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Virtual Field Trips
7. Cobnor Point
Cobnor Point is the southern tip of the Chidham Peninsula. From this position it is possible to see nearly all the major landmarks inside and outside of the Harbour.
For example you can see the Harbour entrance, East Head, all the peninsulas, the Isle of Wight, Stoke Clump, Chichester Cathedral and the Spinnaker Tower.
View towards Cobnor Point
Cobnor Point with Cobnor House in background
Cobnor House is thought to have been built early in the 19th century. It has been owned by the Beale family, along with Cobnor Estate, since just after the First World War.
The philosophy of the Beales through the generations has been to maintain Cobnor’s conservation value to the highest possible standard while at the same time providing access for other people to enjoy its beauty as part of the Harbour environment.
Eroding exposed oaks
Path leading from Cobnor wood
The eroding oak trees with their strangely shaped tops are typical of those found along the parts of the Harbour shoreline that are most exposed to the elements. The strong winds racing up the main channel have caused them to grow in such an unusual way.
Old oak woodland grows behind them on the peninsula. Up until at least the end of the 18th Century this woodland was one of the largest remaining in the Harbour.
Cobnor Point is a wonderful place for beachcombing. Anything might be found there from an old boat, an unopened can of beer to a message in a bottle…
Riprap sea defences
Cobnor Point suffers heavily from erosion. In the past the shoreline was defended using large stones and sandbags full of cement. This has now been replaced by large stones called ‘rip rap’. The stones are either Portland or Purbeck* limestone. The gaps between the stones ensure that energy from the waves is dispersed and the eroding shoreline protected. In time vegetation begins to colonise the defence, giving it a more natural appearance.
*Portland stone lies beneath the Purbeck limestone beds.
Old path and new wheelchair path
A wheelchair path passes around Cobnor Point. Because of heavy erosion the most recently made section of the path has had to be set back from the original footpath.
There are several versions of the story of the Bosham Bell. It goes something like this…
Viking raiders arrived at Bosham in their longboat and decided to steal one of the church bells. They put it in their boat and made off towards the main channel. As they rounded Cobnor Point the wind increased and the boat keeled over. The bell broke through the bottom of the boat and sank. It is said that if one stands on Cobnor Point at certain times, the tolling of the bell can still be heard…
The part of the channel where the bell is said to have fallen is called Bell Hole and Bosham Sailing Club have a bell as their emblem.
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