From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Arundel Museum

West Sussex
50° 51′ 13.85″ N 0° 33′ 14.72″ W

  • History
  • Gallery
  • Gallery
Arundel Museum is the local museum in the town of Arundel, West Sussex. The museum is manned by volunteers and relies on subscriptions, donations and fundraising events for its survival.

The Museum Society was founded in 1963 by a group of local people. Arundel's heritage was under threat from new development and was not appreciated. They set out to rescue and conserve all they could of Arundel's past and they aimed to create a museum with the advice of Sussex historian Roy Armstrong and archaeologist Con Ainsworth.

In March 1964, the first museum was established in the old prison cells in the undercroft of the Town Hall. These were cramped and the and the environment was damp but the Museum Society created displays of the history of Arundel and the surrounding villages.

In 1975, the Borough Council Offices became surplus to requirements, following a major local government re-organisation.The Museum was offered the lease on the Grade 2* listed Georgian building. The Society created a new museum which was opened in 1977.

In the 2000's, the District Council planned to sell the council offices and would not renew the lease, the museum wasforced leave these premises in the autumn of 2007. Museum Society volunteers, supervised by a consultant curator, packed every item in the collection and transferred these into stores.

For the 2008 and subsequent seasons, Arundel Museum was able to keep a presence in the town by opening in temporary portacabin accommodation, sponsored by local entrepreneurs. In October 2011, they moved again, to Crown Yard Mews, where the museum took on the role as tourist information point for Arundel.

The building of a new museum began early in 2012, with the demolition of St Nicholas Hall in February. Next there was an archaeological investigation and building began shortly after the investigation completed and its results were known.

The new museum, located next to the river, opposite the Lower Castle Gate, was opened by the Duke of Norfolk on 24 June 2013.