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A.3.1 The Town

The castle and the town of Arundel occupy the southern part of a South Downs promontory.

There are traces of prehistoric settlements on the site of Arundel. It was also occupied by the Roman invaders who built some villas whose remains have been found in Tarrant Street. At that time Arundel was a military post on the coast road between Chichester and Pevensey. During the Saxon period, Arundel consisted of a castle, the early church of St. Nicholas, a mill and a few houses. A fortified site at Burpham defended the river crossing. Arundel is an ancient Borough town, built along the river Arun that was called “Tarrant” from Roman times until the 16th century. There is also some evidence of the existence of a military post in the early British period. The first mention of its existence appears in the will of King Alfred where it is called a “manor” with some residences. In his will, King Alfred devised it to his nephew Athelm, from whom it went to Godwin and to his son Harold, Earl of Sussex.

After the Conquest it was given to Roger de Montgomery who had commanded the central division of the victorious army at Hastings. For this he was created Earl of Arundel and Shrewsbury. The rapes of Arundel and Chichester consisting of about 60,000 acres were given to Roger de Montgomery in 1070 in return for military service when required by the King. He improved and extended the castle, developed the town (who became a borough by order of the Conqueror) and built the first port. He died in 1094 in the Abbey of Shrewsbury that he had founded. Already in 1086 Arundel was a town with Burgesses and, in the Middle Ages, it was under the domination of the lords of the Rape. It was very prosperous in the 13th century and a town wall was erected around the town to protect it. At that time a Jewish community was present that was probably living in Mill Lane. Thirty-eight shops or stalls were recorded in 1302. In 1334 Arundel had the third largest assessment for subsidy of any Sussex town outside the Cinque Ports. Two big fires in 1338 and 1344-45 destroyed as much as half the town, and the tax assessment became the lowest of all Sussex towns. Arundel participated in the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381 and in the abortive aristocratic plot against Richard II in 1397. In 1524 75% of the inhabitants owned goods worth more than £2 but Arundel was only the 10th richest town in Sussex. This remained the same in the 17th and 18th centuries when the Earls of Arundel and their successors, the Duke of Norfolk, lost their control over the town. In the middle of the 17th century a Presbyterian Party ran the town, and several Dissenting Burgesses were elected in 1671 as well as a Dissenting Mayor, John Pellet. At the beginning of the 18th century the town was described as poor, paltry and decayed. The Dukes of Norfolk came back after 1720, regained their power, and Arundel was alive again. Starting at the end of the 18th century Charles, the 11th Duke, started to buy properties on a large scale in and around Arundel enlarging the castle’s ground. This was followed by the complete rebuilding of the castle in the 19th century. The town’s trade increased enormously, especially in the early 1800s when tourism became important to the well being of the town. It also became a favourite retirement place for rich people. Important visitors included the painter John Constable. The relations with the castle improved a lot with the accession of the 14th Duke Henry in 1860 who became Mayor in 1902. The arrival of the railway led to the growth of tourism, which is still increasing these days.

On the site of an Iron Age defensive ditch, St. Mary’s Gate (or Mary Gate) was the western entrance to the town through the wall erected about 1300. In 1415 a chapel was built by the gate, which was demolished by the Parliamentarian General Sir William Waller when he besieged Arundel in 1643. It was restored by the Duke of Norfolk in 1785 and is now in the grounds of the castle.

A postal service from London started in 1674; it offered a daily service from 1790. There was also a daily service to Brighton, Lewes, Portsmouth and the west of England by 1832. There was a post office from the late 17th century and a paid postmaster in 1769. A new Post Office was erected on High Street in 1895 replacing old shops. The Architect was W. Heveningham. Before, in the 19th century, the post office was in Mr Broadbridge shop in Tarrant Street (now Chrisopher’s antiques). The postage for a letter was ½p normally and 1p after 18.00). Later, the post office was in High Street on the site of the present day Norfolk Arms before being replaced by the present one. In 1792 there were about 30 little villages in a 4 miles radius around the town.

The County Court met at least one in Arundel in the beginning of the 14th century. And the County Coroner around 1330 was a man from Arundel. The County Coroner sat in Arundel in the 1540s and 1550s on local cases. In the 1640s the Sussex County Committee regularly met in the inns of the town. Quarter sessions were held from 1562 or earlier. Between 1640 and 1690 Sessions were held 10 or 12 times a decade but the frequency decreased until 1732. A house of correction was built in Arundel in 1650 for the three western rapes replacing those of Chichester, Horsham and Petworth. The building, which was near the churchyard, was not mentioned after 1702. The magistrates met every alternate Tuesday in 1839. In 1855 it was the Seat of the Petty Sessions of Magistrates of the division and of the County Court district in the Chichester division of the County. By 1882 it was the head of the County Court District in the East Preston Union. It was the polling place for the members for Western division of the Sussex County. In addition the Board of the Guardians of the Arundel Union met here. It was also the capital and residence of the Earl of Arundel for more than 800 years.

The Penfold were originally in business in High Street where they owned what has been known as Pain’s, the ironmongers. They moved to Ford Road around 1870 where they started the Tortington Ironwork that is still there today.

The water came from free sources granted by the 15th Duke of Norfolk. The foundation stone of the drainage works was laid down in Arundel on November 4, 1895 by the 15th Duke of Norfolk in the presence of the Mayor Roberts and many of the inhabitants. Until 1785 the corporation was responsible for drainage and rubbish disposal. In that year it was taken over by the improvement commissioners and, in 1835, by the town council.

The corporation installed 24 streetlights powered by oil in 1825. From 1838 gas was provided by the Arundel Gas Light and Coke Company founded the same year and incorporated in 1897. The gasworks was first in Ford Road then in Tortington. It is not known when public gas lighting was provided but it was before 1902. The gasworks was demolished in 1975.

Electricity was first installed temporarily at the castle in 1877 and on a more permanent basis in 1894. Some estate buildings and the Catholic Church were also supplied. The town, however, was only supplied with electricity from the Bognor Gas and Electricity Co. in 1934. Electric street lighting was installed in 1964.

Before the fire service was “nationalised”, Arundel had two fire brigades, a volunteer brigade run by first by the parish then by the Borough, and the private brigade of the Duke of Norfolk. This last one dealt mainly with fires on the Estate, but would also help the Borough brigade when necessary. From 1830 the town maintained two or more fire engines with a voluntary brigade of 24 men. The Borough brigade initially used “manual” engine kept in the Town Hall, burning coal, and drawn by horses supplied by Norfolk Arms. The engines were still steam powered in 1938. In 1944 the town fire station moved to River Road. After it was taken over by the West Sussex County Council it moved to a new building in Ford Road in 1966. The Duke Brigade was disbanded in 1948. There were two fire bells. One bell was on the Town hall for the Volunteer firemen and the other behind the Victory Inn in King Street for the Castle Brigade. The members of each brigade answered only to the call of “their” bell.

Before 1835 the two borough constables were the only police force in Arundel. From 1836 to 1880 a borough police force, with a superintendent and a variable number of constables, had jurisdiction within a two-mile radius around the town. It was then incorporated in the county force. The police station was in Maltravers Street until it was moved to a new building in Queen Street in 1972.

