Tuesday, July 12, 2005

castle tour

On Monday, Gerry and I went to Arundel Castle. It is the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk, who still live there. Parts of the castle are open and others not. It is part medieval castle, part manor house. The medieval part was quite interesting. Hard to imagine living under those conditions. The commode would be enough to convince me modern life is good. The views from the top were splendid. Arundel is not a large town and it is surrounded by bucolic scenes.

What is odd about the place is that much of it was built or rebuilt in the mid to late 1800s. The money that must have gone into it is hard to fathom. It is also hard to imagine the money that is needed to keep up this kind of lifestyle. There was some interesting history. One of the dukes was Thomas Howard - uncle of both Anne Bolyne and Catherine Howard. He had a high position with Henry VIII which he lost when Catherine Howard was found to have been unfaithful. Cromwell used the chapel to house part of his army during the civil war. There is a burial sarcophagus on which the heads of all the angels are missing - ostensibly knocked off by Cromwell's troops. The Howards managed to keep their Catholic religion. The church on the site is mainly Church of England, but the back part remains Roman Catholic.

The grounds are extensive - well worth a visit.


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