Arundel Castle is known as “one of the longest inhabited country houses in England”. It was built for Roger de Montgomery, the first Earl of Arundel, in 1067. It was the home of the family of the Duke of Norfolk for over four centuries, and remains the principal seat for the Dukes to this day.
On a few occasions in its early history, after the death of a previous owner, Arundel Castle has reverted to the crown for a short time.
The castle still has some of its original features, like the Norman keep, gatehouse and barbican, but it has undergone many changes in its time. The castle had fallen into disrepair by the late 13th century, but Richard Fitzalan, the eighth Earl of Arundel, obtained funding from Edward I to renovate it, and add the Well Tower and reconstruct the keep. The tenth Earl, of the same name, also built the Fitzalan Chapel. However, it wasn’t the family’s favorite residence, so the Dukes of Norfolk did not invest as much time into it as some of their other properties.
However, Arundel Castle underwent some restoration at the hands of the 11th Duke of Norfolk, Charles Howard, in the late 18th century, and saw a dramatic overhaul in the late 19th century when it was renovated into a grand Gothic style. The castle was then remodeled somewhat in preparation for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s visit in 1846. There was a brand new apartment block for them to stay in, decorated with a portrait of the Queen and fine contemporary furniture and artworks were added. This was quite an expensive venture but paid off because the Queen was said to have thoroughly enjoyed her stay, and described the castle as “beautiful”.
The castle is set within 40 acres of land, high up on a hill, with stunning views of the South Downs and River Arun. There are several different garden areas; a vinery, rose garden, a walled kitchen garden, and the Collector Earl’s Garden.
Open Friday 30th March - Sunday 28th October 2018