A memorial in the shape of a Celtic Cross of stone, still to be seen on market square, High Street, was unveiled on July 24, 1921. Initially it was only for the dead of the First World War but now it also records the dead of the Second World War. It replaced the old well leased to the town in 1674 by Edward Hamper, a Quaker. It was mainly used by the poor who otherwise would have taken the water from the river. A hand-pump, given by Lord Dudley Coutts Stuart, MP for the Borough, replaced the well in the 1834. After 1835 the new Town Council became responsible for the town water supply. It is believed that there was already a common well in 1269. The castle, however, had its own water supply since 1644 at least and from around 1731 it came from a spring near Swanbourne Lake. The common well in High Street was closed in 1890 after an enteric fewer epidemic was traced to it. Water for the town people was then pumped from another spring at Swanbourne Lake. This lasted until 1965 when water supply was taken over by Worthing Corporation.

In the past entertainment was provided by itinerant jugglers, acrobats, bands barrel organs (with monkeys or bears). All of these were welcome visitors to the town.

Today Arundel is above all a tourist town, mainly because it has not changed much and still shows itself as it was many years ago. There are very few beautiful buildings in Arundel but, on the other hand, there are good examples of brick and flint cottages (Arun Street, King Street), brick’s gentlemen houses in Maltravers Street as well as timber-framed buildings even if most often this is not apparent.

Population and Area

The area of the Registration Sub District of Arundel comprised 12,201 Statute acres in 1881. In 1871 it had 822 inhabited houses and 4,296 people. The 1881 census shows that the number of inhabited houses had increased to 838 although the population had decreased to 4,110.

Year Area (acres) Number of houses Population Tax
1296 56
1327 53
1332 34
1524 79 (1)
1539 69 (2)
1676 400
1724 188 (3)
1767 182 (4)
1801 355 1855
1831 537 2803 (or 2863)
1851 1830 2758 £11,645 (a)
1871 546 2956
1881 1969 (5) 552 2748 £9,375 (b)
1902 2054 (6) 3059
1911 2842
1921 2741 (7)
1931 2490
1991 3039

(1): Taxpayers (a): Income Tax
(2): Men only (b): Rateable value
(3): Families
(4): Heads of families
(5): Including water
(6): The Northeast corner of Tortington (85 acres) was included in the Borough of Arundel. This area remained the same at least until 1985 when the rest of the ancient parish of Tortington was transferred to Arundel.
(7): 2247 only in the ecclesiastical parish.

The data in the table above refer to the population living within the limits of the Parish, which is co-extensive with the Municipal Borough of Arundel, at least since the beginning of the 19th century and possibly earlier:

NB: In 1922 the Parish or Municipal Borough covered 2,052 acres of land, 2 of water, 17 of tidal water and 7 of foreshore. The rateable value was £13,710.


Arundel was probably already a borough at the time of the Conquest and it certainly was one in 1086. The rights Roger de Montgomery gave to the Burgesses after the Norman Conquest (probably in 1086) were taken over by the Councillors who became very powerful. Arundel was represented by 12 jurors at the Eyre (Circuit Court) of 1248 and there were 94 burgesses in 1302.

There was a certain urban independence in the 12th century, in the sense that the borough and the burgesses could deal directly with the Crown. By 1228 however the Burgesses had to deal with the higher authorities through the Earl of Arundel, from whom they only were completely free in the 19th century only. By the mid-13th century there was a Coroner, and soon afterwards a mayor. The first recorded mayor was Richard Dodins in about 1280 followed by a more or less continuous succession line since. By 1454 the Mayor and a small group of Burgesses, perhaps elected by the inhabitants, were acting as the government of the Borough. By 1539, however, or perhaps 1554, a close corporation formed by the Mayor and 12 Burgesses co-opted new members like in many other places in Britain. The title “burgess” was therefore reserved to them. This close form of government lasted until the reform of the borough in 1835 (Municipal Corporation Act). From 1539, the mayor and the Burgesses kept their own minute book. Arundel was a Borough by Prescription but a Municipal Corporate status seems to have been first claimed in 1586. However there was no charter to this effect, but only two Court decisions that seem to confirm this status (a tradition would have it that it was incorporated under a Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I. There is no trace of it). There was a common seal by 1569.

In 1562 and 1582 the Earl of Arundel was able to nominate 2 Burgesses but in 1735 this right was rejected. To become a Burgess and member of the corporation was expensive as the candidate had to pay an entrance fee (sometime a dinner for the existing Burgesses and their wife). However, once accepted, a Burgess had many privileges: they could use the Borough seal on reasonable request, their widow received their privileges, etc. Burgess titles could also be sold but they could also be fined or expelled for misbehaviour, non-residence, etc. Loyalty to the corporation and to each other was also expected of all Burgesses. Secrecy of their deliberations was imposed and enforced. From 1690 the Burgesses became Mayor in rotation. From the 19th century the Mayor could live outside the town but in a radius of 3 miles. To be a Mayor cost money; from 1549 they received some financial privileges and from 1635 they received a £30 allowance (£100 from 1820) and some other income. The chief functions of the Borough government in the Middle Ages included controlling the trade of the town, managing the markets and the fairs, providing the town defences (up to a point), collecting tolls on the bridge (from the 16th century the Mayor was also bridge warden), controlling the port activities, licensing shops, managing charitable endowment, insuring church repair, supervising schools, public order, town planning, etc. From the beginning of the 19th century the town spent more money on projects of public utility (road maintenance, lighting, etc.).

Other officers of the Borough were: 2 under-bailiffs, 2 constables and 2 ale-tasters, all elected from the end of the 14th century. Bailiffs seem to have disappeared after the 16th century. From the early 16th century there were also 2 portreeves whose duties included collecting market tolls, paying the farm to the lord, regulating weights and measures, etc. They were elected in 1782 but before the Burgesses nominated them. After 1835 the portreeves kept the market tolls for themselves after payment of the farms. Their profit amounted to £26. A part-time town clerk is first mentioned in 1751 and, in the early 19th century, he received no fee. The brook warden and sergeants at mace were operating by mid 16th century under the authority of the corporation. The brook warden managed the brooks but he was also a general executive officer and treasurer for the corporation. By 1546 he could choose a cowherd, generally a poor man, to help him. Both were paid in pasture rights. Beside waiting on the Mayor, the Sergeant managed the pound, organised the watch, kept the weights and measures, collected the tolls, cleaned the Court house and was taking fines and amercements at the Borough court. A Junior Sergeant was also the town crier. The Sergeant collected tolls from the vessels unloading in the port from the mid-18th century. Their wage was £1 a year each in 1614 (£4 in the early 19th century) plus livery and a third of the fines and amercements, as well as a fee for the use of the town seal.

In the 17th and 18th centuries there were endless disputes between the castle and the town about the grazing rights on water-meadows (“Burgesses Brooks”) as well as internal struggle between various fractions for control of the corporation whose major activity appears to be eating and drinking. In the 18th century it had degenerated in an exclusive gentlemen’s club concerned only with its privileges and pleasures and ignoring the well being of the town. In 1792 the Borough was still run by a Mayor (elected for one year), twelve Burgesses and Constables, Portreeves, ale-conners, etc. Most of the poor inhabitants were Roman Catholic. Finally, in 1844, Henry Charles, the 13th Duke of Norfolk, offered to purchase the Burgesses Brooks located on the north side of the Arun River. An agreement was finally reached in 1901 after many discussions. In exchange the Corporation received an equal amount of land at the southwest of the bridge as well as £2,500.

Now a Mayor, four Aldermen and twelve Councillors manage it. By the Arundel (Extension) Order of 1902 and Local Government Board Order No P1746 of 5/5/1902, which came into operation on 9/11/1902, part of Tortington (85 acres and 330 people) were added to Arundel Borough.

