Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bramber Castle

There is not a lot to see at Bramber Castle, but close your eyes and feel the history.

The ruin of the wall of the keep/gatehouse looks even more imposing looming above as you walk up the slope to the flat grassy area. There are lower walls showing the craftsmanship of the builders of these walls. Ahead is knoll. There are areas of stonework still standing but for the most part there is nothing to see except marvellous views, which, with the absence of all the trees would have given a panoramic view for miles.

Bramber is a Motte and Bailey Castle. Initially this type of castle would have been wooden, replaced by stone in the 1100s. Motte and bailey are Norman French words meaning mound and enclosed land.

William de Braose, founded the castle as a defensive and administrative centre for Bramber, following the Norman Conquest. Sussex was divided into six administrative regions known as 'rapes', each 'rape' controlling a vulnerable point of the strategically important Sussex coast. Each region was controlled by a castle.

The de Braose family and his descendants held the castle from its foundation in 1073 to 1450 except for a brief period, when it was confiscated by King John. Bramber defended the then important Adur harbour and the Adur gap through the South Downs, where the river Adur flowed to the sea.

Following substantial subsidence during the 16th Century, the castle lay in ruins.

Wild flowers abound on the edges of the 'bailey'

The Parish Church of St Nicholas does still stand although not entirely in its original form: it did once form part of the castle wall.

The ditch that was originally dug to raise the motte and bailey even higher has now become an enchanting woodland walk.


  1. Love this post - and that last photo especially!

  2. Thanks Terry...nice to see you make me realise it's time I did more posting...