Set in 40 acres of glorious English countryside and rising majestically above the quaint English town beneath, the fairytale castle at Arundel has evolved from its humble origins as a motte and bailey (mound of earth and a trench) castle built just after the Battle of Hastings in 1068
After the original construction commissioned by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel, a shell keep was added to the top of the motte in about 1140, and curtain walls, a chapel and a garden, possibly England’s first Royal garden in England, were added by King Henry II. At only an hour from the capital by train, Arundel Castle is one of the most accessible and unique UK attractions.
Arundel Castle has belonged to the Earl's of Arundel and the Dukes of Norfolk for many centuries. Changing hands from the d'Albinis to the Fitzalans in the 13th century and to the Howards in the 16th century, it has been home to many key figures in English History.
During the English Civil War (1642-51) the castle was badly damaged after twice being besieged: first by Royalists who took control, then by Cromwell's Parliamentarian force led by William Waller. Nothing was done to repair the damage until restoration began in the 18th century, when many of the original Norman features were restored to their former glory. However, the most extensive period of building work took place at the end of the 19th century when Henry, the 15th Duke of Norfolk, rebuilt most of the castle in gothic style.
The castle is still family home to the Duke of Norfolk, and visitors can tour the main castle building and view the splendid interiors of a stately home, as well as explore the earlier medieval parts of the castle, the keep and barbican gate. Arundel Castle houses a fascinating collection of antique furniture dating from the 16th century, tapestries, clocks, and portraits by Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Mytens, Lawrence, Reynolds, Canaletto and others. Personal possessions of Mary, Queen of Scots and a selection of historical, religious and heraldic items from the Duke of Norfolk's collection are also on display.
A visit to Arundel Castle can be undertaken as a daytrip from London (just over two hours of total travelling time) or as part of an excursion exploring the South Coast of England, taking in the trendy city of Brighton and on to Portsmouth and the Royal Dockyard.
Arundel Castle Opening times
Arundel Castle is open from Friday 1 April to Sunday 30 October 2011.
Open Tuesday to Sundays and August Mondays and Bank Holiday Mondays.
1000 to 1700 – last admission 1600
Adults £7.50 - £16.00
Getting to Arundel Castle
Arundel Castle, Arundel,
West Sussex, BN18 9AB
4 miles north of Littlehampton and the south coast, and midway between Chichester and Worthing on the A27 - follow the brown and white tourist road signs.
There is a frequent direct train service from London's Victoria Station and intermediate stations, including Gatwick Airport. Frequent trains also run from Brighton, Worthing, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Chichester and Portsmouth.