Built by Roger de Montgomery on the site of an existing Saxon fortification, the castle of Arundel overlooks the River Arun in West Sussex. William the Conqueror granted Roger de Montgomery the land and charged him with the task of defending the southern coast of England from attack.
The oldest part of the castle is the motte, over 100 feet high, built in 1068. The gatehouse followed soon afterward in 1070.
In the year 1102, the forces of Henry I forced Robert de Belleme (the owner at the time) to surrender the castle, and so the castle passed out of the family of Roger de Montgomery.
King Henry I took control of the lands, and after his death, his second wife, Adeliza of Louvain, married William d’Albini II, who constructed the shell keep on the motte. In 1155, King Henry II appointed William d’Albini II as Earl of Arundel. Henry II also constructed many of the oldest sections of the stone castle.
Over the centuries, Arundel has been passed down among several families. Female heiresses of the d’Albinis carried it into the 13th century, at which point the Fitzalans took control of the castle. The Howards followed the Fitzalans in the 16th century, and for 800 plus years, the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors have possessed it.
“Arundel Castle: The Castle.” http://www.arundelcastle.org/_pages/01_castle.htm (accessed November 11, 2009).
“Arundel Castle.” Timeref: History Timelines. http://www.btinternet.com/~timeref/hpl947.htm (accessed November 11, 2009).
**photo by Gregg M. Erickson
Ordericus Vitalis on Henry I from the Ecclesiastical History describes the siege of Arundel castle by King Henry I against Robert de Belleme.