- November 13, 2017
Arundel Castle in West Sussex is this year celebrating the 950th anniversary of the order for its construction.
The order was given on Christmas Day in 1067 by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel, and construction began in 1068. It is the ancestral seat and family home of the Duke of Norfolk, and one of the largest inhabited and complete castles in England.
Commanding the landscape amongst 40 acres of stunning grounds and gardens, and steeped in almost a millennium of history, Arundel Castle is a jewel in the crown of UK visitor attractions.
From local residents to countrymen drawn from further afield by a passion for the past, and even international enthusiasts keen to enjoy one of England’s best-preserved estates, Arundel Castle has wide appeal.
One of its oldest features, the 30-foot tall Norman Motte and Keep, provides breath-taking views across the nearby River Arun, the South Downs and a spectacular panoramic vista of West Sussex, showing that today, just as in the 11th Century, Arundel is the gateway to the south.
The Castle’s Keep, Gatehouse and Grounds have been open to the public on a regular basis since the 1800s and the enduring popularity of Arundel Castle as a visitor attraction is clear to see.
An ideal location for history buffs, visitors to Arundel Castle have the opportunity to explore the Castle in its entirety. From the Armoury and beautiful Regency library through to opulent Victorian bedrooms, where Queen Victoria once laid her head, each room is filled with its own unique charm and historical tales.
Outside of the Castle itself, the Fitzalan Chapel is one of the country’s finest examples of Gothic architecture, founded in 1390. It features a carved timber roof and choir stalls, as well as carved stone tombs which are of major artistic interest.
Today, just as in the 11th Century, Arundel is the gateway to the south
For horticultural visitors, Arundel Castle offers a series of beautiful gardens to enjoy. HRH The Prince of Wales officially opened The Collector Earl’s Garden in 2008, an installation conceived as a tribute to Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel who was known as The Collector. It is now home to the renowned Arundel Castle Annual Tulip Festival.
This garden also showcases a delightful rill pond and Oberon’s Palace, a spectacular shell-lined enclosure which plays host to open air Shakespeare performances as part of the Arundel Festival in August.
In addition, the Castle gardens are home to the highly acclaimed Stumpery; a unique artistic concept which aims to ignite the imaginations of all who visit. The walled gardens also boast stimulating Herbaceous Borders, a fully functional Organic Kitchen Garden and a beautiful rose garden that is heavy with glorious scented blooms at the height of summer.
Arundel Castle proudly plays host to an action-packed calendar of events, providing professional historical interpretations of periods throughout the Castle’s impressive history.
The undoubted highlight of the Castle’s events season is the weeklong Arundel Castle Medieval Joust – the longest tournament of its kind in the world, which will celebrate its tenth instalment in 2018.
Competitors from across the globe will descend on Arundel to battle for glory on horseback, under the shadow of the mighty Castle. In celebration of this momentous milestone, the 2018 competition will be the Champion of Champions edition, contested by previous winners, guaranteeing a high-octane week of twists, thrills and suspense.
Arundel Castle, its grounds and gardens are currently closed, but will re-open from 30 March 2018 until 28 October, Tuesday – Sunday, Mondays in August and Bank Holiday Mondays.
With so much to enthral and entertain visitors of all ages, Arundel Castle has earned its place as an unmissable visitor attraction in the South.
For more information, or to buy tickets online, please visit www.arundelcastle.org.