This church is dedicated to St. Nicholas and it was built around 1075 by Sir William de Braose, a kinsman of William the Conqueror, to serve as a chapel to his castle at Bramber.  It has been much altered since then, but still retains a beautiful simplicity.

This has been the location of countless Woolgar baptisms and marriages over the last 250 years.  In the churchyard stand 18 separate memorials to the Woolgar Family, commemorating a total of 42 individuals.  Headstones were, and still are, expensive items and so the number of memorials at Bramber is indicative of the one-time wealth and importance of the family there.

Some of the headstones at Bramber are now very difficult to read, but I have drawn a sketch map showing the approximate position of each Woolgar memorial in the churchyard and can also supply a transcript of the inscription on each of those headstones.  If you are intending to visit Bramber Church and would like a copy of the map to aid your visit, please contact me.

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Yew Cottage, Bramber

Yew Cottage, Bramber was the home of Stephen WOOLGAR and Hannah EVANS and these are the common ancestors of the majority of Woolgar Researchers connected to the Henfield Line.

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Headstone of Stephen WOOLGAR and Hannah EVANS

This couple were married in the church of St. Nicholas, Bramber on 17 December 1761.  Stephen was a Wheelwright and a landowner.  Stephen and Hannah started their married life living in Henfield where their eldest 3 sons were born; but they moved to Bramber around 1710 and a further 4 sons were born there.

They are buried in the churchyard at Bramber, together with four of their sons and many of their grandchildren.

The inscription on their headstone reads
"In memory of HANNAH wife of STEPHEN WOOLGER who died Nov 27 1819 aged 77 years.  In memory of STEPHEN WOOLGER who died Oct 1 1821 aged 80 years".

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Old Cottage

This tiny cottage was once the home of William WOOLGAR and Elizabeth TRANGMER (Charts 1 & 5 number 23).  Here they gave birth to 10 children, seven of whom survived to adulthood.  When William made his Will in 1830, he owned two houses in Cavendish Place, Brighton (see the Brighton page) - quite a contrast to his own, tiny residence.

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Headstone of William WOOLGAR & Elizabeth TRANGMER

This headstone is in Bramber Churchyard and can be found in the triangular area opposite the church door.  The inscription is partially covered with lichen, but if you follow the indentations with your fingers, it is still possible to read the words - which state
"In memory of Willm Woolger who died March 12th 1843 aged 78 years 'He came to the grave in good full age Not as grass that withereth before it groweth up But as shocks of corn which cometh in due season'
In memory of Elizabeth the wife of William Woolger died Nov 8th 1832 aged 65 years"

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Last updated 07 January 2006
© Marion Woolgar