arundel castle

Arundel Castle: England’s Timeless Architectural Marvel

Arundel Castle, located in West Sussex, England, is a magnificent structure that has stood the test of time. This iconic castle has served as a symbol of power and prestige and has played a significant role in shaping the history of England.

The castle, which was originally constructed in the 11th century, has undergone several renovations and additions over the years, resulting in a stunning display of architectural excellence. It is a testament to the medieval era and the generations of skilled craftsmen who built it.

Key Takeaways

  • Arundel Castle is a timeless architectural marvel in England.
  • It has immense historical significance and has played a prominent role in shaping English history.
  • The castle’s stunning architecture has evolved over time, resulting in a unique blend of medieval and modern styles.
  • The enchanting gardens surrounding Arundel Castle are a sight to behold and offer a peaceful retreat for visitors.
  • The castle hosts vibrant events and jousting tournaments, giving visitors a chance to experience medieval entertainment.

A Glimpse into Arundel Castle’s Rich History

Arundel Castle has a rich and storied history that dates back nearly 1000 years. The castle was founded in the 11th century by Roger de Montgomery, a close ally of William the Conqueror. Over the centuries, the castle underwent various periods of construction and renovation, each adding to its impressive stature and architectural beauty.

Arundel Castle played a significant role in English history, serving as a symbol of power and influence throughout the ages. During the English Civil War, the castle was fiercely defended by Royalist forces and played a key role in their resistance to Parliamentarian forces. The castle also served as a temporary prison for Catholic priests during the reign of Elizabeth I and hosted Charles II during his exile in the mid-17th century.

Throughout its history, Arundel Castle has been owned by a number of prominent families, including the de Albini, Fitzalan, and Howard families. Today, the castle remains in the hands of the Howard family, who have owned it for over 400 years.

Exploring Arundel Castle’s Breathtaking Architecture

The architecture of Arundel Castle is a testament to the rich history and culture of England. Over the centuries, the castle has undergone several transformations, and each phase has added to its unique character and charm.

The castle was originally built during the reign of William the Conqueror in the 11th century. It was constructed as a motte and bailey castle, which was a type of fortified castle consisting of a raised mound (motte) with a courtyard (bailey) at its base.

In the 12th century, the castle was rebuilt as a stone keep, which was a more robust and permanent form of castle. The keep was surrounded by a curtain wall with towers and a gatehouse, providing additional protection.

Over the next few centuries, the castle underwent several renovations and expansions. During the 16th century, the Earl of Arundel added a Tudor-style mansion to the castle, which incorporated Gothic elements such as battlements, turrets, and stained glass windows.

In the 19th century, the castle was restored once again, this time in the Gothic Revival style, which was popular at that time. New features, such as the Fairman’s Tower, were added to the castle’s design.

Today, Arundel Castle stands as a magnificent example of architectural evolution, with each phase representing a distinct period in English history. Visitors to the castle can marvel at the different styles and features that have been incorporated into its design over the centuries.

Exploring Arundel Castle’s Enchanting Gardens

The stunning gardens surrounding Arundel Castle are a sight to behold, offering visitors a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Spanning over 40 acres, these gardens have been carefully designed and cultivated over the centuries to showcase a variety of flora and fauna.

One of the highlights of Arundel Castle’s gardens is the White Garden, inspired by Vita Sackville-West’s famous white garden at Sissinghurst Castle. The White Garden at Arundel Castle features a collection of white and silver plants, creating a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere.

Another must-see feature of the gardens is the Stumpery, a Victorian creation that uses tree stumps and roots as a dramatic focal point. The Stumpery is home to an array of ferns, mosses, and other shade-loving plants that thrive in the cool, damp environment.

Garden Area Features
The Collector Earl’s Garden A tribute to the 15th Earl of Arundel, featuring a range of exotic plants and a water fountain.
The Cut Flower Garden A vibrant garden filled with colorful flowers, including roses, dahlias, and poppies.
The Organic Kitchen Garden A garden filled with herbs, fruits and vegetables, cultivated using organic and sustainable methods.

Besides these gardens, visitors can also explore the tropical glasshouse, which houses a variety of exotic plants, including banana trees, cacti, and orchids.

Events in the Gardens

The gardens at Arundel Castle are not just for admiring, but also for experiencing. Throughout the year, the castle hosts a variety of events in the gardens, including outdoor concerts, theater performances, and even a tulip festival in the spring.

For those who love exploring nature, the castle also offers guided garden tours, providing an in-depth look at the plants and their history.

If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the castle’s resident peacocks, who are known to strut their way through the gardens, showing off their colorful plumage.


The gardens at Arundel Castle are a true delight, offering visitors a chance to step back in time and experience the beauty of nature. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or simply looking for a peaceful escape, the gardens at Arundel Castle are not to be missed.

Unforgettable Events and Jousting at Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle offers visitors a chance to experience medieval entertainment through its vibrant events and jousting tournaments. These events are organized throughout the year and provide a unique opportunity to step back in time and witness the thrilling spectacle of jousting, falconry displays, and historical reenactments.

One of the most popular events is the annual Jousting and Medieval Tournament, where knights in full armor compete in a series of challenges, including skill-at-arms, archery, and of course, jousting. Visitors can cheer on their favorite knights and witness the excitement of this ancient sport.

The Castle’s open-air concerts provide a platform for acclaimed artists and musicians to perform in the stunning backdrop of the Castle’s grounds. These concerts are a great way to spend a summer evening, where visitors can sit back and enjoy the music while surrounded by the enchanting atmosphere of Arundel Castle.

Kids will love the Castle’s Children’s Week, an event filled with fun activities, including face painting, storytelling, and craft workshops. The Castle also hosts a Halloween event every year, where visitors can join a spooky ghost tour of the Castle and grounds.

