Secrets of Great British Castles

Arundel Castle

Season 2, Episode 6 of 6

Dan Jones is in the heart of the English countryside at Arundel Castle. Though it may appear tranquil today, for centuries this picture perfect castle had its share of turbulent times. Apart from the occasional reversion to the Crown, from 1138 to the present day Arundel Castle has been 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. But the fate of the Earls of Arundel has been tumultuous to say the least. Jones meets a weapons expert who shows him how knights like Richard FitzAlan, third Earl of Arundel, would have fought in the 100 Year War with France and debunks the myth that swords were heavy and cumbersome to use. Arundel has been the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors for over 850 years. The Duke of Norfolk is the Premier Duke and Arundel's fortunes rose and fell along with those of the Howard family. Arguably, no other English family has had such a dramatic history as the Howard's - and Jones tells that story. Finally, Jones meets a Social Historian who gives him a better insight into the realities of living in a castle and how Arundel Castle would have prepared for Queen Victoria's visit in 1846.

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