10 Interesting Things You Need to Know About Arundel Castle

The mighty Arundel Castle.

Arundel Castle, one of the oldest inhabited castles in the United Kingdom, still remains the home of the Dukes of Norfolk. Here are the 10 things that you will find interesting about this historic castle.

The Castle is the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk


The Castle is the principal seat of the family of Dukes of Norfolk. The Duke is the premier duke in the peerage of England, and also, as Earl of Arundel, the premier earl. The Duke is also the hereditary Earl Marshal of England.  The current holder of the title is Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk.

The Castle was established by Roger de Montgomercy

Arundel Castle motte.
Arundel Castle was established by Roger de Montgomery on Christmas Day 1067. He was the first earl of Arundel by the graces of William the Conqueror.

The Castle's oldest feature is the motte. 
The castle bridge.
The oldest feature is the motte, an artificial mound, over 100 feet high from the dry moat, and constructed in 1068: followed by the gatehouse in 1070.

The English Civil War severely damaged the castle.
The castle's drawing room.
The castle was heavily damaged during the English Civil War. It was not until the 18th, however, when construction started.

The Castle was restored in the late 1700s.
The Arundel Castle library

Charles Howard, 11th Duke of Norfolk, was known for his restoration work and improvements to the castle beginning in 1787. Known as the Drunk Duke, he was a close friend of the Prince Regent (later George IV) and wanted to make the castle his principal residence and place of entertainments. The Duke brought about many improvements to the castle. To this day, castle’s library remains as he had it designed and built.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stayed at the Castle.
One of the Arundel Castle's Victorian bedrooms
In 1846, Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, visited Arundel Castle for a few days. Henry Charles Howard, 13th Duke of Norfolk, had remodelled the castle ahead of the royal visit. The delighted queen wrote at the end of her visit about how she enjoyed her stay there, commenting on the "beautiful" castle and the friendliness of her reception. The suite of rooms in which Victoria stayed are now part of the family's private apartments but the suite of bedroom furniture made for her is on display. Among other things to see are the Queen's bed, the guest book bearing her and her Consort's signature, and her toilet.

The Castle was one of the first medieval fortresses to be modernized.
The Collector Garden. A lovely tribute to the 14th Earl of Arundel.

Henry,the 15th Duke of Norfolk (1847-1917) did an extensive restoration project completed in 1900. The castle was one of the first English country houses to have electric lights, integral fire fighting equipment, service lifts and central heating.

A trust was established for the benefit of the Castle.
The gardens at Arundel Castle are well maintained.
The 16th Duke had planned to give the castle to the National Trust but after his death in 1975, his successor, the 17th Duke, instead, established an independent charitable trust to oversee the castle  and manage the restoration works.

For more information about Arundel Castle,  visit its official website.


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