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Arundel Castle
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Arundel Castle

Basic Info

Name: Arundel
Location: West Sussex
Country: England

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The following information was researched by our volunteer team member Carolyn D. Ahrns from Las Vegas, NV. Thank you very much

When I see photographs of Arundel Castle, the fairy tale story ‘Rapunzel’ comes to mind. This is the castle of my childhood imagination, with Rapunzel’s long blond hair flowing from one of Arundel’s towers down to her love…


I have found reference to seven ghosts at Arundel: Earl Rodger de Montgomery, a broken hearted young woman, the Blue Man, a Caviler, the kitchen boy, a small white bird, and a ghost seen in the servant quarters.

It has been nearly 1,000 years since Rodger de Montgomery, kinsman to William the Conqueror, built Arundel. It is believed that it is his ghost that haunts the castle’s keep; the first Earl of Arundel has never left, perhaps keeping a watchful eye over his beloved castle.

Built on the top of a ridge high above the river Arun, the castle dominates the town below. Legend tells of a young woman becoming so stricken with grief she could not bear it any longer and climbed to the top of one of the towers and jumped to her death, following the painful end of a tragic love affair. This heartbroken young woman still wanders the top of the tower searching for her love; she can be seen on moonlit nights dressed in white. I have found conflicting stories about her. Some state she jumped from a tower in the castle, others state she had jumped from Hiorne Tower. I have found that Hiorne Tower was built for the Duke of Norfolk in the late 18th century, located in Arundel Park behind the castle. The architect was Frances Hiorne.

The Blue Man has been seen since 1630. He has been seen many times floating around the library as he browses through the books.

There is mention of a ‘Cavalier’, but it is unclear just who this ghost is. I am wondering if the Cavalier could be the Blue Man who is also referred to as being from the time of King Charles II’s reign (c.1660-1685). I do know that the kitchen boy is defiantly not the Cavalier or the ghost seen in the servant’s quarters (these three were mentioned in two separate articles).

The story of the serving lad is quite sad and disturbing. He lived at the castle over 200 years ago, and, as the story goes, he was treated very badly, so badly that one day he was beaten to death. He haunts the kitchen and can been seen still scrubbing pots and pans.

Another ghost is of a small white bird. Legend tells that its appearance is a warning that someone closely connected to the castle is going to die. I also found reference to white American Owls: “Before restoration of the keep, which was left in ruin for its picturesque beauty, the Dukes used to keep a colony of owls. A tradition exists at the castle where, when a family member is about to die, a white owl is seen fluttering at one of the windows.”

The last ghost was seen by a footman in training in 1958. One of his duties was to turn off the drawbridge lights at 11 p.m. Walking down the ground floor corridor towards the main switch box at the end of the servant’s quarters “I was halfway along…when I was physically aware of something in front of me, about 15 feet away, going in the same direction. As I got nearer I could see the head and shoulders of a man wearing a light grey tunic with loose sleeves. He had long hair and was, I think about 24 years old, but how could one tell? I was behind him. The image was like that of an old photo, with the outline blurred. Because of poor light I could see nothing below waist level. As I walked on the strong impression seemed to fade and he had gone. He was there only for about half a minute I should think. I’m afraid I ran back along the corridor and I think I failed to switch off all the lights.” The young man had never been interested in ghost stories and had never heard any of the castle’s ghost stories, he stated “this was no kitchen scullion”.


Arundel Castle is said to be built on the site of an existing Saxon fortification; William the Conqueror gave the earldom to Rodger de Montgomery in 1067. His task was to defend the southern coast and the river Arun from invasion by foreigners.

After the Conquest, the Normans built fortresses to guard against invasion and attack of their new lands. The first castle built at Arundel was one of these fortresses, it guarded the River Arun in the South Downs as well as England’s southern coast. Built in 1068, it was of motte and bailey design and “is still clearly visible to this day”. The motte is 100 feet high and is surrounded by two baileys. Today’s buildings are built on the original 12th century foundations.

