Apuldram shown within West Sussex
|Area||4.34 km2 (1.68 sq mi)|
|– density||39/km2 (100/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|– London||56 miles (90 km) NNE|
|Shire county||West Sussex|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
The nearest railway station is 1.2 miles (1.9 km) northeast of the village, at Chichester.
Most of the parish is farmland, roughly bounded to the north by the River Lavant, to the west by the harbour and to the south by Chichester Marina and the Chichester Canal. There are many pleasant pathways through the area, with fine views of the harbour and across the fields with the Cathedral and the South Downs in the distance. Access to the harbour is at Dell Quay.
Place names within the parish reflect the industries and activities that once flourished. Salterns Copse, near the Marina, takes its name from the salt pans that were located nearby. Seventeenth century legislation killed off most of the salt industry in Sussex, but Apuldram survived until the middle of the nineteenth century, when free trade laws opened up the market to continental imports. Copperas Point records the production of copperas from iron pyrite. This was used in the dyeing industry, in leather tanning and in making gunpowder.
The parish has a church, two public houses and a small country hotel. There is now no village centre and of the original medieval village only the church, the Manor and Rymans now remain.
The area of the parish is 1,073 acres (4.34 km2) and at the 2011 census the population was 169, a reduction of 9% from the 2001 census.
The origin of the name
Old records show many different spellings - Apulderham, Apeldreham (1121), Appeltrieham (1198), Appuldram (1440) - but for several centuries the spelling used by the church and the parishioners has been Apuldram. Civic authorities use both 'Appledram' and 'Apuldram' in their records.
W D Peckham is quoted as writing 'the deep loam with a clay or brick-earth subsoil is admirable apple growing land to this day'. However, evidence of when or where in the parish apple farming took place has not come to light - records show grain and, later, wool as the main products of the area. Richard Ratcliffe's history of the parish examines, but does not favour, a suggestion that the name is derived from polder a Dutch word meaning low lying land protected or reclaimed from the sea, although this would indeed be an apt description of a large part of the parish.
In Saxon times, and for a while after the Norman Conquest, the area now forming the Parish of Apuldram was part of the Manor of Bosham, which in the 11th century, during the reign of Edward the Confessor, belonged to Godwin, the powerful Earl of Wessex, whose son Harold was defeated at Hastings. After the Conquest William I took possession of the Manor.
In 1125 Henry I gave the parish to the Abbot and Brethren of Battle Abbey. However, the College of Bosham remained responsible for ecclesiastical matters and one of the six canons of the College held the Prebend and paid a deputy to live in and care for the parish. At one time the Prebend of Apuldram was held by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester.
In 1197 Battle granted possession to Sir Michael de Appeltrieham, Sheriff of Sussex. The demesne reverted to the Crown following the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1538 and 1542, and in 1580 Elizabeth I granted it to William, Baron Howard of Effingham. On his death it passed to his son Charles, who was Lord High Admiral from 1585 to 1618 and commanded the fleet that defeated the Spanish Armada.
Church of St Mary the Virgin
The original church is believed to have been built soon after 1100, but the main building was constructed in its present form in about 1250. The south aisle was added about 100 years later.
The chancel has beautifully proportioned triple lancet windows with Purbeck marble shafts and stone mouldings. The altar stands on Victorian tiles, but those in the first pavement by the rails are medieval. A crusaders floor slab lies on the south side of the sanctuary. Behind the pulpit is the start of a stone staircase that once led up to a rood loft, but this has long since been removed, together with the rest of the staircase.
The Purbeck marble font is 12th century. The circular basin is lined and set in a square slab standing on five shafts. The central shaft is original, but the others are later replacements. The whole font shows signs of ill treatment, probably at the hands of Cromwellian soldiers.
At the end of the twelfth century Sir Michael de Appeltrieham owned several hundred acres of the parish, including the site of this property. The earliest recorded house on the site was built for Chauns in the thirteenth century, and at the beginning of the fifteenth century William Ryman added the three storey tower and the south wing shown in the picture. Despite many later alterations, including some by the architect Walter Godfrey in the 1930s, William Ryman's house was probably much the same size as it is today.
Ryman was a prominent lawyer and his son, Sir William Ryman, was Sheriff of Sussex. The Ryman family held the estate for nearly two centuries until it was bought in 1619 by William Smyth of Binderton. After a suit in Chancery it was divided in 1730 between the two daughters of George Smyth. Rymans and some 300 acres (120 ha) went to Barbara, wife of the Rev William Barttelot. Apuldram Manor and the same amount of land went to Mary, see below.
The gardens are opened to the public once or twice a year.