With the Local Government Act of 1972 Arundel ceased to be a borough in its own right and was merged in the new Arun District Council. It has kept its Mayor and Councillors but with diminished power.

The seal of the borough is round with a swallow (or “hirondelle” in French from which the name Arundel could have been taken) displayed on a spiral branch. The legend is “Roman, Sigillum Burgensium Burgi de Arundel”. Until 1938 the seal was used as the arms of the borough.


Arundel was the capital of a Rape and Hundred, a municipal borough and a market town.

A Borough Court is mentioned in 1288 and again in 1361/62, 1387/88, 1473/74, between 1536 and 1574, 1706 and 1753/1835. The Court was initially the Lord’s Court but it went to the Burgesses after 1579. The Mayor presided it from the 15th century. The Court should have met every three weeks but this rule lapsed in mid 16th century. From the 1350s the Court dealt with debts, trespass, detinue, assault, etc. From the late 15th century it was fused with the Honour Court that met every three weeks too. By 1586 until the 17th century the Court dealt with debt under 40s. The Court ceased to work around 1706 but the corporation revived it in 1753. It dealt again with street nuisances, public order and enforcing Sunday observance. Until 1786 the Court was held 10 to 12 times a decade but between 1786 and 1801 the three-weekly meeting of the Court was reintroduced. However the Court was not very efficient and between 1801 and 1835 it only met 2 or 4 times a year. This Court met in parallel with the Lord’s Court that operated from 1288 to 1835.

In 1839 the Mayor presided a Court for the recovery of small debts (less than 40 shillings). This Court met every 3 weeks.

There was a Court for tenants of the Arundel priory estate in 1272, which met three-weekly in 1280. The College that followed the Priory had also a court in1408 at Bury.

Parliamentary representation

From the time of Edward I (1295) until the second year of Richard IV’s reign (1832) Arundel was represented in the Parliament by two members. This was not due to the importance of the town itself but, rather, of the importance of the Earl of Arundel. One seat was abolished in 1653 but restored in 1660. There were over 100 voters on 1661, 138 in 1731 and between 200 and 300 in the late 18th century. In 1831 there were 463 electors and, to increase their number and maintain the two seats, Littlehampton and Lymnster were included in the parliamentary borough. Since the “Reform Act of 1832” and until 1868 one member only represented Arundel in the Parliament. In 1868 Arundel was disfranchised and included in a larger electoral district, and lost its representative in the Parliament. This change was brought up by the “Representation of the People (Scotland Act, 1868)”. There were only 340 electors in 1865 but the Arundel member represented also 900,000 Roman Catholics. An Arundel division of the County was created in 1974.

Everybody was allowed to vote in the 16th and early 17th centuries but, from the latter 17th century until 1832, only those inhabitants who paid “scot and lot” (Borough Tax) could vote. In the later 15th century the borough was controlled by the earls of Arundel and most Arundel M.P. were the Earl’s nominees. Thomas Sackville took over at the time of Philip Howard but the power went back to the earls in 1614. Many of the earls, or members of their families, became M.P. until the late 17th century when local gentry began to be elected on their own merit. Edward Howard, the 9th Duke of Norfolk, tried to regain his family influence in 1735 but this led to open conflict with the town people. The Norfolk influence was still very strong but they had to fight for it. Bernard Edward, the 12th Duke, gave up his interest in 1820 to assert it again in 1830 in favour of the Reform opposed by the Corporation. Conservative M.P. have always been elected with large majority by the Arundel division of the county

Town Hall

The old Town Hall, Courthouse and House of Correction stood in front of the Norfolk Hotel in High Street, at the corner of Tarrant Street. It was probably the Courthouse from 1542. It was also known as “town house”. It was used for the holding of the view (inquiries), the Borough Court, parliamentary elections and some Quarter Sessions although those were held mainly in the former college buildings. The Courthouse was demolished around 1741, and the remaining of the building in about 1773. Borough business was then done in the sacristy of the Fitzalan chapel that was known as the courthouse from 1793.

The new Town Hall, designed by the Architect Robert Abraham, was erected on Maltravers Street in 1834/36. His Grace Bernard Edward, the 12th Duke of Norfolk, paid £4,000 (or £7,000?) for it. It is in the popular Norman style of the time. The town council gave up the use of the sacristy of the Fitzalan chapel in 1848 as a kind of compensation to the Duke. The big room upstairs was used for balls, concerts and other similar events in 1847. The basement had 3 cells, which were used by the county police forces from 1844. It also housed the town fire engines. The town hall still accommodates meeting of the town council and magistrates today.


There are more mock-Tudor houses in Arundel than real ones. Among these we can mention:
– The Post Office built in 1895 when the 15th Duke of Norfolk became Postmaster General.
– The Lloyds Bank building, previously occupied by the “Capital and Counties bank”
– The West Sussex Gazette building that replaced the old building that burned-down in 1899. Wheeler and Lodge of London designed it.
– At the top end of High Street, an old slaughterhouse was also replaced by a mock-Tudor building.
– In London Road, a pair of split-level cottages, probably designed by Hansom, is now part of the stable complex in front of the catholic school.

The only real Tudor house is to be found at the corner of Maltravers Street and Baker’s Arms Hill. This house was built in the 17th century and the timbers are still the original ones.

Many streets have changed name with time. Among others we will mention:

– Maltravers Street was first named Chepynge Street (or Old Chipping) in the 15th century and then Old Market Street until the end of the 18th century. The earliest record of the modern name dates from 1830. It was also known as “White Waistcoat Street” because the gentry and professional people lived there. The junction of Maltravers Street and High Street was known as Warmingcamp Corner in 1601. Maltravers Street was the main road to Chichester until the recent construction of the partial by-pass.
– The name Bond Street is most probably the new name of a street previously name “Pond Street”.
– King Street has been called this way since 1636. It may have been the Kings Lane recorded around 1525. In 1785 it was known as “Pannets Pond Lane” (or Panets Pond Lane) from the water that lay between here and Mount Pleasant. It may also have been Punnets Lane mentioned in 1574. This pond provided water to the local population who otherwise would have to get it from the river. Before being called Pannett’s Pond it was known as Coxes Croft Pond. Thomas Pannett lived in a cottage near Coxes Croft Pond before 1679 and gave the new name to the pond.
– Mill Lane, the old road to South Stroke, was called this way in 1379. It was later known as Jury Lane (from the Jewish community living there) from 1570 and then as Mill Road from 1894. The junction of Mill Lane and High Street was called Lasseter Corner by 1851, Lasseter being the name of a watchmaker living nearby.
– High Street was known under this name in 1216. Later, in the early 15th century, its lower end was probably called Wide Street. There are records of High Market Street since 1658 and New Market Street in the 18th century in addition to Market Street mentioned in 1570 and later.
– Parson’s Hill is called like this since the 1870s although Parsonage Hill was also used in 1879. Previously it was called Ibbetsons Lane Farmers Lane in 1785 and Parsonage Hill in 1879.
– On the west of the town, there was Whiting Dyke then Poorhouse Hill (or Lane) in the 18th century -from the Almshouse built halfway down in 1756. By 1875 its lower part was called Park Place and, by 1889, it upper part was named Mount Pleasant.
– School Lane was Pottmans Ware Lane in 1636.
– London Road was named this way in the 1830s but later on, in 1874/75 it was also called New Road. Initially it ran north of the Parish Church but Duke Charles moved it south of it in 1803 after his project was approved by the Parliament. His aim was to enlarge the Castle’s ground. As a result he also acquired the original Marygate that is now located inside the castle’s ground.
– The central part of River Road was called the Shipyard from 1660.
– Baker Arms hill was Short Lane in 1785 and Baker Hill in 1874/75.
– Brewery Hill was Brewhouse Hill in 1872 and the Short Lane mentioned in 1805.
– The road beyond the bridge was Arundel causeway in 1660 between Arundel and Lyminster. Its west part was Bridge Street or Queen Street in 1830, and the east part, Brighton Road in 1832 and Station Road by 1896.

