A Tour of St Mary's House in Bramber
The town of Bramber in West Sussex is rich in history. As the sea used to come in right by the town, it was long-used as a crossing point for those seeking to sail over to the European continent.
Bramber’s coastal location also made it a sound strategic settlement, something which was not lost on the Normans who erected a castle here not long after their conquest of England in 1066.
What was more, the town was also situated on the pilgrimage route that stretched from Southampton to Canterbury, the holiest site in England.
In 1150, the Knights Templar created accommodation for the pilgrims at Bramber, taking advantage of the location’s access to a natural spring; three hundred years later, this accommodation was replaced with a staggering house that remains standing to this day: St Mary’s House.
St Mary’s House began its life in c.1450 AD, acting as a ‘hotel’ for pilgrims making their journey to Canterbury. But when King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries, taking away monastic possessions and smashing the Catholic church in England, the house was sold to become a private home.
Grand, local men of political importance became the new owners of houses such as St Mary’s and the entire building was remodelled once again. Later still, the house would host famous Tudor and Stuart kings and queens including Elizabeth I and Charles II.
In this episode, Dan visits St Mary’s House and discovers some of the fascinating treasures of this building that is shrouded in nearly a millennia of history.
Snow on the Road is a History Hit TV Original series where Dan visits Britain’s best historical sites.Duration: 10 Min