Arundel, West Sussex

The Bridge, Arundel.

Google Street View (approximate).

Panorama of town, showing castle

Arundel is a market town and civil parish in a steep vale of the South Downs, West Sussex, England. . . . Arundel town is a major bridging point over the River Arun as it was the lowest road bridge until the opening of the Littlehampton swing bridge in 1908. Arundel Castle was built by the Normans to protect that vulnerable fairly wooded plain to the north of the valley through the South Downs. The town later grew up on the slope below the castle to the south. The river was previously called the Tarrant and was renamed after the town by antiquarians in a back-formation.

Though it is very much associated with medieval times as the seat of the Earl of Arundel and the Duke of Norfolk, the town’s boom period did not come until the 18th century. Its position straddling the River Arun meant it was an ideal changeover point for goods heading towards London or down the now-non-existent canal to Portsmouth.
“A postman’s quest to preserve Arundel’s glory days”, The Argus

Royal Box, Grandstand, Goodwood, West Sussex

Goodwood, Grand Stand, Royal Box
Publisher: Francis Frith

Google Street View (approximate).

A new stand was built in 1903 with a Royal pavilion attached at the paddock end for the King. At the other end, Queen Alexandra had a box with a private underground passage connecting the two. No expense was spared for either box: the King’s lavatory was made of monogrammed marble.

In 1976, however, the parade ring was moved to the south side of the racecourse behind the March Stand. At the same time, the weighing room, which had previously been in the old Charlton building, was relocated to the north side of the parade ring. This involved moving the old road south of the racecourse. The old Stand was demolished after the Festival meeting of 1979 and replaced by the present March Stand, designed by the architect Sir Philip Dowson, which won the annual Concrete Society Award.
Goodwood via Wayback Machine

Bramber Castle, Bramber, West Sussex

Bramber Castle.
Publisher: Valentine & Sons

Google Street View.

English Heritage: plan of castle

Bramber Castle is a Norman motte-and-bailey castle formerly the caput of the large feudal barony of Bramber long held by the Braose family. It is situated in the village of Bramber, West Sussex, near the town of Steyning, overlooking the River Adur. Surveys indicate the Normans were the first to build a fortification in the area, around 1070. It served as the administrative hub of the newly created Rape of Bramber, and controlled the River Adur estuary. The castle was held by William de Braose, 1st Lord of Bramber, whose family originated from Falaise. Except for a short period when it was confiscated by King John (1199–1216), the castle remained in the de Braose family, until the male line died out in 1326, and it passed to the Mowbrays. Bramber was one of the poorest parts of Sussex , and while it remained a centre of administration, the Mowbrays did not live there; by the 1550s, it was recorded as ‘the late castle’, used for grazing. During the First English Civil War, Bramber was held by a Parliamentary garrison, under James Temple. In December 1643, a skirmish took place nearby, when a Royalist force unsuccessfully tried to secure the bridge over the River Adur. However, it is unclear whether the castle itself was occupied

The original construction of the castle was centred on a high knoll, on which was built a motte 9 metres (30 feet) high using material quarried from an encircling ditch. The motte is visible as a tree-covered mound in the centre of the site. It was surrounded by a wide bailey, or enclosure, entered on the south side through a stone gatehouse (close to the present entrance to the site). The motte, which probably held a wooden structure, was soon abandoned in favour of a three-storey stone keep and the ditch around the motte was filled in. Only one wall of the keep still stands to a height of 14 metres. The floor levels within the keep are indicated by joist slots in the masonry.

Excavation in 1966 and 1967 revealed that the area north of the gatehouse was built up with clay and chalk and that a series of buildings was erected in this area. A kitchen lay to the west. The area was used as a rubbish dump in the 14th century, when the buildings east of the motte may have become the main accommodation. The lower courses of these structures can still be seen. An outer ditch was dug around the knoll and an outer bank created to strengthen the defences, probably at the same time as the keep was built. The wall around the top of the knoll was renewed in stone, and parts of this impressive construction still stand to a height of 3 metres (10 feet).
English Heritage

Although now far inland, Bramber Castle was originally situated on the coast where the River Adur meets the sea. Built by the de Braose family it was confiscated by King John whose harsh treatment of Lady de Braose and her two sons led to the rebellion that culminated in Magna Carta. . . . By the sixteenth century Bramber Castle was ruinous and had suffered badly from subsidence. With stone being removed for road and house building this mighty Norman fortification all but disappeared. The site was briefly re-fortified during World War II with two pillboxes being installed.
Castles Forts Battles

Ruins of Bramber Castle, 17th century, (from Wikimedia Commons)

There is but little left of the Norman structure which, by the disposition of the frajiments remaining of its outer wall on the W. side, seems to have been adapted to the circumvallation of an ancient earthwork, whose mound, or burh, remains on the castle platform. These walls, formed of large and small stones and pebbles from the sea-beach, laid in very thick masses of mortar, have been built round the edge of the embankment, or rather escarpment, outside which the ground falls in the large and very deep ditch surrounding this wall, now thickly wooded ; outside this ditch was another strong and high earthen rampart at a much lower level, from which the ground level is reached. There is no gatehouse, but the entrance is at the S. end of the work, which is an oval of about 560 feet by 280, and near it remains a large portion of a lofty tower, which has been the dwelling-house and keep in one ; it is 40 feet square and about 70 feet high, was once filled by three timber floors, and from it some notion can be formed of this fortress of Braose. It was probably never inhabited by an owner after the death of the last William de Braose, though enough remained of it in the seventeenth century to allow of a Royalist garrison holding the place, which, in consequence, was demolished after the Civil War. The masonry has been very fine, dating about 1095, and in the upper storey is an exceedingly noble window.
“The castles of England, their story and structure, vol 1”, James Dixon Mackenzie, 1896 p. 68

Arundel Castle, Arundel, West Sussex

Arundel: the castle
“Published by the Photochrom Co., Ltd., London and Tunbridge Wells
Passed for publication by the Press Censor, September 1917.”