In addition to these events, the Castle also hosts various exhibitions, talks, and workshops throughout the year, making it a vibrant cultural hub. Make sure to check the Castle’s events calendar before you plan your visit to Arundel Castle.

Exploring Arundel Castle’s Interior Splendor

As you step inside Arundel Castle, you’ll find yourself transported back in time to a world of aristocratic luxury and extravagance. The interior of the castle is a stunning showcase of opulent furnishings, grand halls, and priceless collections of art and artifacts.

One of the first rooms you’ll encounter is the Great Hall, an impressive space with a soaring ceiling, intricate wooden paneling, and an enormous fireplace. The walls are adorned with portraits of the castle’s former residents, including the dukes of Norfolk and their families.

Another highlight of the interior is the Barons’ Hall, which dates back to the 14th century and features a magnificent hammer-beam roof. The hall was once used for banquets and receptions, and today it serves as a venue for weddings and other special events.

If you’re a fan of art and history, don’t miss the castle’s impressive collections, which include works by renowned artists such as Van Dyck, Gainsborough, and Canaletto, as well as historic manuscripts, letters, and documents. One of the most fascinating items on display is the death warrant of King Charles I, signed by Oliver Cromwell and other members of parliament in 1649.

Medieval Treasures and Hidden Passages

As you explore the castle’s many rooms and corridors, keep an eye out for some of the more unusual features, like the secret doors and hidden passages that were once used by the castle’s residents to move unseen through the building.

You’ll also encounter a collection of medieval treasures, including suits of armor, weapons, and tapestries, many of which have been preserved for hundreds of years. One of the most impressive pieces is the Fitzalan Chapel, a beautiful 14th-century chapel that’s still used for services today.

Finally, don’t forget to visit the castle’s gift shop, where you can browse a range of gifts, souvenirs, and books about Arundel Castle and its history. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or simply someone who appreciates beautiful architecture, a visit to Arundel Castle is an unforgettable experience that’s not to be missed.

Arundel Castle’s Role in Modern Times

Arundel Castle may be steeped in history, but it has adapted well to modern times. Today, it is owned by the 18th Duke of Norfolk, who has opened its doors as a cultural landmark and tourist attraction.

Despite its age, Arundel Castle has embraced modern technology, with audio guides and interactive exhibits that bring its history to life in new and engaging ways. It has also evolved to meet the needs of contemporary visitors, with accessible facilities and a range of dining and shopping options.

Even with all these modern amenities, Arundel Castle remains true to its roots, offering visitors a glimpse into England’s rich heritage. Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique day out, Arundel Castle is a must-visit destination that continues to captivate and inspire visitors from around the world.

Arundel Castle: A Must-Visit Destination for History Enthusiasts

If you’re a history enthusiast looking for an unforgettable adventure, Arundel Castle should definitely be on your travel itinerary. This architectural marvel is a true testament to the rich heritage and cultural significance of England, offering visitors a glimpse into the past and a chance to experience medieval entertainment firsthand.

From the stunning architecture and enchanting gardens to the opulent furnishings and impressive collections of art and artifacts, Arundel Castle has something for everyone. The castle’s interior splendor is truly breathtaking, with grand halls and intricate details that are sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.

But Arundel Castle isn’t just a relic of the past; it continues to play a vital role in modern times as well. Owned by the Duke of Norfolk, the castle hosts a variety of vibrant events and jousting tournaments throughout the year, showcasing the traditions and customs of the medieval era.

Whether you’re a history buff, a fan of architecture and design, or simply someone looking for a unique and unforgettable travel experience, Arundel Castle is the perfect destination for you. So why wait? Plan your visit today and discover the timeless charm and splendor of this iconic landmark.


Arundel Castle is a destination that should be on every history enthusiast’s list when traveling to England. Its timeless architecture, rich history, enchanting gardens, engaging events, and impressive interior offer visitors an unparalleled experience.

Despite its long history, Arundel Castle has adapted to modern times and continues to serve as a cultural landmark and tourist attraction. Its significance as a symbol of power and influence in English history remains as strong as ever, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the country’s past.

Whether you’re admiring the stunning architecture, exploring the enchanting gardens, attending a jousting tournament, or delving into its opulent interior, Arundel Castle is an unforgettable experience that shouldn’t be missed.


Q: What is the history of Arundel Castle?

A: Arundel Castle has a rich history dating back to the 11th century. It has been the ancestral home of the Dukes of Norfolk and has played a significant role in English history.

Q: What is the significance of Arundel Castle’s architecture?

A: Arundel Castle’s architecture is a testament to the evolution of English castle design. It showcases elements from various periods, including Norman, medieval, and Gothic, making it a breathtaking marvel.

Q: Can visitors explore the gardens at Arundel Castle?

A: Absolutely! Arundel Castle’s gardens are open to visitors and offer a beautiful escape. The gardens are meticulously designed and provide a serene ambiance to enjoy.

Q: Are there any events or jousting tournaments at Arundel Castle?

A: Yes! Arundel Castle hosts various events throughout the year, including thrilling jousting tournaments. These events offer an exciting experience that transports visitors to medieval times.

Q: What can visitors expect to see inside Arundel Castle?

A: Inside Arundel Castle, visitors will be amazed by its grand halls, exquisite furnishings, and impressive collections of art and artifacts. The interior splendor is truly captivating.

Q: How has Arundel Castle adapted to modern times?

A: Arundel Castle continues to thrive in the modern era while preserving its historical significance. It is privately owned and serves as a cultural landmark, attracting tourists from around the world.

Q: Why should history enthusiasts visit Arundel Castle?

A: History enthusiasts will find Arundel Castle a must-visit destination due to its rich heritage, remarkable architecture, and engaging events that offer a glimpse into England’s fascinating past.