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Arundel Castle Holds A Thousand Years Of British History
LarryBlanken @ 07/ 21/ 2010

by Larry Blanken

 

Many people have a fascination with castles. They are the stuff that fairy tales are made of, full of knights, noblemen, and handsome princes. Of course, England is littered with castles of all sizes and shapes, in conditions ranging from moldy to magnificent. Of the latter kind is the Arundel Castle in West Sussex, the second largest castle in England.

 

Built on the top of a ridge overlooking the river Arun, the castle looms high above the town below. Arundel has the distinction of having been not only an ancient fortress, but also the constant residence of British noblemen for a thousand years. As a result, it has been perfectly preserved and is an excellent representation of how these architectural wonders actually appeared in the days of King Arthur. While many of Great Britain’s castles lay in ruins, mere piles of stones that only hint at their past glory, Arundel Castle, founded by Roger de Montgomery in 1067, is spectacularly pristine. The 40 acre site, complete with sweeping grounds and gardens, has been the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk for hundreds of years. As the constant home of these noblemen, the rich history and heritage of the castle has been uniquely maintained. Arundel Castle has been open to visitors for nearly 200 years and is one of the great treasure houses in all of England. Its great halls and towers contain countless priceless works of art. In addition to stunning paintings and rare furniture, tapestries, sculptures, weaponry and armor are all on display in their original settings.

 

You can also view one of the few collections of personal possessions of Mary, Queen of Scots. The site has a rich military history dating back to Robert de Belleme who sided with the Duke of Normandy against King Henry I in 1102. The castle was besieged for three months before Belleme surrendered, forfeiting his lands and possessions to the Crown. Henry I expanded the facility and it remained an important outpost throughout the medieval period. Almost 900 years later, Arundel Castle served as a fortress again when it was occupied by British troops in World War II to secure the south coast of England from foreign invasions. Today, it stands quietly in all its grandeur as a place to bring back childhood visualizations of majestic medieval life.    

What were the WOW moments you experienced?
This is the classic fairy tale castle that comes to mind when you think of Medieval England. You can easily imagine Rapunzel letting down her hair from one of the lofty towers.
England, Arundel, Arundel Castle
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