A Medieval Siege at Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle

I lived near Arundel Castle for twenty odd years but am ashamed to say I had never been inside the grounds, until now.

Over half term we were invited to a Castle Siege at Arundel Castle which was led by historical interpretation troupes including Raven Tor Living History Group, The Wessex Medieval Alliance and The Company of St Barbara.

We arrived nice and early to enjoy the picturesque walk up to the castle where we found medieval camps had been set up, complete with tents, armour on display and people in full costume demonstrating how people would have lived and worked in those times.

Arundel Castle

We got to meet ancient craftsmen, cooks, apothecaries, leather workers and armourers and learn how their ‘behind the scenes’ roles contribute to success in combat and were entertained by a professional storyteller with fascinating fiction spanning many centuries.

Arundel Castle Siege

The kids really enjoyed learning how they dyed their clothes in medieval times and were surprised by just how heavy a sword and armour actually is. We watched a couple of Knights trying to put it all on and it must have taken a whole army hours just to get prepared for battle back in the day.

Arundel Castle Siege Event

Of course it was the siege itself that they could not wait to see and we were whisked back to 1485 when Richard III was King of England. Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond has laid claim to the throne and landed in Wales, supported by French forces. Seeing the opportunity, another a French force has also crossed the Channel, seized the Kings Ordinance (artillery) and surrounded the Castle at Arundel. The French intend to hold the Earl of Arundel’s fortress, allowing a stronger invasion force to cross from France, sail up the River Arun and into the heart of Sussex and so the battle began, with half the audience cheering on the French and the other half the British.

Castle Siege

The Castle Siege highlighted the importance of artillery in taking a castle, with noisy cannon displays, live combat and skirmishes using bow & arrows, swords, lances and axes. The kids enjoyed it so much we stayed to watch the second battle later on in the day.

Castle Siege Arundel

Once the battle was over we headed inside the castle to explore and found it filled with almost 1,000 years of history including interesting paintings, ornaments and beds so tall that Eliza thought the Princess and the Pea must have slept in as they were so high. Unfortunately no photography is allowed but it is well worth exploring if you get the chance. The kids even spotted fossils in the stone staircase!

Arundel Castle Grounds

The gardens at Arundel Castle are stunning. I spent quite a lot of time with my school at Arundel Cathedral but I hadn’t realised the castle’s gardens stretched all the way up to it, with hundreds of flowers to smell and admire, fountains and domed pergola’s to explore.

Arundel Castle Gardens

Also inside the castle grounds is Fitzalan Chapel which was founded in 1390 by the 4th Earl of Arundel and is still the burial place of the Dukes of Norfolk. It is a fine example of Gothic architecture with a carved timber roof and choir stalls.

Fitzalan Chapel

We had an amazing time exploring the castle, gardens and watching the siege events and would highly recommend a visit for young and old history lovers. There is a restaurant available in the castle itself and it is not often that you can say you have eaten lunch in a castle, but it is on the pricey side so I would recommend taking a picnic. There were however refreshments and pulled-pork rolls available in the gardens too.

Arundel Castle Knight

History lovers may want to save room in their diary for Arundel Castle’s upcoming events which include the Living History Day on 8th August and the brand-new Four Nations Medieval Tournament on 17-18 June. 

Tickets cost from £11 per person and £10 per child over 5 but do increase if you want to explore more of the castle.

Disclaimer: We were guests of Arundel Castle for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

23 thoughts on “A Medieval Siege at Arundel Castle

  1. Jake says:

    Can’t wait to get there and enjoy! Great for family holidays or even vacations!

  2. Coombe Mill says:

    Arundel Castle does sound like it’s steeped in an epic history, an impressive place to explore!! The kids look like they’re enthralled learning about all the hands on history there, I’m sure watching the blacksmiths was great entertainment. I’ve always been impressed by the people who wear the armour even for reenactments, I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like to wear it and fight for real.

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

  3. I bet that was brilliant. We were invited to one of their jousting events a few years ago and we both fell in love with the castle. #CountryKids

  4. Sherry says:

    We went to Arundel
    castle some years back and it was simply stunning, the grounds and gardens were gorgeous #CountryKids

  5. Anne says:

    what a truly amazing place to visit, the medieval seige looks like lots of fun.
    #countrykids

  6. We dont love very far from Arundel and remember when we went (a long time ago) I was really surprised by the size of the garden and how pretty it was. I really wasnt expecting it all! Love a good castle siege. #CountryKids

  7. Helena says:

    What a great way to ignite little ones imagination and learn about history. #CountryKids

  8. We love to go to these reenactments. They are such a good way for the kids to learn about medieval times. Looks like you had a lot of fun! #CountryKids

  9. I can not believe you’ve lived down the road fo, this beautiful castle and not yet ventured, but so glad you did. Looks like a wonderful adventurous day out with the family.

  10. I visited Arundel Castle as a teenager and would love to go again. I’ll look up the Living History Day and see if we are free that day 🙂

  11. We would love to explore this castle. I bet my kids would love it.

  12. I went to Arundel when I was younger as my foster mum has a caravan near by in West Whittering which is not too far from it. The chapel is beautiful x

  13. What a gorgeous castle, a beautiful day out and a fun thing to learn about and watch!!! The battle looks so cool and so does finding out everything about how they lived and worked in those days. I’m very jealous, I really want to visit here. x

  14. Charlotte says:

    This looks like so much fun and the castle looks beautiful! I love the medieval themes too, perfect for the kids!

  15. Erin Ek Rush says:

    Oh I LOVE things like this (I am American though so I think we tend to like these things even more!) I would love to take the family to a Medival Siege. Arundel Castle looks amazing!

  16. What a stunning castle. Naughty you not visiting sooner lol. My 3 year old LOVES historical displays like this. We are hoping to go to something like this in August. The grounds look beautiful

  17. Talya says:

    Wow what a fantastic day out and what a wonderful way to learn about these historic times and life – plus a must for any knight lover!

  18. Michelle says:

    What an amazing day out – we love medieval history! It’s amazing how things can be on our doorstep yet we’ve never visited. I know several near me that I’ve never been to, but really should!

  19. This is an amazing day out – Arundel castle has been on my Wishlist for far too long!

  20. That sounds like a great day out and perfect for kids with the people in costume and a siege! The Four Nations Medical Tournament sounds interesting so we might head down there as we have that week off.

  21. Helen says:

    What a fun day out with so much to learn and discover! I love keeping an eye out for these kind of events, they’re always so interesting 🙂

  22. Jon says:

    Wow! Looks like an amazing time was had. At a young age I loved nothing more than going to see castles!

  23. Rachel says:

    I love days out like this, it’s a great way for kids to learn in a fun way too! Sounds like a real fun day out! xo

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