There was never much settlement outside the town in the Middle Ages, and even later, apart from the water mill at Swanbourne. The castle dairy replaced this in the 19th century with the addition of a windmill and a malthouse later on.

From medieval time until now, Arundel High Street had a central block of buildings at its lower end. Old Bank House, now number 1 High Street and a block of offices, used to be Henty’s Bank. The Hentys are local people who invested also in brewing with the Constables. Their coat-of-arms included a prancing horse. It is generally believed that Lloyds Bank adopted this symbol after they bought the Arundel Bank, a listed building. The oldest building in High Street, and probably in Arundel, is Sefton House located at number 71. Behind the 18th century brick is a Wealden Hall house erected before 1,500. It takes its name from the 18th century owner, Daniel Sefton, a lawyer. There were some shops too on the top right side of High Street, but the 12th Duke of Norfolk bought them in 1833 to be demolished. Another Duke built the castle wall that still exists today. Initially the High Street continued to the north and ran behind the Anglican Parish Church. It was modified in 1803 to make place for London Road. The houses north of the church were demolished and a new castle lodge was built in 1851. The former Crown Inn occupied what are now the houses numbered 37 to 41 while number 51 is from late 16th century.

Tower House at Number 1 London Road was built around 1795 in Gothic style, probably by Charles, the 11th Duke of Norfolk, to fit with the castle. It was used as the vicarage for the Anglican Church after lightning in the 1,830s burned the previous one. It was converted into flats in 1984. The present vicarage is in Maltravers Street. St Mary Gate was where the old London Road passed through the town walls. The gate took its name from the Chapel of the “Blessed Mary Over the Gate” that was part of the original building. The gate was damaged during the Civil War and the Chapel was destroyed. It was partly restored in the 18th century but, when the 11th Duke of Norfolk diverted the London Road in 1803, the building became enclosed inside the walls of the new park and rebuilt. Now it is used as the offices of the annual Arundel festival.

Initially Tarrant Street ran along the river that was then called Tarrant River. The oldest shop in Arundel is the Copper Kettle at number 21, a 16th century timber-framed building with a jettied front overhanging the pavement. Workmen laying drains found the site of a Roman villa under the south side of Tarrant Street in 1896. More remains were found in 1968 when a new telephone cable was installed and in 1983 more archaeological search was made near Tarrant Wharf. Roman pottery from about 100 AD was found as well as a Roman wharf. Between numbers 49 and 51 a flint wall hides what was the Quaker Burial Ground. Now it is only a walled garden. Belinda’s was previously a stable and a slaughterhouse.

Mill Road, initially Mill Lane, was a narrow lane named after Swanbourne Mill. Duke Henry Charles tried to close it in 1850 but he did not succeed. However it was diverted and enlarged by the 15th Duke, Henry Fitzalan, in 1890/1892. Parts of the ruins of the old Friary were destroyed then and a double row of lime trees was planted. At the end of Mill Road there are a few Victorian buildings that are part of the old dairy. Opposite the dairy is a large building designed in 1846 by Robert Abraham to be the residence of the 13th Duke. There are also the remains of a pump house that provided water to the castle, as well as to the village of Arundel, until the 1970s when the Southern Water authority took over. The Duke gave the water free of charge, but in exchange, the Town Council had to install a new sewerage system that was used until 1958 when it was declared to be out of date and polluting the river. The 11th Duke created Swanbourne Lake from a millpond. It is fed by the sources that provided the water to the castle and to the town. In 1813 the waterwheel killed the mill owner, Robert Horn. His grave is in the Quaker’s Burial ground in Tarrant Street.

Number 5 in River Road, a building erected in 1818, was an old salt warehouse when Arundel was a port. It has influenced the design of the Town Quay development built in 1984 on the site of the old bus station. Neil Holland was the architect. Many of the present day small cottages were catering to thirsty sailors. Some were also providing lodging to these sailors. The best-known building was called “Rats’ Castle”. It was three stories high but the top floor has disappeared since. The Arun River Board owned a big warehouse on the river that included a slipway. It is now used as offices. This was the squalid and poor part of the port of Arundel with its crowded cottages, common lodging houses, pubs and sailors. In 1945 it was planned that light industry would settle in River Road. The scheme collapsed soon after as many industrial sites settled on the south side of the river. The industrial and commercial buildings were then transformed in residential houses.

At the western end of Maltravers Street, in medieval times, the gate was known as Watergate, probably because there was a kind of a pond or swamp there. The name “Maltravers” comes from one of the title of the Duke of Norfolk. The terrace of three red brick houses at 40, 42 and 44 Maltravers Street were designed by Joseph Aloysius Hansom. In a niche on the corner of the houses is a statue of St Henry, the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II, who was the patron saint of Henry, the 15th Duke of Norfolk, who lived at the time the houses were built. The tradition says that either Queen Victoria, or the Duke of Norfolk, got stuck in the snow around 1850 on their way to the castle and ordered the crown of the road to be cut off creating what is now known as the Parade. At that time Maltravers Street was steeper and this is shown by the height of the pavement on the right side coming from High Street. Custom House was once located at 38 Maltravers Street. The Anglican vicarage is now located on this street. From 1947 many properties became guesthouses, but this tendency ended in 1988 with all the houses again used only by families.

There were only six houses in King Street in 1785. A local tradition says that French prisoners during the Napoleonic wars built the flint cottages. Chantry Cottage is not only bigger than all the other cottages on the street but it is also the only one built in brick. Most two-story Terrace cottages are from the beginning of the 19th century.

In Orchard Place all two-story terrace cottages are from the beginning of the 19th century.

The width of Arun Street is probably due to the fact that the properties on the west side were once stable or coach houses.

The Victorian cottages in Bond Street date from 1868 (this date is written on the drainpipe heads) while some two-story terrace cottages are from the beginning of the 19th century.

In Mount Pleasant, some two-story terrace cottages are from the beginning of the 19th century.

From 1913 Tortington Hill Road was developed by the town council as an estate of large detached houses in various styles. This was followed by council houses in the 1950s.


A bridge has existed in Arundel from the earliest times. It was probably a wooden structure similar to that over the Adur in Old Shoreham. It carried the road over the wide flood plain of that time.

The river was embanked during the 16th century and the first of several wooden bridges across the Arun River in Arundel was probably built in 1509. A new one was built in 1593 but it was already falling to pieces 50 years later. In 1641 the corporation wanted to impose a flat rate of 5d in the pound on all properties in the Borough, but this proposal was rejected. In 1643 the Arundel Corporation asked the near-by villages to contribute to the cost but it took four years to find the money and the new bridge was completed in 1647. Up to that time bridges were made of wood which, in the case of Arundel, was generally given free of charge by the Earl of Arundel. However wood decays rapidly and expensive repairs and replacements were soon necessary.

A three-arch stone bridge was built in 1724 to facilitate communication between the two sides of the river. Thomas, Duke of Arundel, and Hon James Lumley shared the labour cost and they took most of the stones from the ruins of the old Friary. Mayor Edward Blaxton erected a stone commemorating its opening.

