When William de Braose, one of William the Conqueror’s most powerful barons, built Bramber Castle shortly after the Norman invasion, he also built a church, making St Nicholas the oldest Norman church in Sussex. Though the castle is in ruins today, the church is very much in existence and stands immediately downhill of the castle gatehouse on a slope looking out over the village.
Built in the later C11 for a college of priests, it was parochial by 1250. It was originally cruciform, though small for this plan, and the capitals on the western crossing arch are C11. It was ruinous in the C17, but the tower and crossing were rebuilt in the C18 as a chancel and it was again altered in 1931. . . All the arches were repaired on one or other occasion, with new abaci for all capitals, and the roofs were boarded. In 1960 the eastern arch was found to be of brick, so it may be entirely C19. Stencilled decoration inside has not survived.
Saxon Parish Churches