The Norman gatehouse (c.1070), motte, keep, and curtain wall are laid out in a plan very similar to that of Windsor Castle and are very well, and in some cases, extremely well preserved.

“The original timbers were gradually replaced with stone, starting first with the curtain wall and gatehouse, which still survive with its original rectangular portcullis groove.” At the castle entrance is a wooden drawbridge, a barbican, and gatehouse. The barbican was built in 1295. “It is in fine repair, with two portcullises. The barbican was indeed a sturdy structure, for the impressions of cannon balls which bombarded the castle during the English Civil War still mark the walls!” The inner gateway was built during the 11th century; it is one of the earliest parts of the castle and is still in excellent condition. This gatehouse dates “to the initial Norman building period at the castle”.

“The gatehouse consists of a single rectangular tower topped with observation turrets (added slightly later). It is an excellent example of the early Norman gateway.” Enclosing the baileys is the curtain wall, which is nine feet thick; the domestic buildings are at the south end of the bailey.

On the other side of the gatehouse is the “remarkably well-preserved” motte giving an “outstanding impression of what the original Norman fortification would have looked like in the 11th century.”

The keep is “another outstanding example of Norman architecture in England”. It “rose an additional 30 feet above the motte and was built with 10 foot thick stone walling. It is still approached by a service of steps which climb the side of the motte, and structural relics include a large doorway, fireplaces, a basement storeroom, stairs to the battlements and a wall-walk. Norman decorative features include zigzag and scrollwork designs.”

The square well tower was added to the keep at the end of the 13th century. It supplied water to the keep from a well 800 feet deep.

The Fitzalan Chapel was built in Early English Gothic style in 1380. Here the Earls of Arundel and Dukes of Norfolk are buried in a “fine series of tombs”.

Arundel’s armory contains weapons from the 15th century to the 18th century. Some of these weapons are almost 600 years old and are very rare.

The castle’s library is considered one of the finest examples of “Gothic rooms” in England. “In 1790, he (the 11th Duke of Norfolk) constructed an addition to the courtyard side of The Gallery, which consisted of bed and dressing rooms. These were later refurbished, in anticipation of the visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and are named ‘The Victoria and Albert Rooms’.”

The Baron’s Hall, which is built on the site of the original Medieval Hall, is an excellent example of late Victorian architecture.

“The Victorian country house is one of the best secular examples of the English nineteenth century gothic revival, with stained glass by Hardman, extensive heraldry, and superb stone carving.”

The Victorian kitchen has been restored, and its garden has a Victorian iron framed greenhouse; there is a medieval bowling green and picturesque walks. The castle grounds cover almost 30 acres.

“The Norfolk collection includes exceptional English and Continental furniture, and a good picture collection including portraits by Van Dyck, Mytens, Gainsborough, Reynolds, and Lawrence.”

“Personal possessions of Mary, Queen of Scots and a section of historical, religious and heraldry items from the Duke of Norfolk’s collection are also on display.”

“Queen Victoria (1819-1901) came from Osborne House with her husband, Prince Albert for three days in 1846, for which the bedrooms and library furniture were specially commissioned and made by a leading London furniture designer. Her portrait by William Fowler was specially commissioned by the 13th Duke in 1843. These can be seen during a visit.”

During the late 1800’s a restoration program included rebuilding the domestic buildings, the Billiard Room, and restoration of the keep and the barbican.

“At some points along the lower portion of the curtain wall, most clearly inside the outer bailey, the Tiltyard, the Norman foundations are still detectable. Fronted by the great St. Bevis Tower, a 13th century gateway, the vestiges of the Middle Ages stand in abrupt contrast to the 15th Duke’s restorations, and are especially highlighted by two grand heraldic beasts - the Howard Lion and the Fitzalan Horse - which dare you to enter their domain. The figures are modern additions, but serve to emphasize the ongoing grandeur of this remarkable castle, a castle that offers us so much: outstanding Norman creations coupled with impressive restorations…“


“Tradition has it that the town was named after the giant Bevis’ horse ‘Hirondelle’ (the swallow). A swallow is still depicted on the town’s coat of arms.” Little is known about Arundel before the Conquest. There is “evidence of Roman occupation and the town is mentioned in 901 in the will of Alfred the Great. It is known Alfred fortified the area against sea raiders, the town had Saxon royal connections up until the reign of Harold II.” There are references of a castle and the port at Arundel in the Doomsday Book.

