Bramber, this parish, which is in Steyning hundred and union, and gives name to the rape, is chiefly agricultural; it is 1 miles from Steyning east, and 5 from Shoreham north, on the river Adur. The castle of Bramber, the property of the Duke of Norfolk, has been long celebrated for its fine remains, but it is somewhat singular that there is no historical account by whom or in what century is was built. It was the residence of William de Braose, a great baron. It stands on an eminence, which is supposed to be the work of art. From the great thickness of its walls and the trifling alteration which appears to have taken place since 1760, a which period a correct view was taken of it, there is reason to suppose it was destroyed by gunpowder or by some violent means, but there is no authenticated account of its demolition. The church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, possessing one nave, aisle, and chancel, with an embattled square tower; it is evidently of great antiquity, as appears from its style of architecture. The church was erected before the Norman accession, and was given to the monks of St. Florence, in France, by William De Braose. In or near the town was a hospital, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene, called Bidlington Spital; altogether, this place possesses many interesting objects to the antiquarian or lover of romantic scenery. The principal part of this parish belongs to Richard Lidbetter, Esq. The benefice is a rectory, with Botolphs annexed, value £160 per annum, in the gift of the Magdalene College, Oxford; the incumbent is the Rev. Thomas Grantham, B.D. The area is 870 acres, and the population, in 1851, was 131, assessed to the Income Tax at £1,153. Bramber has much dwindled from its ancient importance, and on the passing of the Reform Bill, was shorn of its last beams, the right of returning 2 members to parliament.
Letters received through Steyning.
Grantham Rev. Thomas, B.D. Rectory
Lidbetter Richard, Esq. Magdalene house
Hudson Richard, parish clerk
Lidbetter Leonard, farmer
Potter James, “White Lion”
Woolger William, carpenter & barge builder
Transcribed by Stacey Gardner