William de Albini (or Aubigny) became the owner of the castle and the first Earl of Arundel either having been granted it by Henry I or by the fact that he married Henry's widow Adeliza of Louvain, sources disagree. In the dispute between Matilda and King Stephen, William de Albini gave refuge to Matilda at the castle. When Matilda, Henry's daughter, arrived in England she sought the assistance of Adeliza her step-mother and Adeliza had agreed. Arundel Castle was besieged by King Stephen in reponse but the castle did not fall to the King and Matilda escaped. Several generations of Albinis owned Arundel Castle until Hugh, the last male heir, died. The castle became the property of John Fitzalan who married Hugh's daughter Isabel in 1243. At the end of the thirteenth century Richard Fitzalan began a phase of reconstruction work that included the barbican that adds protection to the Norman gatehouse. The Fitzalan family remained almost continually in posession of the castle until in 1555 Lady Mary Fitzalan married Thomas Howard, the 4th Duke of Norfolk, and the Howard family became the owners of the castle.
During the English Civil War the castle was held by Royalist forces. The Parliamentarians under the command of William Waller besieged the castle from late 1643 until the spring of 1644. Cannons were used on the castle and did much damage. Over the centuries the castle's structure was changed and repaired so that the castle we see now is not an original Norman castle. But there are sections of the keep and gatehouse that retain earlier Norman work.
|Arundel Castle Key Facts|
|County||West Sussex (5 castles)|
|Directions||Eleven miles to the east of Chichester on the A27.|
|Categories||Motte & Bailey / Stone|
|Access to site||Only open at certain times|
|1067||Arundel Castle granted to Roger de Montgomery|
|William the Conqueror granted Arundel Castle to Roger de Montgomery.|
Episode: Norman Conquest
|1101||Arundel Castle siege|
|After the castle falls to the besiegers, Arundel is passed to the ownership is passed to the King.|
|1129||Arundel Castle building work|
|New construction work was done at Arundel between 1129 and 1130.|
|1138||Arundel Castle siege|
|Matilda was given refuge by William de Albini at Arundel Castle. King Stephen built siege works around the castle in response but was unable to break the castle's defences. Matilda escaped but was later captured.|
Episode: Civil War Stephen and Matilda
|1176 - 1188||Construction work at Arundel|
|More improvements were made to Arundel Castle between 1176 and 1188.|
|Early Modern Period (1500-1800)|
|1643||Dec 20||Arundel Castle Siege|
|Parliamentarian cannons pound Arundel Castle where Royalist forces were un siege. William Waller controlled the attacking Parliamentarian army.|
The Norman Conquerors built their castles in locations where they could keep control of the local populations of Saxons or at important locations such as river crossings or on key roads. Many motte and bailey castles were built on the border with Wales to try and keep the Welsh at bay. The advantage of this type of castle was that it was quick to construct. Making a fortification from wood was much easier than making one of stone.
Take control of a medieval trebuchet to destroy the enemy castle and capture their flag.
Transport yourself back up to a thousand years and explore historical buildings as they may have appeared in the past.