Featured image of Arundel Castle

The History of Arundel Castle

LocationArundel, West Sussex, England (Google Map)
Open for VisitorsTemporarily Closed (Reopening on 1st April)
Owned byPrivate Owners
Official WebsiteArundel Castle
Rooms AvailableNo

Founded on Christmas day 1067, Arundel Castle is a restored medieval and Norman castle built by Roger De Montgomery in Arundel, England. It has magnificent gothic architecture, still known as one of Victorian England’s best works. Each year, the castle organises different events for visitors to come and learn about the historic life and cheer on the champion knights.

History of Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle has nearly 1,000 years old history. It has been passed through generations of Dukes directly since the year 1138. The actual reconstruction and restructuring of the castle were made when the Aubigny family received the castle. The extensive changes to the castle were made to let it fit in requirements of the nobility at the time.

In 1139, Empress Matilda was invited to stay in the castle during her travel to claim the English throne upon Stephen; that’s when the new stone apartments were contrasted with fulfilling her needs. In 1176, the 1st Earl of Arundel, William D’Aubigny, died, and the castle was given to Henry II. He spent a considerable amount of time and money in restructuring the castle, focusing on domestic needs. When he died, Richard I became the owner, who gave the Aubigny family line under William III Comte De Sussex. The last Aubigny male was Hugh, who died in 1243. And when her sister got married to John FitzAlan of Clun, he became the castle owner. The castle remained with them until 1580.

FitzAlan added new towers and reconstructed the castle’s entrance under his ownership. The castle was returned to its heirs after 1580. Although the Howard family again became the castle owners, they never stayed in the town. Finally, in 1787, Charles Howard, 11th Duke of Norfolk, started the restoration work of the castle, which continued for years, and remodelled it completely.

In 1846, Queen Victoria with her husband visited the castle. Henry Charles Howard, the 13th Duke, remodelled it again to make it appropriate for her visit, where a new apartment block was made. Soon after her visit, the 14th Duke restructured the castle again. However, he died before its completion, and the work was undertaken and completed by the 15th Duke in 1900. Later, the 16th Duke planned to give the castle to the National Trust, but after his death in 1975, the 17th Duke cancelled the plan.

Today, the Dukes of Norfolk, the 18th Duke, have the principal seat of the Arundel castle, and various events are organised there. The visitors are invited to experience these history-based events.

Architecture

Arundel castle wall
Arundel castle wall”, by Malc McDonald, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Arundel Castle has a medieval look from the outside, accompanied by a beautiful garden. Ever since it was founded, the Howard family and Dukes of Norfolk have invested a lot of energy and time in enhancing the castle’s architecture. However, a major renovation was seen when Queen Victoria visited the castle. The Dukes tried to add the Victorian look and feel to the castle and built a new apartment block for her. This apartment is open for the public to explore, and it has a beautiful garden filled with flowers outside.

Duncan, a horticulturist and landscape designer, constantly works on the Arundel Castle’s exterior and garden to keep it updated and innovative. Overall, the castle’s interior still has décor pieces and designs implemented by different Dukes throughout its existence. You will notice weapon rooms, medieval bedrooms, Royal fire spaces, unique windows with glass artistries, and antique furniture. As Dukes live here, its interior is generally upgraded as per their requirements but never lost its royal touch.

Movie Features

  • Doctor Who, Silver Nemesis (1988): It is a TV series based on adventures in time and space of the doctor, who changes his appearance and personality when his death comes near. The Arundel Castle was featured in the Silver Nemesis episode of the show.
  • The Madness of King George (1994): It is a biographical movie that shows King George III and his Lieutenants involvement in adjusting rules to run the country.
  • The Young Victoria (2009): It is a drama and history film that revolves around the first years of Queen Victoria’s rules and her romance with Prince Albert.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): It is an action and adventurous film based on Diana’s journey to become a wonder woman and save the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who lives in Arundel Castle?

Arundel Castle has been the home of the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk and their children for over 400 years. Currently, the dukedom is held by the Earl Marshal of England, the 18th Duke. The general public can come and explore most of the castle and its gardens.

Who owns Arundel Castle?

Since the 11th century, Arundel Castle has been the seat of the Earl of Arundel and has been owned by the Dukes of Norfolk for more than 400 years. Currently, the Earl Marshal of England, the 18th Duke, is the owner of this castle.

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at castrumtocastle@gmail.com. Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.
Also, don’t forget to mention your name and social media profile link if you want the credits!

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