Norman history in Horsham District

North Stoke church

Horsham District is filled with ancient historical sites. This week, we step back into medieval times and explore six Norman buildings that are still standing today for you to discover.

Church of St Mary the Virgin, North Stoke (pictured)

Stepping into this charming church really is like stepping back in time. The interior is virtually unaltered, down to the traces of wall paintings from the 1300s. On an outside wall is a carved medieval mass dial, which would have been used to calculate when services would take place before clocks were used.

Visit Church of St Mary

St Giles Church Shermanbury

One of the oldest churches in the county, this riverside church has murals dating back to 1135 and box pews incsribed with names of surrounding houses.

Shermanbury is a small village just outside Horsham.

Visit St Giles

Bramber Castle and St Nicholas Church Bramber

A pair of key sites of interest for any history enthusiast, Bramber castle and St Nicholas Church offer lovely views across the river Adur and key examples of Norman architecture and history.

The castle is a Norman motte and bailey. Only one stone wall remains, and it stands at an imposing 14 metres high.

The church was built in 1073, which makes it the oldest Norman church in Sussex. Its 11th-century figure carvings are extremely rare examples from the period.

Visit Bramber Castle

Visit St Nicholas Church Bramber

St Nicolas Church Itchingfield

Several of the original windows from the 1100s are still in place today at this village church. Built in 1125, the church had a major extension in the 1800s which included restoration work on the Norman altar stone.

Visit St Nicolas Church

North Horsham Motte and Bailey Castle

On the outskirts of Horsham, near Chennells Farm, is a Norman motte and bailey castle. Horsham's only listed Ancient Monument, the area has an information board where you can find out more about the site's history.

Visit North Horsham motte and bailey