In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Bramber like this:
BRAMBER, a village, a parish, and a rape in Sussex. The village stands on the river Adur, and on the Roman road from Dover to Winchester, adjacent to the Horsham and Shoreham railway, ½ a mile SE of Steyning; and has a station on the railway. It consists now of only a few cottages; but it was long. a place of importance, and a market-town. It was known to the Saxons as Brymmburgh, signifying "a fortified hill;" and it was a borough by prescription, and sent two members to parliament till disfranchised by the act of 1832. ...
One of its representatives, for a time, was the famous Wilberforce.The parish includes the village; and is in the district of Steyning; and its Post Town is Steyning, under Hurstperpoint. Acres, 854. Real property, £1,129. Pop., 119. Houses, 26. The manor belonged, before the Conquest, to the Saxon kings; was given, by the Conqueror, to William de Braose; passed to the Howards; and belongs now to the Duke of Norfolk. A Roman castellum seems to have been here; and remains of a Roman bridge have been observed. A Saxon royal fort succeeded the castellum; a Norman keep was added to the fort, and a great baronial castle arose out of these, a moated, irregular parallelogram, 560 feet by 280; and was held by the parliamentarian troops during the civil war, and went soon afterwards into decay. Little of it now remains except a fragment of a lofty barbican tower, and a mound representing the keep. The tower has a Norman window; and the mound commands an extensive and very striking view. The living is a rectory, united with the vicarage of Botolph, in the diocese of Chichester. Value, £160. Patron, Magdalene College, Oxford. The church stands close to the castle; shows some Norman features; and seems once to have been cruciform, with a central tower.-The rape extends quite across the county, from Surrey to the channel; is biosected, in the southern part, by the Adur; measures 21 miles by 9; and contains the hundreds of Brightford, Burbeach, East Easwirth, Fishergate, Patching, Singlecross, Steyning, Tarring., Tipnoak, West Grinstead, and Windham and Ewhurst. Acres, 117,443. Pop. in 1851, 35,998; in 1861, 35,497. Houses, 6,586.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Bramber has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Horsham. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Bramber and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Bramber, in Horsham and Sussex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 27th January 2015
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