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Sunday, June 07, 2015

Arundel Castle and Gardens

During the last week of May we had visited Arundel Castle for the dramatic Castle Siege event. I have already written about the siege in one of the earlier blog posts. Today's post focuses on the medieval Arundel Castle. Standing tall and proud in Arundel, West Sussex and overlooking the River Arun, the castle was originally built by  Roger de Montgomery in 1068. The castle has a lot of history attached to it and has undergone a lot of restoration and improvements lasting for many years. The ownership of the castle has passed from King Henry I to his second wife and then to many others including Henry II, the Fitzalans and the Howards.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited the castle in 1846 for three days. For their visit a new bedroom and some furniture was specially commissioned. The castle was restructured again soon after their visit and became one of the first to be fitted with electricity and central heating. Bernard Marmaduke Fitzalan-Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk, had decided to give the castle to the National Trust but upon his demise, the 17th Duke called off the plan and today the Arundel Castle still remains the principal seat of the Dukes of Norfolk. Parts of the castle and its beautiful restored Victorian gardens are since then open to public.

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

The castle is stunning and huge. It towers over everything in the vicinity and when we were driving into Arundel, we could see the castle from a far distance. When you see it up close, it is even more imposing. The entry fees to the castle varies depending on the type of ticket you purchase. Depending on the ticket choice (Bronze, Silver, Gold or Gold Plus) you will be able to visit the gardens and grounds, the Fitzalan Chapel, the Castle Keep, the main castle rooms and the castle bedrooms. You can check the ticket choices and prices here.

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

The castle has a superb collection of exquisite furniture, tapestries, porcelain, paintings and carvings. And all of it has been maintained in a very fine condition. Some sections of the castle are private even with the Gold Plus ticket, but that is understandable. I found the Library very impressive - rich mahogany panelling imparted a lot of character to the room. The Van Dyck paintings were also very impressive. I also loved the Victorian bathrooms. Whichever part of the castle one looked at, the exquisite craftsmanship was evident. Photography is unfortunately not allowed in the main castle building, so I am unable to share any photographs of the interiors with you. But you can take my word that the castle is absolutely magical and stunning - both from the outside and inside.

An interesting part of the castle was The Keep. If you are able to climb the 131 steps that take one up to the Keep, then I recommend that you do not miss this. The views of the town, the Downs and the River Arun from The Keep are amazing. Definitely worth the effort.

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Situated in the grounds of Arundel Castle is the Fitzalan Chapel which is the burial place of the Dukes of Norfolk. The Chapel is an excellent example of Gothic architecture and is not be missed. Arundel Castle is also known for its stunning walled gardens. There are a number of gardens on the grounds of the castle including the very well known Collector Earl’s Garden, The Stumpery, the Cut Flower Garden, the Organic Kitchen Garden and the Rose garden. One can easily spend hours in these gardens enjoying the nature with the magnificent castle in the background.

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arundel Castle and Gardens

The castle and the grounds are an excellent place for a day out. The castle has a lot of history attached to it, the interiors are beautiful, the views from The Keep are lovely, the grounds and gardens are immaculate and a pleasure to explore. If you love visiting castles and stately homes, then Arundel Castle is a great place to visit. Definitely not to be missed if you are in Sussex.


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Disclaimer: Complimentary entry was provided to us but all views expressed are our own.

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