The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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constructed of masonry. After taking a leading part in the Conquest and leaving his mark on England and Normandy by founding castles, mostly earthwork, and instituting religious houses, Roger took the cowl a short time before his death in Shrewsbury Abbey, his own foundation, in whose church he lies at rest under a tomb in the south aisle of the nave. His Norman stronghold may still be seen at St. Germain de Montgomery, south of Lisieux.
In dividing Sussex into the six Rapes (or possibly making use of older divisions), each with a castle and a river, and assigning them in four cases to nobles who already had Norman territories oppo≠site them on the other side of the Channel, William the Conqueror evidently planned firmly to weld his new kingdom with his old Duchy. Thus to Roger were granted the Rapes of Chiches≠ter and Arundel, roughly opposite his Norman landsóChichester's river not piercing the Downs it did not form the same important gate into the heart of the county as the other Rapes. The Rape of Bramber, the valley of the Adur, was granted to William of Braose, whose Norman lord≠ship was south-west of Falaise: the Rape of Lewes on the Ouse was assigned to William of Warenne, whose continental earthworks remain at Bellen-combe on the Varenne (or, as it is now called, the Arques); while the Rape of Hastings was given to the Count of Eu, a port on the north-west frontier of Normandy.
Two of the same family followed Roger in the possession of Arundel, but the latter, his son Robert of Belesme, forfeited his land by rebelling against Henry I., who conferred Arundel and Chichester on his queen, Adeliza. After the king's
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