Bramber is only a small place on the River Adur north of Shoreham and snuggling up to Steyning, but it punches above it weight with its attractions and general beauty. While there isn't much of Bramber Castle left these days after the ravages of the Civil War (where it was almost destroyed by the Roundheads) it's still an evocative place. Bramber has St Mary's House (Grade 1 Listed) and Gardens; a medieval house which was built in 1470 and which has many outstanding and interesting features.
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ST. MARY'S HOUSE & GARDENS... an enchanting 15th century timber-framed house, in the picturesque award-winning downland village of Bramber, West Sussex ... a place of fascination and mystery.
Bramber Castle whose name is taken from the Saxon 'Brymmburh' meaing fortified place, was built shortly after the Conquest by William de Braose to guard the then sizable port on the river Adur. Little remains of the castle except one wall of the keep about 75 feet high (24 m) and portions of the perimeter wall in the NE of the site. The mound on which it is built looks like a gigantic motte but is natural and there is a pre-conquest motte within the walls, which dates back to Saxon times.
The church was originally built in 1075 as a chapel for the castle and housed a small Benedictine college. Part of the original nave remains, but much damage was done in the seventeenth century and the Victorian restoration is not good. The present chancel is housed in the original tower and transepts. The OLDEST NORMAN CHURCH in Sussex, St.Nicholas' is a gem in the South Downs. It has a remarkable chancel arch.
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