Bramber Castle in Bramber, West Sussex, was a motte and bailey castle constructed by William De Braose in 1070, who also added a Norman church to the layout. It was originally constructed as a port defence on the River Adur and, aside from when it was confiscated by the violent King John, was owned by the De Braose family until the family line died out in 1324. Today very little remains of Bramber Castle, yet if you're visiting West Sussex, the area and village of Bramber still makes for a pleasant and interesting day out.
Bramber Castle Ruins
The ruins of Bramber castle are fragmentary, but in a wonderful setting and close to the quiet village of Bramber. If you visit the site you won't fail to be impressed by the well maintained lawn areas around the bailey and the mature trees around the motte that make for a delightfully pleasant and shady glade. The moat also provides an ideal path and walk around the castle perimeter.
History of Bramber Castle
Not much is known of the history of Bramber Castle. For examples, records kept during the English Civil war only refer to a skirmish in the area in 1642. The nearby church also suffered during this time as a result of the guns owned by Oliver's army being set up in the transepts. Nevertheless, you can still recognise the basic layout of Bramber Castle, with the most recognisable feature undoubtedly being a large piece of masonry which is all that remains of the Gatehouse tower.
Within the structure, a window and some floor joist holes can also be made out. Just beyond the Gatehouse tower are the foundations of what are considered to be a guardhouse and living quarters. The pillars of an entrance can also be just about made out, however all that remains of the castle walls is rough stone infill. The original castle motte can still be seen, however, lying to the north of the Gatehouse and rising to approximately 30 feet.
Visiting Bramber Castle
If you're staying in a West Sussex hotel and enjoy heritage, culture and ruminating on the past, then why not visit the ruins of Bramber castle in Bramber? The remains, the village and the surrounding area are ideal for an afternoon out and provide a glimpse into England's fascinating past.