ARUNDEL – a medieval town of historic importance.
A beautiful town set just as the River Arun reaches The Brooks as they drain the South Downs towards the sea at Littlehampton. The town itself is set on a steep hill, with the castle and fine Catholic Cathedral on the two highest points.
The Castle is one of the oldest seats of power in England. Founded at the end of the 11th Century, the Castle has been the family home of the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors for nearly 1000 years. The Dukes have always been staunch Catholics and as such the first Dukes went with Richard the Lionheart to the Holy land in the 12th Century and fought in many notable battles against France and other European countries over many centuries.
The huge castle is an exemplary example of a Medieval Castle including a portcullis, drawbridge, dry dyke and high stone walls with shooting points. Plus there are beautiful restored gardens, including the Collector Earl’s Garden and fabulous artwork by Van Dyke and Gainsborough for example. Other than being on a promontory so disabled access is limited, especially inside the castle, it is a superb place to visit especially for families. http://www.arundelcastle.org/
The Castles has many special events during the Summer – including jousting events and mock enactment battles! I went with my niece and nephew to the International Jousting Tournament (week long) at the end of July – and it was fabulous. Lots to see and do – there was a medieval village, plenty of “peasants” in period costume doing artisan crafts eg pewter casting, birds of prey displays etc; and the castle, gardens etc were all open for the ticket price. (A bit more than normal but great value) Why not plan to come the same time next year?
Arundel is famous for its local, independent traders and in more recent times the antique traders. Shops stuffed with artwork, glassware, furniture, mirrors and books are a draw for the inquisitive and knowledgeable alike. * Read more about antiques by following the link below.
Along the river a short way is the Wildlife and Wetland Trust’s Arundel Centre – where you can see a wide variety of wildfowl in particular rare geese, go pond dipping or for some stunning walks. There is even a boat safari! Arundel Wetland Centre
© Gayle Palmer. Chichester Self Catering 2016