Bosham, West Sussex is Pronounced Bozzum!

By Lyn Funnell

Until recently I’d never heard of Bosham. But Lynn’s Coaches were running a day trip there, so I decided to go along and explore it.

Bosham, pronounced Bozzum for some unknown reason, is a small village with a lot of history. It dates back at least to Roman times, and possibly even further.

In the 8th Century it was the 6th most important town in England, to my surprise.

We walked out of the car park and along to the seafront.

Everyone seemed to be eating ice creams, which were for sale everywhere. So  as we were tempted, we bought them from the ice cream van in the car park on the edge of where the sea comes in.

King Canute sat on a chair there and commanded the sea to go back.

The sea ignored him, but it goes out a long way now, so perhaps it had a delayed reaction to his orders.

But when the tide comes in, it’s quite fast and people who leave their cars in the rocky car park often return to find them partly under water. And the road floods at high tide.

Harold II set forth from Bosham in 1064 to negotiate with William of Normandy, which led to William the Conqueror’s invasion in 1066; Bosham features in the Bayeaux Tapestry.

Copy of the Bayeux Tapestry showing Bosham

There is a legend that around the 10th Century Bosham Church was plundered by Danish pirates, who stole the tenor bell. As the pirate ship sailed away, the remaining church bells were rung. The tenor bell miraculously joined in, destroying the ship. The bell is still said to ring under the sea whenever the other bells are rung.

We went into the Bosham Walk craft centre. I love seeing crafts. It never ceases to amaze me how creative people can be. But sadly in this country of charity shops, it’s hard for them to get a good price for all the work they put into their creations.

Bosham Holy Trinity Church dates back to Anglo-Saxon times and is mentioned in the Doomsday Book.

King Canute’s eight-year-old daughter drowned in the Brook Stream. Her tombstone is in the church.

There’s also a replica of the Bayeux Tapestry near the altar.

In the churchyard, there is an area where the graves are so old that there’s no wording left on them. Either they are very old or the stonemasons used a local soft stone.

It was time to return to the coach.

Would I go back to Bosham? Probably not. We saw it all in a short time.

But it’s worth a visit if you’re passing it. And there are several lovely old pubs with interesting menus.



  • Lyn Funnell

    Lyn is the co-owner of Unknown Kent and Sussex. She lives in Sussex. Lyn has been writing for most of her life, both Fiction & Non-Fiction. She loves cookery & creating original recipes. She's won a lot of prizes, including Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu & on BBC The One Show as a runner-up, making her Britain's Spag Bol Queen! She has had nine books published so far. History, Travel & Restaurant Reviews are her main interests.

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