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The bloody history of the Adur valley

and seven 1,000 year old churches

Graphics illustrate events and battles in Normandy.

  John, who allegedly personally murdered his nephew and rival Arthur of Brittany, fell out with the then Lord Bramber, also called William de Braose.  William and his wife fled from Bramber.  She and their son were captured by King John, imprisoned and starved to death: a gruesome tale.

  Generations of the De Braoses were intricately involved with some of the churches illustrated in this talk.  


Steyning’s role with the kings of Wessex is explained graphically followed by the Normans and the De Braose family from the first Lord of Bramber who fought with William Duke of Normandy in 1066, to his son, who fought in the crusade to a successor who became wealthy under King John’s patronage before a brutal fall from power and into exile.

Corfe Castle, Isle of Purbeck, where prisoners

were starved to death by King John.


We look at seven churches: at Steyning, Bramber, Upper Beeding, Boltophes, Coombes, Old Shoreham, left and New Shoreham.

The evolution of church architecture from Saxon to Norman and Early English is shown in these churches.  

The original choir of St Mary De Haura (now the functional nave) is contemporary with and is contrasted with that of Canterbury Cathedral.