Google Street View.

Panorama of town, showing castle

There are nearly 1,000 years of history at this great castle, situated in magnificent grounds overlooking the River Arun in West Sussex and built at the end of the 11th century by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel. The oldest feature is the motte, an artificial mound, over 100 feet high from the dry moat, and constructed in 1068: followed by the gatehouse in 1070. Under his will, King Henry I (1068-1135) settled the Castle and lands in dower on his second wife, Adeliza of Louvain. Three years after his death she married William d’Albini II, who built the stone shell keep on the motte. King Henry II (1133-89), who built much of the oldest part of the stone Castle, in 1155 confirmed William d’Albini II as Earl of Arundel, with the Honour and Castle of Arundel.
Arundel Castle

William de Albini died in 1176 and Arundel Castle once again reverted to the Crown. Henry II made numerous modifications to the site including adding a new residential range in the southern bailey. Eventually he returned the castle to William’s son and it remained with his heirs until it passed through marriage to the FitzAlan family in 1243. They built new lodgings in the south bailey to replace the domestic accommodation on the motte but also upgraded the defences including adding the Barbican and Beaumont Tower.

The castle was slighted in 1653 to prevent future military use and this partial demolition included destruction of the residential portions. Accordingly the site was not used until 1708 when Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk restored the South Range for use as an occasional residence. However, towards the end of the eighteenth century Charles Howard, eleventh Duke of Norfolk commenced rebuilding and remodelling the site in a Gothic theme. His efforts were not appreciated however, with Queen Victoria describing it as “bad architecture”, and accordingly Arundel Castle was substantially restyled again between 1875 and 1900. This work was undertaken by Henry Fitzalan-Howard, Duke of Norfolk who recruited architect Charles Buckler to rebuild the castle in a gothic revival style creating the structure visible today.
Castles Forts Battles

The Keep and Drawbridge to Arundel Castle.
(no details on back)

Read more

West Tarring, England

Tarring – The Old Houses
Publisher: John Davis, 24 Victoria Street

Google Street View.

West Tarring village lay in the south part of the parish. There seems no reason to believe that the early medieval village centre was not on the present site, as has been suggested, even though the church lies away from it. The village consists of three streets, called North, South, and West streets in the 17th and 18th centuries and High Street, South Street, and Church Road in 1978; the junction between them was presumably the site of the marketplace recorded from 1499. The buildings are chiefly of brick, flint, and cobbles, some being painted or rendered or hung with tiles; roofs are of tiles, slates, or Horsham stone slabs. Many buildings are of the 18th century or earlier, especially in High Street which is flanked almost entirely by old houses. The lack of gaps between the buildings and the absence of front gardens, both there and in the adjacent part of Church Road, give the village a quasi-urban character. Many of the older buildings were still used as dwellings in 1978.

There are two medieval buildings in the village besides the church. The Old Palace is described below. At the south end of High Street nos. 4–10, part of what was called Parsonage Row in 1615, comprise a small late-medieval timber-framed house with a central two-bay hall and cross-wings with elaborately carved gables giving a faôade of modified ‘Wealden’ type. The hall and north cross-wing have exposed timber-framing and the hall has a two-storey oriel window; the south cross-wing is cased with brick and hung tiles. An upper floor was later inserted in the hall, probably in the 17th century, and an extension at the rear of the building is probably of the same date. (fn. 13) The building formerly belonged to Tarring rectory manor, and it is possible that it was the original rectory house.
“A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 6 Part 1, Bramber Rape (Southern Part)”, 1980

The Parsonage – a journey back in timeThe Parsonage began its journey back in 1987, but Parsons Row and Tarring Village have a long and illustrious history dating back to 1066!Tarring was given by King Athelstan of England to the archbishops of Canterbury in the 10th century. At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, the village was known as Terringes, and consisted of 50 households. It is thought that the place name means “Teorra’s people”, with Teorra being a Saxon settler. There is a tradition that the village was visited by Thomas Becket, the martyred archbishop, in the 12th century and also by St Richard of Chichester, patron saint of Sussex, in the 13th century. West Tarring is noted for its 13th-century parish church of St Andrew, 13th-century Archbishop’s Palace, numerous old houses including the 15th-century, now Grade II listed, timber-framed Parsonage Row. The present day Parsonage, now the oldest restaurant in Worthing was formerly home for the Sussex Archaeological Museum in the mid 80’s. Since 1987 the Parsonage has adapted and grown with the changing preferences of its customers and visitors.
The Parsonage

St Nicholas Church, Bramber, England

Bramber Church
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

Images on Wikimedia Commons

When William de Braose, one of William the Conqueror’s most powerful barons, built Bramber Castle shortly after the Norman invasion, he also built a church, making St Nicholas the oldest Norman church in Sussex. Though the castle is in ruins today, the church is very much in existence and stands immediately downhill of the castle gatehouse on a slope looking out over the village.
Britain Express

Built in the later C11 for a college of priests, it was parochial by 1250. It was originally cruciform, though small for this plan, and the capitals on the western crossing arch are C11. It was ruinous in the C17, but the tower and crossing were rebuilt in the C18 as a chancel and it was again altered in 1931. . .  All the arches were repaired on one or other occasion, with new abaci for all capitals, and the roofs were boarded.  In 1960 the eastern arch was found to be of brick, so it may be entirely C19.  Stencilled decoration inside has not survived.
Saxon Parish Churches