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Arundel Castle, Arundel, Sussex

(50°51′22″N, 0°33′18″W)
Arundel Castle, Arundel
TQ 018 073
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Sussex
now West Sussex
  • Kathryn Morrison
21 September 1999, 19 September 2014

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The motte and bailey castle built at Arundel by Roger of Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, in the late 11thc., would have contained mainly wooden structures, although the stone gatehouse is believed to date from that period. In the second half of the 12thc. (c.1170-1190) the circular shell keep was erected, the curtain walls were strengthened and the domestic quarters extended. The castle was ruined during the Civil War, and was largely rebuilt in the late 19thc. (C A Buckler; 1890-1903). This work included the neo-Norman Postern Gate.

The doorway of the keep dates from the second quarter of the 12thc., and the surviving S window of the hall from the late 12thc. A beakhead fragment recorded some years ago is now lost. However, a number of carvings, including a second beakhead voussoir, were discovered during an extensive restoration of the castle in 1976-78. These are now displayed in the Fitzalan Chapel. In addition, a carved voussoir is set in the restored face of the E curtain wall.


The founder of Arundel Castle, Roger de Montgomery (d.1094), had remained in Normandy as Regent during the invasion of England, and was rewarded with the Honour of Arundel, including the rapes of Chichester and Arundel. He built a motte and bailey castle, which would, initially, have carried wooden fortifications. The stone gatehouse is thought to date from the late 11thc., but the circular keep, the great hall - and probably many other buildings which are now lost - were erected in the late 12thc. These would have been built by the d'Aubigny family which held Arundel fromc.1138 to 1243. The d'Aubignys were succeeded by the Fitzalans.


Exterior Features



Exterior Decoration


Loose Sculpture


Fragments from the restoration programme ofc.1900 are now in the garden of Dragon House, Lyminster. Some other fragments are either loose or built into a wall in William Booker's Yard, Walberton. None of that material appears to be original 12thc. sculpture. Two pieces recorded here may be neo-Norman (ie: VI.iii and VI.vi).


Country Life, 19 December 1914, 818.

F. Steer, 'Arundel Castle and its Owners 1067-1660', The Connoisseur. March 1978, 155ff.

I. Nairn and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth 1965, 91-93.