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Things to do in Bramber, West Sussex


The pretty village of Bramber regularly wins the 'South East in Bloom' competition. It features the 15th century St. Mary's House and the ruins of Bramber Castle. The castle built soon after 1066 is a beautiful, romantic setting - ideal for a picnic.

St. Mary's House is a magnificent medieval house with the best late 15th century timber framing in Sussex. It is on a charming, domestic scale and is still lived in as a family home. The foundations date back to the 12th century and it has a unique Elizabethan trompe l'oeil Painted Room, other fine panelled rooms, a Music Room and imaginative gardens. St. Mary's has interesting connections; King Charles II hid there on his escape to France; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle chose the house as the setting for one of the Sherlock Holmes stories; and the two main characters of Oscar Wilde's 'The Importance of Being Earnest' are caricatures of two previous owners, the Hon. Algernon Bourke and his wife Gwendolen Sloane-Stanley.

The nearby Chapel at Lancing College is a well-known landmark at a famous school. Begun in 1868 and completed over 100 years later it is built in the spirit of 13th century Gothic. Its Rose Window is one of the largest in England. Music is an essential part of life at Lancing and the Chapel houses two fine organs. All services are open to the public.

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