet of the sea here is constantly alive with sea craft of all kinds. The houses and gardens surrounding the lower shore road are all delightful, and a walk along it, whether at low or high tide, is endlessly fascinating.  Twice every day the tide comes in and partially covers this road which surrounds the inlet of Chichester Harbour on which Bosham stands. The spring tides in particular can be extremely high with resulting flooding of much of the Shore Road.  Warning signs remind visitors that cars unwisely parked on this lower road are liable to be caught out by the incoming tides.  When the tide is out, numerous birds (such as egrets, curlews, black-headed gulls) can be spotted patrolling the foreshore and the exposed seabed. Wild samphire also grows abundantly around the margins of the shore. 

Below is a  photo Gallery of some of my own photographs taken when I was on holiday in Bosham in 2011.  Each photograph is a thumbnail and clicking on any of them will produce a slide-show view . . .