Spotlight on Arundel
Arundel has it all – the history, the heritage, the culture, the scenery, the traditions… but it also has a certain modern flair as well, an ability to combine the past and the present into one iconic and lovely town. Here you can find cobbled streets and ancient castles co-existing wonderfully with glorious contemporary art galleries and independent shops.
History in Brief
By the time the Domesday Book was created in 1086, Arundel was already a thriving market town and port. Its population at the time was around 400, which made it large in terms of numbers and importance. Arundel was known as Arundell until around 1733, when the modern spelling was introduced. The name has experts arguing over the meaning, but some posit the theory that it literally means ‘dell of the Arun’ (the Arun being the river that runs through the town). Another idea is that it means ‘swallow’ in old Norman – there is a swallow on the town’s crest, and the Norman name for the bird was ‘aronde’ (in modern day French this is ‘hirondelle’ which still has a familiar ring to it); and yet another supposes that the name actually comes from the Old English word ‘aerndael’, which means ‘dwelling dell’. With so many theories about where the name Arundel comes from, it’s no wonder that the town itself has a mixed heritage and a fascinating past.
By 1285, the thriving market in Arundel had become an annual fair, and people travelled from miles around to visit, to buy, and to sell. More buildings began to be erected, including Arundel’s first religious building which was later destroyed and the church of St Nicholas built in its place 100 years later.
Things to Do
Perhaps the most famous building in the entire town, Arundel Castle gazes down at everyone and everything from its hilltop position. Built in 1138, Arundel Castle was designed and created specifically for the first Earl of Arundel, Roger de Montgomery, and it has been the family home of the Duke of Arundel for over 1,000 years, passing down through the generations. It is also open to the public, giving everyone the chance to explore this wonderful example of a medieval castle.
Arundel Museum tells the story of a town that has always been busy and exciting, but that just keeps getting better and better. Here you can learn about everything from the first per-Roman settlements right up to the present day. With their popular family event days, the Museum Detective Challenge, walking history tours through the town, great café and coffee shop, and knowledgeable volunteers, this museum will satisfy even the most curious of visitors.
Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre
Learn how things used to work in a different time at the Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre. This intriguing and interesting place contains exhibits such as a narrow gauge railway, a bus service (both of which can be used for free, and are a wonderful piece of nostalgia as well as a great way of seeing the entire museum at once), a printing workshop, a blacksmith, and a potter as well as much more. They also run various events throughout the year.
LOOK YOUR BEST
Gilded pleasure is a relaxed, home from home place for you to enjoy having your hair transformed. They are a team of professional, friendly, experienced hairdressers who are passionate about their clients’ needs. The team is dedicated to making you feel comfortable and making sure you leave feeling confident and in love with your new hair. Steven and Jakk opened the salon in 2013 and have loved every moment. Jodie and Nicky have since joined the team and have exceeded themselves in contributing to the success of the salon.
37 Tarrant Street
Arundel Festival // Aug
A festival full of music, art, performances, drama, history, and locally produced food and drink – could there be any better way to celebrate the town of Arundel than to take part in or enjoy watching this spectacular weekend of entertainment?
Strawberry Fair // July
The friends and neighbours of Binsted are gathering once again to offer a large variety of garden shrubs and plants, homemade cakes and jams, ice cream, Pimm’s tent, music, raffle, books, wildlife information, toys, face painting, animals, children’s games and activities, and, of course, the strawberry tea. Proceeds from the Fair are distributed to three local charities.
Arundel Bath Race // July
Intrepid teams of two take part in this fun, fast, and furious race in a bath on the River Arun. It’s all in aid of charity, and it’s a fabulous family event.
Arundel By Candlelight // Dec
In one of the most popular Christmas events in the South East, Arundel by Candlelight features a Christmas market, carol singing, Father Christmas, a brass band, choirs, the switching on of the Arundel Christmas tree lights, and various celebrities. The cathedral and castle are both decorated and lit up, and it is a beautiful way to see the town.
Did You Know?
The River Arun is the fastest flowing river in the country, so be careful should you ever stand close to the edge! The sea is only five miles away, and it would not take long for you to be washed away should you fall in!