Arundel is the second largest castle in England. Arundel Castle has been the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk for over 500 years. “The Duke of Norfolk is England’s Premier Duke, the title having been conferred on Sir John Howard in 1483 by his friend King Richard III. The Dukedom also carries with it the hereditary office of Earl Marshal of England” (since 1672).

“The Montgomerys are a Lowland clan of Anglo-Norman origin.” The son of Rodger de Montgomery “The Great”, Rodger de Montgomery (b.1030), was joint Regent of Normandy when William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066. He contributed 60 of his ships to William to aid the invasion. Rodger de Montgomery was not only the cousin of the new King, they were also best of friends since childhood. “Rodger was given the Earldoms of Sherwsbury and Arundel, the ‘rape’ of Chichester (‘which made him the Lord of 84 manors’). After the conquest King William divided Sussex into six ‘rapes’ (the origin of rape maybe derived from ‘hrapa’ Icelandic measure, or rapiner Norman meaning to plunder), Chichester, Arundel, Bramber, Lewis, Pevensey, and Hastings.”

“Earl Rodger de Montgomery founded the first castle at Arundel on Christmas day 1067. He returned with William from Normandy in 1067 and he was summoned to attend Chismas (sic) at Gloucester with the king where he was awarded his honours as one of William’s most trusted men.”

In 1083 he founded the Abby at Shrewsbury, “which he is reputed to have entered 3 days before his death.” (This is the man whose ghost is said to haunt the castle’s keep) Rodger de Montgomery died in 1094 and was succeeded by his son, Robert, known as Robert de Belleme.

“Of the …sieges that occurred in the castle’s history, two were caused by direct rebellion of the castle’s owners against the monarchy.”

Robert de Belleme was a hardened and cruel man, who had made many enemies. Extremely knowledgable in military architecture, he strengthen Arundel’s fortifications. He sided with the Duke of Normandy against King Henry I in 1102. While Robert was away, the castle was besieged for three months before surrendering. Belleme was banished for life; his lands and possessions confiscated, they now belonged to the Crown.

Robert had started building the stone keep. Henry I continued the work, and it was probably completed by Henry II whose keep at Windsor Castle is very similar to Arundel’s.

“It can be said that, apart from the occasional reversion to the Crown, Arundel Castle has descended directly from 1138 to the present day, carried by female heiresses from the d’Albinis to the Fitzalans in the 13th century and then from the Fitzalans to the Howards in the 16th century and it has been the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors for over 850 years.”


In his will, King Henry I (1068-1135) left the castle and lands as dower to his second wife, Adeliza of Louvain. Adeliza married William d’Albini II three years later in 1138. Upon his marriage to Adeliza, William d’Albini II became Earl of Sussex. In 1155 King Henry II confirmed d’Albini as Earl of Arundel, with the Honour and Castle of Arundel.

William, an excellent builder (one of the most influential castle builders of his time), started construction of the keep. He used Caen stone which had to be brought to the castle from Normandy, and Quarr Abbey stone imported from the Isle of White. “By the standards of the time, the interior of the keep would have been luxurious and richly decorated, seen as fitting for a Queen dowager.” It also served as the administrative center for the district.

In 1139, Henry I’s daughter, Empress Matilda arrived in England to dispute her cousin’s (King Stephen) claim to the throne. She was given refuge at Arundel. King Stephen immediately surrounded the castle but soon after raised the siege and allowed Matilda safe passage to Bristol, and Earl William was allowed to stay at Arundel. The thought of a woman ruling the country was out of the question at that time, and Matilda and Stephen finally came to the agreement that upon his death her eldest son, Henry, would inherit the Crown.

William d’Albini died in 1176, and again Arundel Castle was in the possession of the Crown, “this time owned by Henry II, Matilda’s son.”

King Henry II (1133-1189), who built much of the oldest part of the stone castle, stayed at Arundel on many occasions. In 1182, he spent a vast amount on improvements mostly to the domestic facilities. “Some doors and windows built by him remain today in the south wing. Parts of the medieval windows and arches can be seen from the outside at the end of the south facade.”

After the payment of several fines by Richard Coeur de Lion to the Crown, the castle was returned to the d’Albini family and remained in their possession until Hugh de Albini whose death in 1243 ended the male line of de Albini (d’Albini). The castle went to his daughter, Isobel, who married John Fitzalan of Clun.


The castle passed through the de Albini female line to the Fitzalan family when Isobel de Albini married John Fitzalan acquiring the Castle and Honour of Arundel. The Fitzalan family would hold the castle and title in an “almost uninterrupted line until 1555…“

In 1272, John Fitzalan died and the castle passed to his son, Richard, who was only five years old. “In 1285 King Edward I granted the right to hold two fairs a year at Arundel and to tax the goods there.” This created additional much needed cash to renovate the castle and buildings which had been neglected through lack of money. Richard reconstructed the entrance to the keep, and the Well Tower. He built the barbican with two square towers in front of the Norman gateway and hightened the gate tower (gateway).

“In 1289 Richard was created Earl of Arundel (the first Fitzalan Earl of Arundel) by ‘Longshanks’ and the two became good friends. Richard fought with the King against the Scots and he is described on the Rolls of the Siege of Caerlaverock (castle) in 1300: ‘A handsome and well-loved Knight, I saw there richly armed in red with gold lion rampant’.” Richard died at the age of 35 in 1302.

For the next one hundred years “his descendants had a rather disconcerting history” many were “beheaded or otherwise executed for their questionable choices, which did not match those of the reigning monarch” and “saw the fortunes rise and fall for the Fitzalan’s.”

His son, Edmund, the 2nd Earl of Arundel was involved in the rebellion against Edward II. Mortimer (Queen Isabella’s lover) captured Edmund, and he was executed , by beheading, without trial in Hereford in 1326. “Arundel passed to the Earl of Kent, 6th son of Edward I, but he was also beheaded when the castle was returned to the Fitzalan’s 4 years later.”

The 3rd Earl of Arundel, Richard, fought in the Battle of Crecy with King Edward III and his son, the Black Prince of Wales. Richard returned from battle a hero. “He carried out much rebuilding at Arundel and was also responsible for the beautiful Fitzalan Chapel which was built according to the terms of his will.” He was succeeded by his son, Richard.

The 4th Earl of Arundel, Richard, “is noted for his treachery to Richard II.” First supporting his King, he later changed sides. “He…received harsh treatment from Richard II.” Arriving late to Queen Anne’s burial and wanting to leave early King Richard “had him trashed with a stick.” The King would later have Richard executed; Arundel was awarded to John Holland, Duke of Exeter, the King’s friend.

Thomas Fitzalan became the 5th Earl of Arundel after King Henry IV had Holland beheaded. Thomas married Beatrice, the daughter of John I of Portugal. He was one of the Governors appointed to Richard II. “He also played an important role in the Hundred Years War and at home. Thomas was with Henry IV when he invaded Wales in pursuit of…Owen Glendower. He commanded one of the three units that drove deep into the Welsh mountains, the others being commanded by the King and by a young Prince Henry, later to be Henry V.” In 1411, Thomas along with 1,200 men marched into Paris to the aid of John the Fearless, the Duke of Burgundy, successfully taking Paris from the Armagnacs. Thomas died from dysentery while in Harfleur with Henry V in 1415, leaving no heir. He was the first family member to be buried in the chapel, Thomas and Beatrice “take top billing in front of the Altar with their fine tomb effgies of carved alabaster.”

The 7th Earl of Arundel, John, a distinguished soldier, was another Fitzalan to excel in the War. In 1434 he was created Duke of Touraine by the Regent Bedford “but died the following year after having his leg amputated after the Battle of Beauvais.” John’s body was brought back to Arundel to be placed in his tomb in the Fitzalan Chapel. “One effigy of him in full armour and the other below of him in Death” can be seen in the chapel.

The 9th Earl of Arundel, William, was a Knight of the Garter. He served as Governor of Dover and Warden of the Cinque ports.

The 11th Earl of Arundel, and influential man, supported Henry VIII in his decision to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon, “and the 12th Earl, Henry Fitzalan, was King Henry’s godson”.

The 12th Earl of Arundel, Henry Fitzalan, died without a male heir, ending the Fitzalan family line. His daughter Mary inherited the castle.

Lady Mary Fitzalan married Thomas Howard the 4th Duke of Norfolk in 1555 (although the Catholic Encyclopedia gives the date as 1556). Henry Fitzalan’s family fortune and the castle at Arundel passed through the hands of his daughter Lady Mary to her son Philip Howard, 13th Earl of Arundel.


“Ironically, the Howards (the Dukes of Norfolk) had their own series of controversies and executions decreed by the King, so it seems that the two families (Fitzalan) had much in common besides their ownership of Arundel Castle.”

“From the 15th to the 17th centuries the Howards were at the forefront of English history, from the War of the Roses, through the Tudor period to the Civil War.”

“There have been two cardinals and a saint in the Howard family: St Philip Howard, the 13th Earl of Arundel (1557-1595) died in the Tower of London for his faith.” Philip was canonized in 1970, in recognition for his devotion to the Catholic faith.

“Among the famous members of the Howard family are the 2nd Duke of Norfolk (1443-1524), the victor of Flodden, Lord Howard of Efingham, who with Sir Francis Drake repelled the Armada in 1588, the Earl of Surrey, the Tudor poet and courtier, and the 3rd Duke…“

The ‘Poet’ Earl was executed in 1547.

“Thomas Howard (1473-1554) the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, fought bitterly against Henry VIII’s attempt to abolish Catholicism and the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536.” To increase influence at court, he was responsible for Henry VIII’s marriages to his nieces, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, both were executed by beheading. “Exploited by their uncle, Thomas did nothing to stop their beheading for fear of Henry.” Thomas was charged with treason and imprisoned in the Tower of London. “Orders for his immediate execution would have been carried into effect had not Henry died on the previous evening. He remained a prisoner in the Tower the whole of Edward VI’s reign, but was released on Mary’s accession, and restored to the dukedom in 1553.” He escaped the death penalty and survived to die of natural causes. He was succeeded by his grandson, Thomas, in 1554.

Thomas, the 4th Duke of Norfolk (1536-1572) on orders by the Queen, Elizabeth I, was sentenced to death and beheaded on June 2, 1572 for planning to marry Mary Queen of Scots. By 1568 Thomas had been widowed three times. “The only English duke, the wealthiest man in England, popular and ambitious.” It was his marriage to Lady Mary Fitzalan that brought the title of Duke of Norfolk to the Earls of Arundel.

“Philip Howard (St. Philip), 13th Earl of Arundel, steadfastly maintained his family’s traditions, in two distinct manners. First like his ancestors, Philip was a devout Roman Catholic who refused to give up his faith for the monarchy. A rumor claiming he led a public mass for the success of the Spanish Armada against his own countrymen caused Philip’s ultimate demise, for he was imprisoned in the Tower of London and soon died, apparently of poisoning (d.1595).”

“James I restored Thomas,14th Earl of Arundel, son of St. Philip Howard, as Earl of Arundel in 1604. The Earl built vaults under the Fitzalan Chapel for the interment of his father’s body, which he brought down from the Tower of London.”

During the centuries that follow there are no more beheadings, executions, or poisonings of the heirs to Arundel Castle.

“By contrast, his son (Thomas), the ‘Collector’, 14th Earl (1585-1646), as his nickname suggests, was responsible for many of the treasures which can be seen today.” Thomas was out of the country at the outbreak of the Civil War. “During the civil war the castle was twice besieged, first by the Royalist who took control, then by a Parliamentarian force, and it was badly damaged.”

“The effects were devastating and the Norman gatehouse still bears the scars from the battering. The siege was fully recorded and such was the damage that: ‘The roofless apartments were left to moulder in neglect or sink beneath the ravages of the elements’. And this is how the castle was to remain until the mid-18th century.” Arundel was slighted by Cromwell’s troops which brought it down into ruin in 1648.

In 1660, Charles II restored the dukedom of Norfolk to Thomas Howard (1627-1677), Earl of Arundel after the reformation along with the rest of the family’s titles and lands. The castle was in such a bad state of condition the Howard family did not return to live there for the next 70 years.

Henry Howard, 6th Duke of Norfolk (1628-1684), succeeded his brother in 1677.

Henry Howard, 7th Duke of Norfolk (1655-1701), succeeded his father in 1684. His nephew Thomas succeeded in 1701.

Thomas, the 8th Duke of Norfolk (1683-1732) made some repairs to the castle in 1708 and used it as an occasional residence. He was going to build a new house but instead rebuilt some of the south range.

Edward Howard, 9th Duke of Norfolk (1685-1777), succeeded his brother in 1732.

Charles Howard (1720-1786), descendant of the seventh duke, succeeded in 1777.

In the 1780’s, “Charles, the 10th Duke of Norfolk, began a grand restoration scheme (in Gothic style the fashion of the time) at Arundel and initiated the creation of the grassy expanses surrounding the structure.”

Arundel remained a partial ruin until the 18th century, “when the middle ages was revived and ruins were seen as romantic relics rather than piles of rubble.”

Charles Howard (1746-1815), succeeded his father in 1786.

In 1787, “Charles Howard, the 11th Duke of Norfolk (1746-1815), known to posterity as the ‘Drunken Duke’ and friend of the Prince Regent, carried out necessary restoration.” He started as soon as he inherited the castle in 1787. “He first consulted a Warwick architect, Francis Hiorne, who designed the pretty castellated tower in Arundel Park …and is called Hiorne’s Tower.” Plans were drawn up for the castle to be rebuilt in this fairy tale style, but he died before they were carried out. The Duke not finding another architect to suit him, “decided to be his own architect, working closely with a sympathic master mason John Teasdale. The Duke purchased over a thousand acres of land north of the estate and enclosed it with miles of high wall, lodges and drives. As soon as he finished the park he opened it to the public, as it remains today, roamed by the decedents of the deer he introduced.” The park’s scenery has been painted by many artists such as Turner Constable, and William Dainell.

Bernard Edward (1765-1842), third cousin, succeeded in 1815.

The 12th Duke, Bernard Edward, did not live at the castle but after selling one of his homes had the furniture brought to Arundel. His son Henry succeeded him in 1842.

Henry Charles (1791-1856), the 13th Duke, moved into the castle as soon as he inherited it in 1842, and from then on the Dukes of Norfolk have lived at Arundel.

Henry Granville (1815-1860), succeeded his father in 1856.

The 14th Duke of Norfolk, Henry Granville, began restoration of the castle but he died before it was finished. We owe much to what we now see at the castle to his son, Henry, 15th Duke of Norfolk (1847-1917). He used the best Victorian craftsmen and the most up-to-date domestic technology. His remodeling can be clearly seen in the “Victorian battlements lining the easternmost bailey, now called the Quadrangle, which superseded the walls of the original fortress. The structures that now surround the Quadrangle are probably very similar in function to timbers buildings that would have stood inside the medieval bailey, and include the state apartments and private living quarters.” Described as “visual paradises” these rooms are furnished with lovely “ornate furniture”. Arundel was one of the first English country houses to have electricity, integral fire fighting equipment, service elevators and central heating.

Henry Fitzalan (b.1847) 15th Duke of Norfolk, succeeded his father in 1860. “The house was totally reconstructed to the design of C.A. Buckler between 1875 and 1894…“

During the 19th century most of the 10th Duke’s ‘fantasy’ Gothic work was torn down and reconstruction was undertaken to Arundel Castle in a more “straightforward” style. “Today little of the original castle remains hidden by impressive late Victorian masonry.”

Henry Charles, the 18th Duke of Norfolk, was a royal courtier - Master of the Horse to Queen Victoria, captain of the Yeomen of the Guard, to name a few. Charlotte was Lady in Waiting for the Queen. She was the daughter of one of the richest men in England. They spent a vast amount of money on the renovation and restoration of the castle. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited for three days in 1846. “They were welcomed by the mayor,…a 21-gun salute from a battery in the home park and an illuminated sign across the wall of the keep reading ‘Welcome Victoria and Albert’.”

“Duke Henry started his reconstruction of Arundel Castle by extending the east wing to provide a small group of rooms for the family. He moved on to the west and south wings, rebuilding the staircase, Barons’ Hall, and chapel. His architect was Charles Buckler. The work went on until the beginning of the 20th century, and for decades the quadrangle looked like a building site.”

“The workmen over the years became like part of the family, sending a letter of sympathy when the Duke’s son died, and a illuminated testimonial of congratulations when he remarried in 1904 and returned with his new bride to his ‘ancestral home’. When he went off to fight in the Boer War at the age of 52 they hung a sign in Maltravers Street: ‘May God protect our noble Duke in the hour of danger is the fervent wish of his employees’.” The town council added “Non pro Se sed pro patris” (Not for self but for country).

The Duke had a “hands-on approach to the building work. Every detail had to be approved by him…” Taking advantage of new technology as it became available, central heating was installed in the 1880’s, electric lights in the 1890’s.

Nearly 900 years had passed, when Arundel Castle was again serving the role it was originally built for; occupied with troops the castle played an important part in World War II securing the south coast of England from foreign invasion.

Passing through the female line from d’Albini to Fitzalan to Howard, the Dukes of Norfolk and the Earls of Arundel are directly descendent from William d’Albini, they still live in the castle to this day. The Present Earl of Arundel is the Duke of Norfolk’s oldest son, he lives at Arundel along with his wife, the Countess, and their children.

“Arundel Castle is the home to the senior branch of the Howard family, since 1483 the Dukes of Norfolk. The Howards are a large and distinguished clan, with many peerages between them, and with Royal connections.”

“The Duke of Norfolk is the premier Duke, the title having been conferred on Sir John Howard in 1483 by his friend King Richard III. The Dukedom carries with it (since 1672) the hereditary office of Earl Marshall of England. This means that the Duke is in charge of state ceremonial such as the coronation and funeral of the sovereign and such occasions as the sovereign declares shall be a state occasion, e.g. the investiture of HRH The Prince of Wales and the funeral of Sir William Churchill. Visitors often ask about the relationship of the English sovereign to the Dukes of Norfolk: they share a common ancestor in King Edward I (1239-1307) and also King Edward III (1312-1377). Earl Marshal, the Duke is head of the College of Arms, founded in 1484, the official authority on heraldry and genealogy in England and Wales.”

Arundel Castle was re-opened to the public in 1947, and had been fully restored as a family home.

Information obtained from:, Britannica Encyclopedia, Catholic Encyclopedia, Grolier Encyclopedia, The Heritage Trail,,, Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond, A History of Britain,, historic-uk,,,, mystical WWW,,, jpeditions, uktravel and various other articles.

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Last modified:: 2015/08/18 13:06