Bramber village sign

Bramber - A Snapshot

Bramber parish is a rural area in the lee of the South Downs, located inland from Shoreham-by-Sea and extending to some 1770 acres. Much of the land is actively farmed and ranges from flood plain to upland on to the South Downs. There is a natural boundary to the East in the river Adur which separates the village from Upper Beeding. The southern side is wholly rural and joins farms in the parish of Coombes, elsewhere the boundaries mingle with Steyning. Part of the parish falls within the newly created South Downs National Park. The Parish Council works closely with the Parishes of Upper Beeding and Steyning in matters of mutual interest.

There are four identifiable residential areas: Bramber village, which is a single linear street (originally a causeway) and still contains listed buildings; Maudlyn Park, largely a post-war housing development accommodating the majority of the parish's population and the two picturesque hamlets of Annington and Botolphs.

Historically the area has been populated for well over a 1000 years. It is recorded that the village developed along a trade route from Cornwall through to Kent and the Continent; had strong Saxon links and by 959 St Botolph's church had been built. Bramber castle and the church followed in 1073.

The villages contain buildings of considerable historical interest such as the Saxon church at Botolphs, Bramber Castle, which is cared for by English Heritage, St Nicholas Church, the oldest Norman Church in the county, and the 15th century former pilgrims rest at St Mary’s House. St. Mary's still attracts great interest and, through the efforts of the current owners and volunteers, the house and gardens have been restored to their former glory and numerous events are held throughout the year.

Whilst farming remains an important aspect of the local economy, there is also light industry in an industrial estate in Annington. There are no shops in the village but there is a pub (the Castle Hotel), the 38 bedroom Old Tollgate Hotel and Indian and Chinese restaurants. Tourism is still a major attraction to the area, which is criss-crossed by many footpaths and bridleways, including the Monarchs Way, the Downs Link and the South Downs Way.

Local interests are well catered for by a Parish Council and a social group called the Bramber Society which meets in the pub every month. It organises various activities which bring residents together - talks, village cleanups, celebrations, arranging floral decorations through the village and Christmas carols and decorations. The maintenance of the churchyard is supported by some 12 residents who are known as the Flying Buttresses. The village also has links with several specialised interest groups.

Schools, health services and local shops are provided from the neighbouring villages of Steyning and Upper Beeding.

Parish Boundary (click for larger image)

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