The north face of this early seventeenth-century house has a picturesque Dutch gable, rare in this part of the country at that time. Soon after its construction it was bought by William Smyth. It passed via his great-granddaughter Mary to her husband William Hamilton and stayed in that family for a century and a half. The house was owned at one time by Sir William Hamilton, Ambassador to the Court of Naples, whose (second) wife was Emma, Lady Hamilton, Lord Nelson's paramour. It is now occupied by the Sawday family.
In Roman times the Harbour was navigable all the way to Fishbourne and Roman galleys may have sailed right up to the Fishbourne Palace. Sea levels in the harbour were higher in the Middle Ages than they are now and there are records of losses of land to the sea. The Great Flood of Apuldram occurred in 1274 and additional sea walls and sluices were installed after that. The former existence of a tide mill on the River Lavant near Apuldram Common is an indication of the level of the sea at that time at the northern boundary of the parish.
The landing place was moved down channel due to silting of the upper reaches and for a time there was access to the harbour a little to the south of the mouth of the Lavant. Here there was a sunken channel, now dry, which led to the centre of the medieval Apuldram village. There is also evidence of a landing place at La Delle. A rent list, dated 1432, records a villein whose duties included "to cart from La Delle to Chichester". Exports in the 14th and 15th centuries were mainly wool and cloth.
The wharf at Dell Quay was built in the 16th century on the orders of Lord Fitzwilliam of Cowdray, Lord High Admiral from 1536 to 1540 and in 1580 it was written that the wharf had been "longe sythens buylded by the Lord Fitzwilliam". The Quay was at that time the only official landing place for the Port of Chichester, which in the 14th century was rated the 7th in importance in all England.
At that time there were no warehouses at Dell Quay and no inn. The citizens of Chichester gave this as a reason for asking permission to dig a canal from the Quay to the town. Permission was granted but with a condition that the canal must not cut through lands belonging to 'the Baron' (Howard of Effingham), and this made the scheme impractical. Instead, the picturesque Crown & Anchor Inn was built at the end of the 16th century and seems to have been called initially 'Dell Key House' (not to be confused with the present Dell Quay House, which incorporates William Tipper's post mill built in the eighteenth century, the subject of paintings by Richard Nibbs and George Lambert).
During the 17th century the channel needed constant attention. Ships offloading ballast as they approached the quay added to the problem. However, after an intensive programme of dredging, ships of 40 tons could in 1685 once again dock at the quay. In the 18th century coal from Newcastle became the major import and the outlook was graced by three large coal pounds - on the quay, by the inn and on the site of what is now Quay Cottage. There was a crane, which in 1789 was said to be 'much out of repair, useless and obstructive'. The amount of goods delivered varied over the years. 2128 tons in 1786, 4085 in 1793, 2771 in 1800, 3043 in 1807 and 3602 in 1813. By 1908 there was a steam driven crane, running on rails, which was later replaced by a diesel powered crane.
A gale in August 1925 wreaked havoc with moored boats. Owners struggling to refloat their craft realised that co-operation would ease the task and this led to the formation of the Dell Quay Boat Club. The name was changed to the Dell Quay Sailing Club in 1934. Today it is a thriving club, renowned for its friendly atmosphere. Also located on the quay are the Apuldram Fishing and Boat Club and a classroom for the Chichester Harbour Education Centre.
The water at Dell Quay is now normally only navigable for dinghies and small cabin cruisers for a few hours either side of high tide. However, the tall ship Phoenix of Dell Quay visited twice during the second half of the 20th century and tied up on the end of the quay.
- "Apuldram Parish". Chichester District Council.
- Local pronunciation. Also see G.M. Miller, BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names (Oxford UP, 1971), p. 5.
- OS Explorer map 120: Chichester, South Harting and Selsey Scale: 1:25 000. Publisher:Ordnance Survey – Southampton B2 edition. Publishing Date:2009. ISBN 978 0319240793
- Mawer and Stanton (CUP 1929) "The Place Names of Sussex" Part I, p65
- Ekwall, Eilert (OUP 1951) "The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Place-Names"
- Father Richard Ratcliffe (1986) "A History of Apuldram"
- Victoria County History (1953) "A History of the County of Sussex, Volume 4"
- John Reger (1996 Phillimore) "Chichester Harbour" p56
- Chichester Harbour Conservancy (2006) "Chichester Harbour - a Reference Guide p75"
- The Conservation Studio (for Chichester District Council) (2006) "Dell Quay Conservation Area"
- Hall (1885) "A History of the Customs Revenue in England, ii, p17"
- Richard Henry Nibbs (1816 - 1893) biography
- Green, Alan H.J (2006). The History of Chichester’s Canal. Sussex Industrial Archaeology Society. p. 2. ISBN 0-9512036-1-4.
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