William Holes, Mayor, Bridge Warden, and a trustee of the Arundel Saving Bank, thought that he was authorised to spend £592 15s and 11d (a surplus of the bank) to repair and widen the bridge in 1830. His fellow Burgesses challenged his decision; he lost his Court case and had to pay personally for the work and the legal expenses, a total of £1,500. The inscription on the southwest corner “Be True and Just in all your Dealings” reflects his feelings. The cantilevered pavements were added in 1831. A cottage was erected on it and it was demolished in the 1930s. According to local legend contraband goods, brought by smugglers in boat, entered the cottage through a trap door in the floor.

The West Sussex County Council built the present bridge in 1935. During its construction the Arun River had been diverted to the south, and the current destroyed the foundations of the Bridge hotel that had to be demolished. An ugly new hotel replaced it.


In 1269 a land owner, Master William of Wedon, gave some properties he owned in the town to Arundel Priory in exchange for his maintenance and a house in which he wanted to open a school or, perhaps, to go on teaching in an existing school. In the 15th century the College that replaced the Priory paid for choristers to be taught singing and grammar. Some schooling in reading, writing, arithmetic and Latin took place in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. In 1651/52 the Corporation paid a schoolmaster and in 1772 it was the Parish overseers who were supporting a dame school. Before that, in 1663 and in 1721, the vicar with another master taught children. Two Non-conformists were also teaching in “Arundel School” about 1650.

After 1750, there was always at least one school in town. For instance, the sacristy of the Fitzalan Chapel was used as a school since 1767, and perhaps from 1741, and it was still operating in the early 19th century. By the 1790s there were 3 boarding schools, one kept by a clergyman and the other two by ladies. Private schools were common in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1818 there were 12 private schools teaching 240 children. One of them at least was a boarding school. In the 1830s there were 5 boarding schools and at least 3 other private schools teaching about 200 children. Part of the former College was rented from the Duke of Norfolk for a school between early 19th century to 1852.

A Sunday school was opened by the Independents around 1810 and in 1853 53 boys and 54 girls attended it. It had a lending library. The same congregation opened an infant’ school in 1844 that was still operating in 1859.

An Anglican school, also known as Free School or British School, founded by the Duke of Norfolk, was built in 1814 in School Lane. It could teach 150 children of each sex. It was supported by voluntary contribution. In 1818 there were 135 girls and 150 boys. It was a paying school, which was open to children of all religion in 1846/47. The school was enlarged in 1848. The 13th Duke of Norfolk, Henry Charles, paid for it. In 1853 it became a National School with its own endowment but limited to local children. From 1858 it was known as Arundel Church of England School. It could teach 429 children but the average attendance in 1851 was 130 boys and 85 girls; it increased to 286 in 1884/85; in 1890 there were 130 boys, 105 girls and 125 infants; attendance was 249 in 1913/14. Part of the Master’s house was converted in an Infant school that was opened in 1859, the expense being paid by the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, and there was an infant mistress in 1874. New buildings were erected on the same site in 1900. Average attendance was 237 in 1921/22, 218 in 1937 and 215 in 1971. It was in Surrey Street until 1975 when it was moved on the outskirts of the town, in Jarvis Road, south of Chichester Road. By that time it was known as Arundel C.E. (Church of England) (Aided) Primary School. The old building became the Arundel Public Library.

Vicar George Arbuthnot founded a “Middle class” school for boys in 1873/74 to relieve pressure on the National school. In 1879 it offered classical and commercial education, but nothing was heard of it later on. A similar school for girls -St. Christopher’s- was founded at the same time. The attendance was 17 in 1875/76; the last mention of it was in 1882. An evening school for older children was opened in 1880, but it was not very successful and soon closed.

As the Dukes of Norfolk resided more and more in their Arundel castle, they created a Roman Catholic School in 1781, which also took 20 Church of England children. Rev. John Butt created a Catholic school in 1858. The mixed school for Catholic children, later a girls’ school, was first opened at Orchard Place and later moved to King Street, behind the site of the cathedral. Miss Keogh ran it in a cottage rented by Mrs Vincent. Seven scholars attended the first class. It moved to part of the Old College buildings before 1875. There was also an infant’ school by 1869. This was followed by a Boy School financed by the Duke of Norfolk that opened in 1860. It was designed by Hatfield and Goldie and located in what is now St. Mary’s Hall at the corner of London Road and Mount Pleasant. The total attendance of the 3 schools was 105 in 1871, 203 in 1878, 270 in 1900/1901, 299 in 1905/1906 and 824 in 1907. A new building, designed by J.A. Hansom, was opened on the same site in 1880 for 250 students. Mr Fulker was the Headmaster. The average attendance in 1890 was 90 boys. Mr Fulker retired in 1902 and Mr. Archibold became the new Headmaster of Boys. He retired in 1935. In a niche on the corner of St Mary’s Hall is a statue of the Madonna and Child.

The present Roman Catholic School is in London Road near the cathedral and was designed by Leonard Stokes. It is named after St Phillip, the patron saint of the cathedral at that time when it was only the catholic parish church. The building of the Girls and Infants’ School was completed on 3/6/1899 for 100 girls and 130 infants. The early attendance for the other school was 70 girls and 120 infants. His Grace the Duke of Norfolk paid for it. Sister Mary Benedetta was Headmistress of Girls and Sister Mary Desithée was headmistress of Infants. The combined attendance was 183 in 1918/19, 133 in 9221/22, 80 in 1931/32 and 51 in 1938 although there was room for 525 children.

The Girls and Infants’ Schools were amalgamated in 1922 and the boys moved to the girls’ school buildings in 1936, the former boys’ school becoming the Parish Hall. Proposal to amalgamate the Catholic and Anglican schools in 1929, 1931 and 1972 was rejected by the Catholic side. The attendance in what was now known as St. Philip’s R.C. (Roman Catholic) (Aided) Primary School was 144 in 1950, 118 in 1965 and 88 in 1971.

The next Headmasters of the amalgamated Schools after Mr. Archibold were:
-Mr Mckenna in 1936
-Mr Millard in 1936
-Mr Kenny in 1965
-Mrs Kenny in 1976
-Mr Connor in 1988
-Miss Davies in 1993

A small private school ran by the Servite Sisters in the convent in London Road was opened around 1946, mainly for the Duke Bernard’s daughters. In 1954 it had 32 pupils, 23 non-Catholic. It closed in 1959.


There were 2 banks in Arundel in the mid 1790s, both drawing on bigger London banks:
– Charles Bushby and Sons
– Shaft, Robinson, Shaft and Co.

Many banks operated in town in the early 19th century:
– The Arundel Old Bank, founded in 1805 by William Olliver, John Tompkins and others, occupied a building opposite the Swan Inn. That building belonged in 1841 to Olliver, Edwin Henty and Edward Upperton, later Henty and Co. Capital and Counties Bank Ltd, later part of Lloyds Bank, took it over in the 1890s.
– The firm of Hopkins, Drewitt and Whyatt founded in 1831 was taken over around 1845 by the London and County Bank Co., later part of the Westminster Bank.
– The Arundel saving Bank was founded in 1818 as the Arundel Provident Bank for the benefit of “industrious labourers, servants, mechanics and others”. It was at the National School in 1839 and by 1852 in a new building in Tarrant Street, later the Victoria Institute. It was closed in 1896.

Library and Museum

A branch of the County Council Library service was opened at number 51, Maltravers Street around 1960. When the Anglican school moved from Surrey Street to Jarvis Road in 1975 the old school building became the Arundel Public Library.

