Boxgrove (St. Mary and St. Blase)

BOXGROVE (St. Mary and St. Blase), a parish, in the union of West Hampnett, hundred of Box and Stockbridge, rape of Chichester, W. division of Sussex, 3½ miles (N. E. by E.) from Chichester; containing, with the hamlets of Crocker-Hill, East Hampnett, and part of Seabeach, and the tythings of Halnaker and Strellington, 736 inhabitants. It comprises about 2974 acres of land, the soil of which consists of chalk, gravel, and loam. The splendid mansion of Goodwood is beautifully situated on the south side of the Downs here, surrounded by a park of 1200 acres, planted with timber of stately growth; the interior contains numerous lofty and spacious apartments, superbly fitted up, and embellished with paintings and statuary by the first artists. The celebrated Goodwood races are held on the Harroway, and a stand has been erected which will accommodate 3000 persons. The living is a vicarage, endowed with the great tithes, excepting those of Halnaker Park; it is valued in the king's books at £9. 5. 5., and the Duke of Richmond is patron and impropriator: the tithes have been commuted for £900, and there are 7 acres of glebe. The church was the conventual church of an alien priory founded by Robert de Haia, in the reign of Henry I., and made subordinate to the abbey de l'Essay in Normandy. It is a handsome cruciform structure in the Norman style, with a central tower; the nave has been nearly destroyed, but the remainder of the interior is a beautiful specimen of the later Norman, and has an imposing grandeur of effect. There are numerous monuments, several of which are altar-tombs of Sussex marble, under arched recesses, pierced in quatrefoil, and surmounted with crocketed canopies. The priory was originally for three brethren of the Benedictine order; others were added by Roger St. John, son-in-law of the founder, and the number in 1149 was augmented to fifteen by his sons William and Thomas. On the dissolution of alien priories the establishment was made denizen; and the gross revenue, in the 26th of Henry VIII., was £145. 10. 2.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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