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Pictures of Bramber Castle

a Castle in the town of Steyning, in the county of West Sussex

About Bramber Castle

These relics are all that is left of an early Norman castle, built on the edge of the Downs. It was originally built by William de Braose, in the motte and bailey style of the 11th century, the church was built at the same time. The line of the Braose family died out in 1324, and until this time the castle was occupied almost entirely by them, save for a brief period when it was confiscated by King John, only to be later handed back.

The dominant feature of the site is the immense chunk of stone, this is all that is left of the gatehouse, but on a closer look you can still see the layout of the castle, giving an impression of how it would have looked. Despite long neglect and being left to the mercy of the elements, what remains of the gatehouse stands to almost full height, shows a single window and inside there are visible floor joist holes.

Other identifiable parts of the castle are the foundations of what may have been the living quarters, and a guardhouse. Parts of the curtain walls can be seen, and to the north of the gatehouse lies the original motte, an earthen mound rising to a height of around 30 feet. You can also make out the dressed pillars of an entrance, but apart from this the rest is mostly crumbled masonry.

Not a great deal is known of Bramber Castle, it has associations with the Civil War, but sketchy records refer only to a skirmish of 1642. The church did not fare so well, this suffered greatly through Cromwell's troops setting up their guns in the church transepts.

The castle was once moated, this is now filled in to provide visitors with a pleasant walkway around the castle perimeter. The former bailey is lawned, and the motte covered in what are now mature trees.

The whole site, though not as extensive as some, has a certain charm and atmosphere, it is a peaceful place to visit and popular with visitors staying at nearby Shoreham-by-Sea.

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