There is a museum at 61 High Street, run by the town council with the Arundel Museum Society, in the house that belonged, at the end of the 19th century, to Charles Bartlett, twice Mayor of Arundel. It started in the Town Hall basement in 1964 but it has moved to its present location in 1977. It contains a varied collection of items linked mainly to the castle and to the town, including many models of ships, a model of the old port and other items of local interest.

Water and Windmills

There was already a watermill in Arundel in 1066 probably near Swanbourne. Many others have been mentioned on the same site from the 12th to the 19th centuries.

The first windmills belonging to the Earl of Arundel are recorded in 1272 and 1331, probably near Hiorne’s Tower in the Castle Park. Windmills appear to have been there until the 18th century. The next windmills seem to have been built on the south side of the Arun River early in the 16th century. For over 150 years two or three mills were used to produce flour and cement. Barges on the river generally carried the raw material and the finished products. An old 16th century windmill at Portreeve’s Acre was demolished in 1864. A new cement mill built in 1861 burned down 30 years later. There were three working mills on the south bank of the Arun River working at the same time.

The only remaining windmill is at the end of Fitzalan Road. Charles Bartlett built this corn mill in 1830 in what was then called South Marches. It was used for grinding corn until the end of the World War I. Later, in 1915, it was damaged in a storm and left un-used. After World War II it was first occupied by squatters and then transformed in a nice private house.

Arundel Port and River Arun

In the Roman times the river Arun probably formed a wide tidal estuary. Its Celtic name was “Trisantona” that was first translated to Tarrant River, and then the name was changed to Arun River (this name is recorded from 1577). Up to the 16th century the Arun River flowed south of the town passing near to the present day railway station. Henry Fitzalan, the 22nd Earl of Arundel, diverted it to Arundel. He also widened the river to the south to give Arundel a better access to the sea. In the 20th century it was said that the Arun River was the second fastest flowing river in Britain (maximum speed of 7 knots).

In the old days the Sussex roads were bad and almost impossible to use in the winter. The only cheap and fast means of transport were the rivers, where there was one. There was probably a port in Arundel before 1066. It is known that William II disembarked at Arundel in 1097 and the Empress Maud in 1139. It was also a passenger port to Normandy in the 13th century as well as being involved in coastal trade from that time on. In early medieval times the port of Arundel was probably located at Ford. But after the river was diverted in the 16th century a new port was built. In the 17th century, ships built of Sussex oak were launched at Arundel, and trade grew. The construction in 1816 of a canal between the rivers Wey and Arun allowed the ships to reach the Thames and London. Another canal built in 1817 linked the Arun to Chichester and allowed Portsmouth to be linked to London via Arundel. The trade reached its peak in the 1830s. The Portsmouth to Arundel closed in 1840, and the Wey to Arun canal in 1871. The railway, built in the 19th century, provided a faster, more flexible and cheaper mean of communication and transport, and the port ceased to exist in the 1930s.

Arundel had an inland active port dealing in corn, timber, stones, coal, etc. Its trading activity was mainly between London and the Mediterranean countries. Until 1930 the port could accommodate sea-going ships of 200 tons or more with a maximum drawing of 16 feet of water. The ships had to be towed by a tug.

The coal used by the gasworks came by boat mainly from the north east of England. In 1821 45 vessels were registered in Arundel but, with the arrival of the railway, the water trade declined in Arundel in favour of Littlehampton. The end came in 1932 (1937) when the 19th century swing bridge at Ford was replaced by a fixed one, at the time of the electrification of the Southern Railway.

A Customs office was implanted in Arundel since the late 16th century. In 1832 the custom was in Maltravers Street with 4 officers, 6 in 1845 and only one in 1862. Officers of the excise, later the Inland Revenue, were in Arundel between the late 18th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. In 1852, and later, they were operating from the Bridge Hotel.

The importance of Arundel as a port meant that there were many public houses in the town, as many as twenty-one according to some historians. Many like the Old Ship, Ship, Victory, the Jolly Sailor and the Ship and Lighter had nautical association, at least in their names.


The main hotels have been for a long time the Norfolk Hotel and the Bridge Hotel.

-The “Norfolk Arms” was erected between 1782 and 1785 by Charles, 10th Duke of Norfolk, at a cost of £7,223, 1s 9p, on the site of old decaying buildings. The money came from leases on the Duke’s properties in the London parish of St Clement Dane, which amounted to £35308. The remaining was used to restore the Arundel Castle. The landlord of the George Inn moved there to manage it. Initially it was the meeting-place for the Tories of Arundel, the Duke’s party, as well as for the corporation until the Town Hall was built. Until 1831 an annual buckfeast was held here each year. The Duke, as Lord of the Manor, presented the buck to the Mayor and the Corporation and it was cooked and served on an evening in August. In 1831 the feast was deemed to be too expensive (about £9 1s 5d in 1779) and the tradition ended. It was the main coaching inn of Arundel in the early 19th century and from 1850 it offered a railway carrier and omnibus service. At the end of the 19th century it was known to have commercial travellers, tourists and families as customers. It still belonged to the Norfolk Estate in 1980.

Many well-known people stayed at the Norfolk Arms including G.K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc. Queen Victoria is also believed to have stayed there but there is no clear evidence to confirm it. In 1793 a gentleman, who called himself Earl of Rutlandshire, accompanied by a Lady and a black servant were staying in the hotel. A gentleman of the town lent him £250 pounds and they, and the money, were not seen anymore.

-The Old Bridge Hotel was a typical Georgian-coaching inn built in Queen Street around 1814 on the site of an earlier inn known, at the end of the 18th century, as “The Dolphin”. One coach and one carrier deserved it in the 1830s. The Excise Office was there between the 1850s and 1870s.

It collapsed in the 1930s and had to be closed when its foundations were swept away by the river during the rebuilding of the bridge. The old Georgian Inn was replaced soon after by a less successful brick building in 1935, a typical thirties roadhouse. This building was taken down in 1988/89 and replaced by an ugly block of flats for old people.

Inns, Taverns and Public Houses

There were at least four inns in the town in 1570, and the number never went below two. In 1642 there was also a wine cellar or wine shop. After 1644, when the town became a garrison, the number of inns increased sharply and, in 1645, it is believed that there were around 30 alehouses, 20 of which were not licensed. In 1686 the inns could offer beds for 26 people and stabling for 50 horses. In 1785 there were at least 11 licensed public houses and in the 1830s 3 commercial inns and 9 taverns, or public houses. In 1874 there were 12 inns and 8 beer retailers, of which 6 in or near Tarrant Street. Seventeen public houses were licensed in 1910 but the number decreased to 13 in 1938.

– The “Black Rabbit Inn” in Offham is a well-known place to the many tourists who visit Arundel. Initially it was a row of riverside cottages. It then became an alehouse patronised by the crew of the craft using the Wey and Arun canal that was linking Littlehampton to the Thames and London between 1816 and 1871 when it was abandoned. The first recorded licensee was John Olliver in 1804, and it remained in his family for seventy years. In the 1850s it was patronised by the navvies working on the new cut of the Arun, and by those working on the new railway line. It had a reputation for drunkenness, fighting, and bad behaviour. Fifty years later the inn became a popular pleasure garden along the river Arun. Boat trips on the river were available, as well as stables for the elegant Edwardian who came in their carriages to enjoy the view. Dan Lee who was the innkeeper in the 1930s and his successor, Sam Knight, continued to provide the same services to their visitors. It is apparently the only Black rabbit Inn in the country and the reason for this name is unknown. Black rabbits exist in the wild and gamekeepers like to see them as their presence is a good sign that there are no poacher around (a black rabbit is easier to see that a brown one). Perhaps the first innkeeper was a superstitious gamekeeper.
– The Crown Inn on the west side of High Street (now number 37-41) was one of the two most important inns of Arundel in the 18th century. It was the meeting place of the members of the Whigs party of the Shelleys of Michelgrove in the 1770s. In 1817 it was able to accommodate families, but it remained mainly commercial until its closure in 1875. It was a coaching stop in 1817.
– The Gardeners Arms in Mill Lane opened in 1841, and was already closed in 1850.
– The George Inn occupied the site on the east side of High Street, (now number 30 to 34) close to where the Norfolk Arms Hotel was built in 1783. It was one of the main inns (the other being the Crown) in the middle of the 18th century. The George was probably there already in 1570. The Arundel Rape Sewer Commissioners met at the George in 1714. The Duke of Norfolk’s party met there for the elections in the 1770s. Charles, the 11th Duke of Norfolk (then Earl of Surrey) bought it, in 1784/85. It ceased to be an inn in 1809 (although some say that it was in 1832).
– The building of the Queen Arms Inn in Tarrant Street is still there, but it is no longer an inn. It stood next to the Kings Arms, which has been there for about 300 years.
– The Jolly Sailor in River Road had mainly sailors among its customers. It opened in 1910 and closed in 1933.
– The King’s Arms is the oldest pub in Arundel; it is possible that it exists since 1625.
– Newburgh Arms stood at the corner of Tarrant Street and School Lane.
– The Queen’s Arms was located on the same side of Tarrant Street as the King’s Arms, across King’s Arms Hill. It is probably as old as King’s Arms but it was converted into a house before World War II.
– The Red Lion is still open in High Street today. There are some indications that it was already there in 1658. In the late 19th and early 20th century it had many cyclists among its customers.
– In 1718 the Star Inn occupied part of the Nineveh House now disappeared.
– The St Mary’s Gate Inn, or Marygate Inn, in London Road was initially a thatched farm building at the beginning of the 16th century. It was owned by a stonemason, then by a draper and, in 1735, by Gabriel Truscott, a vintner. Henry Mackett, a “tapsta”, or alehouse keeper, took it over in 1764. The present building is from the early 19th century. It replaced the Bell or Blue Bell Inn which the Duke of Norfolk had bough for demolition in 1795/96. It takes its name from the St Mary Gate.
– The Swan, as we know it today, was rebuilt in the middle of the 19th century in “Italian” style. After the Arundel Brewery bought it, it was found that most of the old panelling was Victorian, and parts of the pub are even more recent. The dining room and some bedrooms have been added lately. The Swan, previously known as the Ship, was there in 1759. It was the main calling place for carriers between the 1830s and 1850s. In the late 19th and early 20th century it had many cyclists among its customers.
– The Victory Inn in King Street (or Bond Street) was built shortly before 1829. On 25/12/1906 Henry, Duke of Norfolk, let the “Victory Inn” in King Street to “Lambert and Norris Brewery Ltd”. The tenancy was on a year-to-year basis from 29/9/1906. The yearly rent was £11 payable in two instalments each year. Lambert and Norris were responsible for paying all the rates, taxes, assessments, outgoing and impositions payable by the tenant or occupier. The ownership was transferred from Lambert and Norris, which was in liquidation, to “Friary, Holroyd and Healy’s Brewery Ltd in 1935. The Victory Inn was closed definitely in 1973/74. The last landlord was Ian Odde.
– The Wheatsheaf in Maltravers Street, previously the Sundial, opened about 1785 and closed in 1932.
– The White Hart Inn, Queen Street, was demolished in the 1870s and replaced by the present one. The old building was from the 16th century, or even from before.
– The White Horse Inn was located at the top of Brewery Hill, in Tarrant Street. Before 1914 a bed and the use of the kitchen cost 4d. The keepers of “Dancing bears” used to stay in that inn as well as Italian organ-grinders, such as the “Blue Hungarian Band”, that visited Arundel twice a week and played outside the pubs.
– In the 17th century the “Black Bull Inn” was located in what is now Maltravers Street in the house that belongs now to David and Caroline Chalk. It is believed that it was partly destroyed by cannon shot during the Civil War.


There were two important breweries in Arundel in the 19th and 20th centuries. Together they employed 25 people in 1851.

– The Swallow Brewery was located in Queen Street, more or less on the site of the present day Castle Service Station. It belonged to George Constable since about 1832. By 1841 it had six tied public house in Arundel, and malthouses in Tarrant Street and in the South Marshes. In 1851 George Constable owned properties worth between £7,000 and £8,000. In 1921 the firm now known as Constable and Sons converged with Henty’s of Chichester, who owned Henty’s Bank in High Street, to form Henty and Constable Ltd. The brewery buildings were demolished in 1937. Henty’s bank started to operate at the beginning of the 19th century.
– In 1839 the Eagle Brewery was located in Tarrant Street. It had been Wise Brewery in 1829 before being bought in 1832 by Robert Watkins, the 12th Duke’s agent. By 1872 it had 22 tied public houses and in 1882 it was bought by Lambert and Co., later Lambert and Norris. The “Lambert and Norris Brewery Ltd” went into liquidation in 1935. The “Friary Holroyd and Healy’s Brewery Ldt” of Guilford took it over in 1935 as well as the Victory Inn in King Street. Production stopped in 1938 and the buildings were used as a depot.

Markets and Fairs

A market existed at Arundel since it became a settlement. In any case it existed in 1086. By 1228, at least, there were two general markets a week, on Monday and Thursday. Later on they were held on Monday and Thursday and later on Thursday and Saturday. In 1568 the Arundel corn market was one of the most important in the country.

By late 17th century the main market was on Thursday, leaving the Saturday market for provisions only. By 1766 only the Thursday market remained important while the Saturday one had fallen in disuse. However it was partly revived in 1788. The Thursday market moved to Wednesday before 1805, and then to Tuesday in about 1819. In 1831 it was mainly a corn market with an important cattle market every two weeks. By 1845 it was moved again to Monday and by 1862 the market for cattle and corn was held every two weeks only. The market declined after the opening in 1882 of the Barnham market and it closed in 1898 (some sources say in 1903) whereas the Saturday market had disappeared by 1855.

It is not known where the market was held initially. In 1438 it was probably held at the wider lower end of High Street. It was held in what is now Maltravers Street in the 18th century and it moved to High Street in the 19th century.

A Corn Exchange store was built by public subscription on the town quay in 1831. It was in use until 1930 when it burned down.

In 1285 King Edward I (1239/1307) gave Richard Fitzalan, the 11th Earl of Arundel, the right to hold and tax two three-days fairs a year in Arundel on May 3 and December 6 (St. Nicholas). Another on September 14 was mentioned in 1288 and by 1586 a fourth fair was held on August 10.

The dates changed but, most of the time in the past, Arundel had four fairs each year: on May 14 (cattle and pigs), August 10 (pigs, cattle and sheep), September 25 (sheep and cattle) and December 17 (cattle and pedlary). The August fair stopped around 1790, the December one disappeared sometime in the 19th century and the other stopped all together around 1907.

Early closing day in 1930 was Wednesday.


