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Church of St. Nicholas

Bramber (West Sussex)

Bramber shown within West Sussex
OS grid reference TQ186106
Parish Bramber
District Horsham
Shire county West Sussex
Region South East
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Police Sussex
Fire West Sussex
Ambulance South East Coast
European Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Arundel and South Downs
List of places: UKEnglandWest Sussex

Coordinates: 50°52'58?N 0°18'51?W? / ?50.8828, -0.31414

St Mary's House in The Street, Bramber.
St Mary's House in The Street, Bramber.

Bramber is a village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It is located on the northern edge of the South Downs and on the west side of the River Adur. Nearby are the communities of Steyning to the west and Upper Beeding to the east, and the other side of the river. The closest historical connection, however, is with the village of Botolphs to the south. The ecclesiastical parishes of Bramber and Botolphs were united in 1534, with the priest living at Botolphs. Later the priest's official residence became the imposing Bramber mansion and landmark now called 'Burletts' and located on Clays Hill.

On a small hill stands the remains of a Norman castle, held during the 11th to 14th centuries by the Braose Lords of Bramber, a family noted for its impact on the medieval history of the Welsh Marches. The castle church (dedicated to St Nicholas) still stands. Originally built as the castle chapel, this is now the parish church of Bramber, and is the only part of the Bramber Castle site not in ruins. The church attracts large numbers of tourists, and is the oldest post-conquest Norman church in Sussex.

Another Bramber tourist attraction is St Mary's House, a late 15th century timber-framed house on a site associated with the Knights Templar, which was a monastic hostel for pilgrims and for monks who collected the tolls at Bramber bridge, a 170-foot long bridge over the River Adur, incorporating a Chapel (dedicated to St Mary the Virgin) on its central span, though now reduced to a flat bridge of just a few feet over a tributary of the river, following silting, and a change of course. (This should not be confused with the nearby Beeding Bridge, a hump-back bridge which now spans the main course of the river). King Charles II is claimed to have stayed at St Mary's House during his escape to France after defeat at the Battle of Worcester. The Monarch's Way long-distance footpath, following Charles's supposed route to Shoreham-by-Sea, crosses the Adur at Bramber.

Just outside Bramber, in the direction of Botolphs village, there was a medieaval hospital and nunnery, caring for sufferers of leprosy, and dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. Although long since closed, this part of Bramber is still known (by corruption of the saint's name) as the 'Maudlin District'. Maudlyn House stands on the site of the hospital, and nearby roads include Maudlin Lane, Maudlyn Park, Maudlyn Parkway, and Maudlyn Close.

Historically, Bramber returned two members (MPs) to the unreformed House of Commons. Amongst the most famous politicians to serve as Member for Bramber was William Wilberforce, the anti-slavery campaigner, and independent Tory politician.

[edit] See also

Bramber (UK Parliament constituency)

[edit] External references

(Source: Wikipedia)
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