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

Arundel Castle

West Sussex
50° 51′ 22″ N, 0° 33′ 13″ W

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Arundel Castle is a mediaeval castle located in Arundel, West Sussex, close to the river Arun.

The castle was founded on Christmas Day in 1067 by Roger de Montgomery, First Earl of Arundel. It was built as a wooden Motte and Bailey castle. Later in the 1140's the stone keep was built on the Motte by William d'Aubigny.

When William died, the castle reverted back to the crown. King Henry II spent a vast sum of money re-building the castle. The castle was passed on to the FitzAlan family in the 1240's.

The FitzAlan line ceased when Mary FitzAlan married Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk. Thomas was executed for conspiring to marry Mary, Queen of Scots in 1572. The castle was damaged in the English Civil War.

Although the castle remained in the hands of the Howard family, it was not their favoured residence, and the various Dukes of Norfolk invested in their other ducal estates, including Norfolk House in London and Worksop

Charles Howard, 11th Duke of Norfolk moved in to the castle, in 1787, restoring and making many improvements. He built a folly on the hill above Swanbourne Lake. He also held a huge party to celebrate the signing of the Magna Carta.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited the castle in 1846. Much of the castle was re-modeled and rebuilt.

The 16th Duke had planned to give the castle to the National Trust but following his death in 1975, although the 17th Duke cancelled the plan. He created an independent charitable trust to guarantee the castle's future.

Today the castle remains the principal seat of the Dukes of Norfolk. Most of the castle and its extensive grounds are open to the public.