Many clubs have existed in Arundel at one time or the other:
– The Society for Mutual Improvement was founded in 1835. The thirty churchgoer members subscribed 2d a week to attend scientific and religious history lectures. There had also access to a small library. It was still there in the 1920s.
– Rev. George Arbuthnot founded an Anglican Working Men’s club in 1876. It occupied two rooms of a house in Mill Lane. There were a library and lecture room, and card and billiard were played. There were about 90 members but the club closed in 1879 when the Rev. Arbuthnot left Arundel.
– A Roman Catholic workingmen club existed in 1878. It had about 100 members when it moved to Park Place and, in 1903, it was known as St. Philip’s Club. In 1907 it had a library, a billiard room, and a gymnasium. The club closed in the 1930s.
– The Victoria Institute in Tarrant Street occupies a building erected in the 1840s (or 1850s) in “Egyptian” style for the old Arundel Saving Bank. It became a workingmen’s club in 1897 -as it is still today- to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. It had two billiard rooms, a reading room, and a library. By 1907 it had 160 members. It is still there today, although in a different form.
– A Catholic Girl’s Club occupied part of the former College courtyard in 1899.
– The Arundel co-operative industrial and provident society had 287 members in 1892 and had a shop in Tarrant Street.
– The Norfolk Centre in Mill Road is a day centre for the elderly given to the town in 1967 by the Duke of Norfolk.
– A conservation society was formed in 1965. It is now known as the Arundel Society.
– An Arundel Museum society was formed in 1963.

Bowls were played in Arundel in 1565. A square bowling green existed south of the castle in 1737 and it was restored in 1990. A cricket team existed in 1702 and the modern cricket ground south of the Park Farmhouse was in use in 1875. The following sport clubs are worth mentioning:
– The Arundel Cricket Club, that still exists, was mentioned in 1877, but probably dates from 1775.
– A boy’s cricket club was set up in 1870 in connection with the National School.
– The Catholic St. Philip Cricket Club was operating in 1896 and survived at least until the 1930s.
– Another cricket was formed in the Castle Park in 1895. It was used frequently by the16th Duke, Bernard. The Arundel Castle Cricket Club is still there today. An indoor cricket school opened there in 1991.
– The football club formed in 1889 is still active.
– A rifle club existed between 1910 and 1938.
– There was a riding club I 1938 and an archery club started in 1963.


The “Mitchell’s Monthly Advertiser and West Sussex Market and Railway Intelligencer” was published the first time on June 1, 1853, by Mr T.H. Mitchell for his son, William Woods Mitchell. It was soon renamed “The West Sussex Advertiser” and, from 1854, it appeared weekly as the “West Sussex Advertiser and South Coast Journal” and again later as “The West Sussex Gazette and County Advertiser”. In 1903 it had the largest circulation of any provincial newspaper in South England. Mr Mitchell was an important person in Arundel and he was elected Mayor six times. He died in 1880.

The offices were at 53 High Street, Arundel until 1998. That year they were transferred to Chichester. However, since ownership had passed to Portsmouth and Sunderland Newspapers, it was not printed here anymore. The original premises burned down in 1899 and were replaced by a mock-Tudor building that still exists today.

A rival newspaper, The News (Littlehampton and Arundel), Local Guide, District Reporter and Visitors’ Journal was published in both towns between 1869 and 1880.


St. James Hospital for female lepers was the first known hospital to have existed in Arundel. Historical evidences of its existence between 1182 and 1301 have been found. It was located at the northwest of the town near Park Bottom. This was followed by the Holy Trinity Hospital (Maison Dieu) founded in 1393 and located near the Old College and St. Nicholas Church. There was also a mention in 1269 of a so-called St. John the Baptist Hospital but no trace of it have ever been found.

An isolation hospital was built near Marygate around 1759. It was bought by the Duke and demolished about 1832. In 1871 the former workhouse was used as a temporary smallpox hospital.

An “emergency” hospital for the town and surrounding was opened in 1906 in a Victorian cottage (now known as Victoria House) belonging to the Castle estate in King Street. It remained in use until 1930. First it was known as “Arundel and District Nursery and Emergency Hospital” and later on as “Arundel and District Cottage Hospital”. Voluntary subscription and payments from the patients supported it. It had seven beds and an operating theatre.
A purpose-built new hospital, known as “Arundel and District Hospital” was erected in Chichester Road on a site given by the Duke of Norfolk. The Duchess of Norfolk opened it on November 7, 1931. Some extensions were made in 1964.

A clinic was held behind the public library in Maltravers Street in the 1970s and in the Old National School building in Surrey Street since the 1980s.


In 1631 George Bland founded an Almshouse on the south side of Maltravers Street for a master, six brothers and six sisters. There were inmates in 1663 but it soon collapsed for lack of money. The remains of the house and chapel were finally bought and demolished by the Duke of Norfolk around 1834. Later on two cottages on Maltravers Street, owned by the town council but financed by the Duke of Norfolk, were used as almshouses again in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. In 1947 Mrs Lillian May Holmes left enough money to built and maintain houses for old people. Eight bungalows were built in Fitzalan Road in 1964.

There was a poorhouse in the northwest part of the town in 1682 where poor children and widows lived too. A new workhouse of flint was built on the east side of Park Place in 1831 on the site of another building. It had 41 inhabitants in 1841, 33 in 1851 and 15 in 1861. In 1869 Arundel was added to East Preston Union, which gave the workhouse to the Duke of Norfolk in 1873. During the earlier 20th century it became St. Philip Club and in 1985/86 it was transformed in flat. In 1922 a charity of £5 and 6 S was given to poor widows.

Since the 16th century until today some money has been donated by many people to build houses and apartment, and to provide some kind of income, for the old and the poor people of Arundel.


Henry Thornton built a theatre around 1792 in Arundel. A performance was recorded in 1801 and Thomas Trotter’s Company played in it several times at the beginning of the 19th century.

A new theatre, under the patronage of Charles, the 11th Duke of Norfolk, opened by Mr Thornton at what is now number 18 Maltravers Street in 1807. It was used occasionally from 1810 to the 1830s but it was closed a few years later (around 1830) and demolished all together soon afterwards.

In the mid 19th century the town hall was sometimes used as a theatre, again under the Duke’s patronage and, in the mid 1970s, the Arundel Players performed in Slindon village hall for lack of facilities in Arundel. In 1977 Lavinia, the dowager Duchess of Norfolk and president of the Arundel Players, arranged a lease of the western part of the priory in favour of the Players in order to convert it in a theatre. Much repair work was required but the money to do it was raised among the public, and the oratory became the well-known Priory Theatre


Until 1883 burial took place in the churchyard but by that time it was fully used. A cemetery covering two and a half acres was built in 1883 in Ford Road, Tortington, at a cost of £3,000. The Town Council ran it.

A Roman Catholic cemetery was opened on London Road in 1861 and enlarged around 1903. The gate and Gothic stone cross were designed by C.A. Buckler in 1901 and the lodge by the architect W. Heveningham in 1903. On the south part of the cross is a representation of the crucified Christ with the Madonna and the Child on the other side.


In 1837 the 12th Duke, Bernard Edward, opposed the project of letting a railway line coming to Arundel. As a result the two stations deserving it were one mile away. The Worthing to Lyminster was opened in 1846 with the Lyminster Station called Arundel and Littlehampton. It was extended from Lyminster to Chichester later in the same year but the nearest station was in Ford, originally called Arundel too.

When the direct line from Hardham Junction to Ford was finally opened in 1863, the Arundel station was kept a good distance away from the centre of the town. In fact it was again in Lyminster Parish. As a result the economy slowed down in the second part of the 19th century.

The line was electrified in 1938 and the facilities for goods traffic in Arundel were eliminated in 1963.