Arundel is dominated by the magnificent castle, cathedral and the River Arun flowing through its heart. It is a mecca for book shops and curios. If you love your tea and cake, the choice in Arundel is truly scrumptious.
The oldest features of Arundel Castle are the mound it was built on in 1068 and the gatehouse. It was built by Roger de Montgomery, then the Earl of Arundel. This title passed, with the castle, to William d’Albini II.
Since 1138 Arundel Castle has descended directly from this one family. Through female heiresses, to the Fitzalans in the thirteenth century, then to the Howards in the sixteenth century. It became the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk who remain until the present day.
The castle came under siege twice during the Civil War, first by Royalists and then by the Parliamentarians. It was badly damaged and was not restored until the beginning of the eighteenth century. Further restoration took place at the end of the nineteenth century. So resulting in the magnificent building that exists today. Part of this building and the grounds are now open to the public.
The interior of the castle comprises two sections. Its keep and the castle rooms.
A narrow winding staircase emerges first in St Martin’s chapel. This tiny chapel was installed when the keep, part of the original castle, was built. It is dedicated to St Martin, a Christian and a reluctant Roman soldier. He was to become the patron saint of soldiers and beggars and the first non-martyr to become a saint.
Emerging onto the roof of the keep, a circular walkway allows visitors to look through openings in the wall. The view is across the town below, the countryside beyond. It also allows visitors to appreciate the private gardens behind the castle
Just above the parish church, Arundel Cathedral, at the top of the hill, is the town’s Catholic cathedral. It is an excellent example of the Gothic Revival style of architecture. The construction was begun by the fifteenth Duke of Norfolk in 1868 and it was completed in 1873.
The architect selected by the duke, Joseph Hansom, was better known for inventing the hansom cab. But he fulfilled the duke’s ambition to create a magnificent building and a rival to his own castle. It is one of the finest examples of this style of architecture in England. The slender pillars rising to its lovely vaulted ceilings.
The cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady and Saint Philip Howard, the twentieth Earl of Arundel who was canonised in 1970. He has been buried no less than three times. Firstly the Tower of London where he was imprisoned (but not executed) in 1589, as one of the Forty Martyrs. Later, he was moved to the Fitzalan Chapel and finally came to rest inside the cathedral in 1971.
Arundel Wetland Centre occupies a site that until 1976 was a commercial watercress farm. It was thanks to the vision of Sir Peter Scott, founder of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, that the area was transformed to a Wetland Centre. This haven for nature is a very special place. It allows visitors to get close to nature in a beautiful setting. Strolling through the wetlands is a very pleasant way to end a lovely day in Arundel.
To visit Arundel by coach contact Holt Services