Wednesday 27 June 2012
Steyning to Shoreham historical walk visiting six ancient churches
Details of an illustrated talk on these churches and the history of the Adur valley can be seen at
Just when or why Bramber castle was destroyed is not known. The demise of the De Braose family is well documented. The first William De Braose fought with William Duke of Normany, the Conquerer, who became king and gave the Rape of Bramber to De Braose. Subsequent Lords De Braose fought with King Richard in the crusades and became exceedingly wealthy under King John before a brutal demise. Illustrated details of all this and seven churches of the Adur valley are in my 50 mins. talk on the subject.
St. Nicholas church in Bramber was finished in 1073. The south and north transepts are gone now.
Leaving the river at Bramber, a flat path along the route of a disused railway leads directly to the Saxon church of St. Botolphs
St Botolph's church has traces of medieval wall paintings.
A short walk down the road there are more spectacular wall paintings at Coombes.
From Coombes a path leads southwards up and over Lancing Hill.
Thereafter a steady descent back down to the river and the old wooden toll bridge.
When the river Adur silted up, the port of New Shoreham took over the shipping trade and the magnificent church of St. Mary de Haura was built.
De Braose's wife and heir were captured by the King, imprisoned and starved to death.
De Braose was outlawed, yet escaped to France from Shoreham dressed as a beggar.
This blog entry can't reveal the beauty of these churches nor explain the rise and fall of the Norman De Braose dynasty. My talk on the subjects covers the history of the valley and illustrates the evolution of church architecture from Saxon to Norman and early English, comparing for example St Mary de Haura in Shoreham with the choir at Canterbury cathedral.
Posted by Sussexrambler
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