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.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Bramber, in Horsham and Sussex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 29th March 2017
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