Bramber Castle is a piece of Norman architecture that sits in ruins in West Sussex. Throughout Britain, this site was known for producing an array of small ghosts that frequented the premises after their passing. In this article, we will also take a look at the cruelty of a King and the innocent who paid for a feud among men.
We visit the tale of Bramber Castle during the same time as the reign of King John. Bramber was the possession of a man by the name of William de Braose, who was a Baron of the land, and not very well liked by the King. The two of them were often at odds with one another, eventually culminating to the point of hatred. It is said that Braose lost the respect of the King through some of the events that took place before the signing of the Magna Carta, which took place in 1215.
Braose was a popular man with the rest of the country and King John was not too happy with this. He made it a point to mar the reputation that Braose had with the people. He wanted so very badly to portray his opponent in a negative light to the public. Two different versions of this tale exist.
As time passed by, the King ordered the storming of his castle, but there was a flaw in his plan. The Baron caught wind of the King’s intentions and made sure that he was not there when the troops came a calling. He chose to flee the country.
Since King John couldn’t get to the Baron himself, he didn’t to take his frustrations out on others close to the Baron. Since he could not direct his revenge towards Braose, he located the children of the Baron and made them hostages. There were a total of four young offspring that the King snatched up. At Windsor Castle, he set aside cells for them all. They were all taken to one of the towers of the castle and left imprisoned. They eventually stayed in their prisons, looking forward only to spending the rest of their lives in starvation.
To make sure that the Baron would listen to the King, he ordered the capture of his children to stay as his hostages. The Baron refused and the King sent an army to take them by force. Braose found out about this plan and took his family to Ireland. They were all captured and forced to return to England. There, they all stayed as prisoners in Windsor Castle. The King ordered that the children would starve to death. This was meant as a warning to any Baron who thought of disobeying him in the future.
Since their deaths and in the future, it is believed that the ghosts of the Baron’s children have been spotted about town. There have been reports of ghostly, child-like images begging in the most pathetic manner in sections of the city located close to their former residence of Bramber. The ghosts are dressed in tattered rags and when encountered, are holding out their hands, hoping to acquire a scrap of food.
Today, the only part of this castle of original Norman-style architecture is actually a large piece of the formerly graceful fortress. It stands at 76 feet tall. At the ruins, the children are often sighted, especially during the Christmas season.