Thursday, 23 May 2013

Bramber Castle

Bramber Castle is near Steyning tucked behind the Sussex Downs. It is free to get in which is a big bonus these days and is a good place to take a picnic and laze around whilst contemplating the wonders of early Norman engineering.

You approach the castle past the Church and Graveyard.

This castle was started in 1073 by one of William's bumboys. It is of Motte and Bailey construction and is surrounded by an extremely deep moat. It is built on high ground commanding magnificent views over the Adur Valley.

Most of the walls have collapsed and probably used for building hundreds of years ago before peopkle realised what an archaeological heritage was. Nonetheless you get an idea of how vast and formidable this fortress was.

Only one wall of the Gatehouse Tower remains jutting precariously into the Sussex skies.

The Saxons had built very little in stone so when the Normans arrived and started building huge stone fortresses on hills commanding the surrounding settlemets and crowned them with multi-storied towers, it must have been the equivalent of someone invading some under-developed country and building the Shard.

The Motte is now overgrown and wooded but would once presumably have had a fortified hall on top.

The moat is very deep with steep sides.

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