The Waterside, the gem of Arundel; right on the river in the heart of the town. Offering freshly cooked local Sussex produce, traditional English afternoon tea with homemade scones, jam and clotted cream and delicious Marshfield’s ice cream desserts. Lobster, crab and prawns are amongst their daily specials throughout the summer washed down with chilled wine, fizz or a refreshing local chilled beer. Take a self-drive motorboat along the beautiful River Arun where kingfishers can be spotted darting amongst the reeds. There’s something for everyone, and there’s no need to book – just turn up!
Mill Road, Arundel BN18 9PA / 01903 882609 / Open 9.30 – 6.00 Daily
Norfolk Arms Hotel
The Norfolk Arms is a historic hotel situated on the high street in the heart of Arundel. Undergoing a refurbishment, the hotel is restoring itself to its former glory to re-establish its reputation and become the jewel in Arundel’s crown once again. Central to the refurbishment of this idiosyncratic coaching inn is the return of local-boy chef Jon Lander. His new menu along with the redesigned and modernised restaurant brings forward the hotel, allowing it to lead the way in showcasing the best of Sussex’s talent and produce.
The Bay Tree
Serving contemporary European cuisine and using only the finest and freshest ingredients, the Bay Tree restaurant is a popular fixture in Arundel and serves dishes such as honey and lavender goats cheese mouss, gravaldax and smoked salmon, six hour slow roasted pork belly, and a variety of homemade desserts.
The ‘essence of Sage’ is using good quality ingredients used simply. With classic French dishes and Mediterranean style food, chef Clare has produced not only beautiful food, but a wonderful atmosphere to match.
This restaurant opened in 1988, and is still going strong. Its owners hail from Conegliano in Italy, and the food here is as authentic and fresh as it gets. Try the lasagne al pesto, pappardelle chinghiale, or the Mafioso pizza.
Shopping & For Your Home
Arundel is well known for its castle, antique shops and lively social scene, but there’s a bit more that many people seem to pass by. Tucked away in Tarrant Street just a stone’s throw from the High Street, you will find The Old Print House Shopping Arcade that is home to some very unique shops – there’s art galleries, walking sticks and a bridal boutique. Plus art & craft and contemporary giftware with a selection of quality furniture as well as a vintage vinyl record shop and another filled with handbags, scarves and accessories. Finally, to help you through life’s’ challenges there is a discreet counselling service.
The Arundel Carpet Company
Established in 1994, The Arundel Carpet Company is a small independent business which has found a niche in the market for unusual and fine quality floor coverings. They specialise in natural products including sisal, flatweave wools, bespoke wood and limestone. Three years ago they became the sole stockists for Roger Oates Stair Runners in West Sussex. The rug side of the business is steadily growing and all of the carpet ranges can be turned into bespoke pieces. They are happy to provide free measures and site surveys, and to advise on suitable products for your needs.
Showroom open Tuesday-Saturday or by appointment.
The Arundel Carpet Company
103-105 Tarrant Street
Pallent of Arundel
Located at the foot of the High Street in Arundel, this independent specialist food shop has an impressive selection of food and wines. Proprietors, Mark Robinson and Jonathan Brantigan, are keen to champion smaller producers, and endeavour to stock products of interest and quality that are not widely available in supermarkets. www.pallantofarundel.co.uk
Arundel Arts, Craft & Antiques Market
Arundel Arts Crafts and Antiques Market at Nineveh House is situated in the heart of Arundel’s busy Tarrant street. The premier market for the South East of England has sixteen separate shops and a very large selection of items, including everything from fine art and porcelain, to pottery, silver, gold, ancient coins, vintage clothes, radios, gramophones, art glass, militaria, postcards, Victorian and Georgian furniture and much more. www.arundelmarket.co.uk
Launched in 2003 by Holly Heggadon, Sparks Yard was originally opened as a shop offering desirable things to give as presents, keep for yourself or generally make you smile. Since then, Holly and her husband Andy have expanded the store to incorporate the coffee bar, The Loft restaurant, cook shop and home store, offering everything from a birthday gift for an adult or child, or the newest kitchen gadget for your home. www.sparksyard.com