The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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152                   THE SUSSEX COAST
passage in its seven-foot thickness of masonry, and holes for the beams of the floors. The scantiness of the ruins is mainly due to the operations of the great Civil War.
On the outer lip, and so practically outside the defences, stands the once collegiate church of St. Nicholas, founded by William of Braose in 1073; a cruciform building then, now only tower and aisleless nave survive, and the former does duty as chancel. According to the Gentleman's Magazine (1805) it was rebuilt at the end of the eighteenth century, but this does not seem to have gone very far. The north, south, and east tower-arches are walled up, the west one is plain except for jamb shafts, that on the south has a remarkable capital reminding one of the sketches children of twelve sometimes make on their slates. Queer beasts sprawl about, two animals have birds in their mouths, and one of them is fitted with what would seem to be a most inconveniently long tail. The large south door has billet moulding; nearly all the other details belong to a later age.
Nine of the Braose house held Bramber, and one of them fell foul of the blackguard King John, whose effigy in Worcester Cathedral has been gilded but whose memory not even the crankiest of historians has essayed to whitewash. By marriage it passed to the Mowbrays (1315); ten of them held it, of whom Thomas was in 1397 created Duke of Norfolk. When the last of them died in 1476 Bramber fell to their relatives the Howards, to whom it still belongs.
The tidal flats doubtless formed natural dry docks for many a vessel of old. We learn from a record of 1103, narrating an agreement between the Abbot of Fecamp and De Braose, Lord of
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