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BRAMBER, Sussex (Fig. 10). Of the manor of Washington, in which Bramber is situated, the Survey says that it formerly paid geld for fifty-nine hides; and in one of these hides sits the castle of Bramber.1 It must not be imagined that the castle occupied a whole hide, which according to the latest computations would average about 120 acres. It is evident that there had been some special arrangement between the King and William de Braose, the Norman tenant-in-chief, by which the whole geld of the manor had been remitted. The Domesday scribe waxes almost pathetic over the loss to the fisc of this valuable prey. "It used to be ad firmam for 100l," he says. The manor of Washington belonged to Gurth, the brother of Harold, before the Conquest, but it is clear that Bramber was not the caput of the manor in Saxon times; nor was Washington the centre of a large soke. Bramber Castle was constructed to defend the estuary of the river, now known as the Adur, one of the waterways to Normandy already alluded to.
The castle occupies a natural hill which forms on the top a pear-shaped area of 3 acres. Towards the middle rises an artificial motte about 30 feet high; there is no sign of a special ditch around it, except that the ground sinks slightly at its base. The bailey is surrounded by a very neatly built wall of pebbles and flints, laid herring-bone-wise in places, which does not stand on an earthen bank. The absence of this bank makes it likely, though of course not certain, that this wall was the original work of De Braose; the stones of which it is composed would be almost as easily obtained as the
1 Ipse Willielmus tenet Wasingetune. Guerd Comes tenuit T. R. E. Tunc se defendebat pro 59 hidis. Modo non dat geldum. In una ex his hidis sedet castellum Brembre. D. B., i., 28a, 1.
earth for a bank. On the line of the wall, just east of the entrance, stands a tall fragment of an early Norman The workmanship of this tower, which is also of flints laid herring-bone-wise, with quoins of ashlar, so strongly resembles that of the neighbouring church that it seems obvious that both were built at about the same time.1 The church is dedicated to St Nicholas, who was worshipped in Normandy as early as 1067;2 it was probably the Normans who introduced his worship into England. Both church and tower are undoubtedly early Norman. The motte shows no sign of masonry.
The value of the manor of Washington had slightly risen since the Conquest.
BRISTOL.-Robert, Earl of Gloucester, the Empress Matilda's half-brother and great champion, is always credited with the building of Bristol Castle; but this is one of the many instances in which the man who first rebuilds a castle in stone receives the credit of being the original founder. For it is certain that there was a castle at Bristol long before the days of Earl Robert, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle mentions it in 1088, when it was held by Geoffrey, Bishop of Coutances, and Robert Curthose against William II.; and Symeon of Durham, in the same year, speaks of it as a "castrum fortissimum." Bishop Geoffrey held Bristol at the date of
1 We often find that the architecture of the nearest church throws light on the date of the castle. A Norman seldom built or restored his castle without doing something for the church at the same time.
2 See Ordericus, ii., 178.
3 The Chronica de Fundatoribus of Tewkesbury Abbey seems to be the origin of the tradition that Earl Robert was the builder of Bristol Castle. There can be no doubt that his work was in stone, as the same authority states that he gave every tenth stone to the Chapel of Our Lady in St James' Priory. M. A., ii., 120. According to Leland, the keep was built of Caen stone. Itin., vii., 90. towers in England.
Robert of Gloucester calls it the flower of all the
the Domesday Survey, and he probably built the castle by William's orders.' It was completely destroyed in 1655 (only a few 13th century arches in a private house now remain), and no trustworthy plan has been preserved, but there is clear evidence that it was a motte-and-bailey castle of the usual Norman type. In Stephen's reign it was described as standing on a very great agger. An agger does not necessarily mean a motte, but it is often used for one, and there is other evidence which shows that this is its meaning here. A Perambulation of the bounds of Bristol in 1373 shows that the south-western part of the castle ditch, which enclosed the site of the keep, was called le Mot-dich; which should certainly be translated the ditch of the motte, and not, as Seyer translates it, the moat ditch.* Finally, the description of the castle in 1642 by Major Wood, says: "The castle stood upon a lofty steep mount, that was not minable, as Lieutenant Clifton informed me, for he said the mount whereon the castle stood was of an earthy substance for a certain depth, but below that a firm strong rock, and that he had searched purposely with an auger and found it so in all parts."5 He goes on to describe the wall of the bailey as resting on an earthen rampart, testifying to the wooden stockade of the first castle. The great tower of Earl Robert appears to have been placed on the motte, which must have been of considerable size, as it held not only
1 We have no historical account of the Norman conquest of Bristol, and the city is only mentioned in the most cursory manner in D. B.
2 Seyer (Memoirs of Bristol, i.) was convinced that the plan published by Barrett, and attributed to the monk Rowlie, was a forgery; his own plan, as he candidly admits, was largely drawn from imagination.
3 Castellum plurimo aggere exaltatum. Gesta Stephani, 37.
* Seyer, i., 391, and ii., 82.
⚫ Quoted by Seyer, ii., 301, from Prynne's Catal., p. 11.
the keep, but a courtyard, a chapel, and the constable's house, besides several towers on its walls. The whole area of the castle was very nearly 4 acres.1
Bristol Castle was no doubt originally a royal castle, though Earl Robert of Gloucester held it in right of his wife, who had inherited it from her father, Robert Fitz Hamon; but the crown did not abdicate its claim upon it, and after the troubles of 1174, Henry II. caused the son of Earl Robert to surrender the keep into his hands.2
Seyer very pertinently remarks that Bristol Castle "was erected with a design hostile to the town; for it occupies the peninsula between two rivers, along which was the direct and original communication between the town and the main part of Gloucestershire." It was outside the city, and was not under its jurisdiction till James I. granted this authority by charter. The value T. R. E. is not given in Domesday Book.
BUCKINGHAM.—The only mention of this castle as existing in the 11th century is in the Gesta Herewardi an undated work which is certainly in great part a romance, but as it is written by some one who evidently had local knowledge, we may probably trust him for the existence of Buckingham Castle at that date; especially as Buckingham was a county town, and one of the boroughs of the Burghal Hidage, the very place which we should expect to find occupied by a Norman castle. This writer speaks of the castle as belonging to Ivo de
1 Calculated from the measurements given by William of Worcester. Itin., p. 260. William probably alludes to the motte when he speaks of the "mayng round" of the castle.
2 Benedict of Peterborough, i., 92.
3 Hist. of Bristol, i., 373.
4 Ibid., vol. ii.
De Gestis Herewardi Saxonis, Wright's edition. See Freeman, N. C.,