The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Bramber Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Brenbre; Brembre; Brambre

In the civil parish of Bramber.
In the historic county of Sussex.
Modern Authority of West Sussex.
1974 county of West Sussex.
Medieval County of Sussex (Rape of Bramber).

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ18551070
Latitude 50.88385° Longitude -0.31615°

Bramber Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


The remains of earthworks and standing ruins of Bramber castle which was occupied almost continuously from circa 1075 to about 1450 by the descendants of the founder, William de Braose. Excavations carried out in 1966-7 indicate how the castle evolved from a 'motte and bailey' type fortification, founded circa 1075, to an 'enclosure' type in the 12th century, with a stone keep, gatehouse and curtain wall. Subsequent alterations and rebuilding were carried out in the 14th century, however large scale subsidence saw the ruin of the castle during the 16th century.
The castle was established as a defensive and administrative centre for the newly established Rape of Bramber (administrative area). The motte was raised nine metres above the level of the mound using marl quarried from an encircling ditch 15-17 metres wide and up to four metres deep. The whole mound, 170 metres north-south by 85 metres east-west, was enclosed within a wall or palisade, and a stone gatehouse guarded the only entrance on the south side. The motte was abandoned in the 12th century and a stone tower keep of three storeys was built over the gatehouse, and the motte ditch was backfilled. An outer ditch, in places 25 metres deep, below the hill top was dug around the hill and on its outer edge a bank was constructed to further strengthen the defences. Around the mound the wall was renewed or replaced in stone and still survives to a height of some three metres on the west side.
The motte and fragments of standing stonework, possibly that of the keep, were mapped from aerial photographs as part of the English Heritage South Downs National Mapping Programme. All that remains of the castle now is the mound on which the castle stood and fragments of masonry of the surrounding wall. (PastScape)

The Round Mound Project coring of the motte in 2015 dated it to mid/late C11 to mid-C12.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling   Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:52

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact