Arundel Castle is one of the longest inhabited country houses in England, built for Roger de Montgomery, the first Earl of Arundel, in 1067. It’s the principal seat of the Duke of Norfolk and has been for over 400 years.
The castle, built in the 11th century, still has some of its original features, such as the Norman keep, gatehouse and barbican. However, it had fallen into disrepair by the late 13th century, and Richard Fitzalan, the eighth Earl of Arundel, obtained funding from Edward I to renovate it, adding the Well Tower and reconstructing the keep. The tenth Earl of Arundel also built the Fitzalan Chapel. However, it wasn’t the family’s favourite residence, so the Dukes of Norfolk didn’t invest as much time into it as some of their other properties.
Arundel Castle underwent some restoration and was dramatically renovated in the late 19th century into a grand Gothic style. The castle was then remodeled 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.