On a crisp and fresh Autumn morn, we all know how hard it is to leave the fire. I can recommend however that when the sun is bright and the air has a certain chill, it’s the perfect day to visit Arundel Castle .
A Castle has stood guard over the people of Arundel since 1067, when on Christmas day William the Conqueror’s most loyal baron, Roger de Montgomery was awarded a third of Sussex. One of the longest inhabited country homes in England – the seat to the Dukes of Norfolk – there are a host of original features such as the Norman Keep, gatehouse and the barbican.
Between 1870 and 1890 the house was completely redesigned and is now considered to be among the greatest examples of Victorian Gothic architecture. Strolling through this magnificent fortification is like walking through the history of England, from the Norman Conquest to the English Civil War to Elizabeth II’s Coronation.
Don’t miss walking around the gardens and the Fitzalan Chapel. Founded in 1390 by the 4th Earl of Arundel, the Fitzalan Chapel is still the burial place of the Dukes of Norfolk. The carved stone tombs are of major artistic interest.
The Gardens are made up of the Kitchen Garden, the Rose Garden and the most magical and enchanted of them all – the Earl’s Garden. The Earl’s Garden is full of wonder and joy and features tranquil yet stunning ponds and pools to a follies like the green oak version of ‘Oberon’s Palace’. This is a fantastical spectacle designed by Inigo Jones for Prince Henry’s Masque on New Year’s Day 1611 and is flanked by two green oak obelisks. The shell-lined interior has a stalagmite fountain and gilded coronet ‘dancing’ on top of the jet! Madness.
To sum up, Arundel Castle is a great day out for everyone from history buffs to couples to families. Admission costs start at GBP8.00 for a bronze ticket that will grant you access to the Gardens and the Fitzalan Chapel with a Gold Plus (access all areas) costing GBP17.00 for adults. If you opt to gift aid this cost an extra 10% but you get a GBP3.60 voucher to spend in the Castle Shop, Restaurant or coffee shop.
Contributor: Alexandra Pinhorn
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