About West Itchenor
The parish of West Itchenor lies at the mouth of Chichester Harbour, whose waters bound it on the north and west. At its south-east corner the parish is intertwined with those of Birdham and West Wittering. From the church the road leads to the old Custom House (now the Harbour Office) and the ferry to Bosham.
The name Itchenor originates from a Saxon chieftain, Icca who settled here around the time of Roman Britain. The parish is still officially called West Itchenor, despite the fact that the village of East Itchenor disappeared in the 15th century.
Around 1175 the Lord of the Manor built a chapel on the top of the hill which became the parish church by the end of the century. The church is dedicated to St Nicholas, the patron saint of seamen and has its own graveyard.
During the 18th century there was a considerable amount of ship building which lasted until the end of the Napoleonic wars. Although a small boat building presence is recorded throughout the years the current boat-building and repairs re-started with Haines’ yard in 1912.
The village retains its rural character and is a pleasant mixture of old and new. The common at Shipton Green is carefully preserved and maintained by the Parish Council, giving an attractive open appearance.
These days many of the residents of Itchenor have moved to the village for the sailing. During the winter months the village is quiet, the only activity taking place around the boatyards, Harbour Office and pub. However, at the height of the summer the village comes alive with visiting sailors and tourists.