for long, for it soon began to silt back into the ditch and backfilling took place at an early stage. By the 14th century little more than a depression remained which was filled with chalk, building rubble and domestic rubbish. Thus all traces of it vanished and after the 14th century a roadway was developed over the ditch on the east side to convey traffic into the inner bailey.
The second main element of the castle is the tower that stands at the entrance, one wall of which still survives to a height of 70 feet. This tower has two main phases. In the first phase it was a gatehouse, with an entrance or low archway leading from south to north and with a single storey on top of it. Probably not long afterwards, certainly during the 12th century, it was decided to raise the gatehouse with a tall tower keep. The north gateway was blocked for several feet of its height, and presumably the south gateway also as there is no evidence for this as the south wall has disappeared completely, having slipped down into the ditch. The space inside was filled with
rubble up to the top of the blocking wall. The tower keep was then erected on top of the walls of the gate house. A fine window from the upper storey still survives, and is dated by the architectural experts to the 12th century. The upper part of the west wall which still stands to a great height, is thinner and of a different type of flint and stone construction from the 8-10 feet of the bottom of the west wall. Entrance to the castle in this second phase seems to have been by road to the west of the tower.
The third feature of the defences is the outer ditch and curtain wall, though unfortunately for most of its length the wall has fallen down the steep hillside into the ditch. However, a section to the east of the motte revealed two periods, one in the 12th century with a rebuilding of unknown date, but which cannot be later than the 14th century. The outer ditch will be examined during a future excavation.
From the results already obtained, a picture of the history of the castle can be constructed. On the original ground surface of the tower area a few sherds of abraded and unabraded pottery were found; these were of a character that suggested a date around 1000. This evidence was too slight to do more than suggest that there may have been some sort of Saxon presence in the area. But when William de Braose arrived he probably started from scratch and scooped up the motte right in the middle of the plateau. Once established there, he then built a stone gatehouse. A curtain wall was erected probably early in the 12 century, and the motte ditch, then no longer required, was filled in where it had not already silted up. The large outer ditch some 70 feet below the chalk plateau was constructed, or remade (its date has not been established), involving scarping or re-scarping of the east side. The area north of the gatehouse was built up with a dump of chalk and clay in which a coin of Henry II (circa 1180) was dropped. Three successive buildings were erected in this area, while the kitchen lay to the west. The area was used as a rubbish dump in the 14th century when main occupation may have moved to the buildings erected east of the motte about this time. By the 15th century the tower became ruinous, squatters moved in for a short time in the 17th century and in the 18th it was robbed for stone.
The motte at Bramber, then, was a temporary structure quickly thrown up and soon abandoned. The permanent structure was the gatehouse/tower that still in part survives. If there was a Saxon gatehouse or tower, as the traces of Saxon pottery might suggest, no evidence of its structure has been found. The earlier traditions of the gatehouse being the strongpoint are predominant at Bramber, while the motte was merely a passing fad of fashion.