The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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STEYNING                             151
statue over the porch. Close by is the little church, where sleep several of the younger branch of the house of De Braose, on the dying out of which the Shirleys entered into the heritage, and eventually the place passed to the Gorings through the Roundhead Faggs. West of Chanctonbury the Downs are largely wooded with trees that have mostly been planted within the last few centuries : to the east they are in most parts bare, presenting smooth rolling outlines covered with soft, springy turf.
Close to Steyning rises from the old tidal flats, green meadows now, a low but isolated hill: Brymmburh the Saxons called it. Earl Guerd held it before 1066; as Bramber we know it to-day, and it gives its name to the Rape. By the Conqueror it was assigned to William of Braose, and to him are probably due the earth­works we see there at present, though it is more than likely that to some extent he made use of older ones. In the centre he raised a mound, on which was probably the keep, unusually placed in not being directly in touch with the outer world. Surrounding it is a bailey, roughly oblong, about 560 feet by 280 feet, the corners rounded except north-east; this is defended by a deep, dry moat cut, not without, but into the hill itself, leaving an outer lip all round much less defined along the east side than elsewhere. About a generation later probably are the flint fragments of the curtain wall along the inner edge of the moat, and the ruins of a great tower, like a small keep, that stood near the south-east corner. This con­sists chiefly of one high wall, a conspicuous land­mark round, roughly built of flint with a little stone, displaying a Norman window, part of a
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