Church of St Mary & St Blaise
|Area||11.69 km2 (4.51 sq mi) |
|Population||957. 2011 Census|
|• Density||77/km2 (200/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|• London||51 miles (82 km) NNE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
Boxgrove is a village, ecclesiastical parish and civil parish in the Chichester District of the English county of West Sussex, about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north east of the city of Chichester. The village is just south of the A285 road which follows the line of the Roman road Stane Street.
The Anglican parish has an area of 1,169 hectares (2,890 acres). According to the 2001 census it had a population of 901 people living in 423 households of whom 397 were economically active. The 2011 Census indicated at population of 957. Included in the parish are the hamlets of Crockerhill, Strettington and Halnaker.
Boxgrove is best known for the Lower Palaeolithic archaeological site discovered in a gravel quarry known as Amey's Eartham Pit located near the village but in Eartham Parish. Parts of the site complex were excavated between 1983 and 1996 by a team led by Mark Roberts of University College London.
Numerous Acheulean flint tools and remains of animals (some butchered) dating to around 500,000 years ago were found at the site. The area therefore was used by some of the earliest occupants of the British Isles. Remains of Homo heidelbergensis were found on the site in 1994, the only postcranial hominid bone to have been found in Northern Europe. Teeth from another individual were found two years later.
Hundred of Boxgrove
The ancient hundred of Boxgrove was listed in the Domesday Book (1086) as comprising nine settlements with 246 households. The settlements were Aldingbourne, Halnaker, Strettington, Runcton, East Hampnett, Merston, Westhampnett and Upwaltham, and Boxgrove village itself had 13 households.
A Benedictine monastery was founded at Boxgrove by Robert de Haia (or de la Haye) early in the 12th century. The priory church remains as the Church of England parish church of St Mary and St Blaise, minus the original nave, and mostly dates from the 13th century.
Several parishioners of Boxgrove were prosecuted for playing cricket in the churchyard in 1622. There were three reasons for the prosecution: one was that it contravened a local bye-law; another reflected concern about church windows which may or may not have been broken; the third was the charge that "a little childe had like to have her braines beaten out with a cricket batt".
The population of the parish in 1861 was 666, and the area 3,676 acres (1,488 ha), of which 1,700 were arable, and the remainder downland.
- "2001 Census: West Sussex – Population by Parish" (PDF). West Sussex County Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 12 April 2009.
- "Civil parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- Fox, Alex, Europe’s Oldest Bone Tools Hint at Early Hominin Sophistication, Smithsonian, August 14, 2020
- "Open Domesday: Boxgrove Hundred". Retrieved 16 June 2019.
- "Open Domesday: Boxgrove". Retrieved 16 June 2019.
- McCann T (2004) Sussex Cricket in the Eighteenth Century, p.xxxi. Sussex Record Society.
- "GENUKI: Boxgrove". Retrieved 16 June 2019.
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