History and wonder at Arundel Castle in 2015

Daniel Wren

West Sussex’s Arundel Castle re-opens on 28 March with an exciting calendar of historically inspired events suitable for all ages. The West Sussex castle was founded in 1067, and is one of the largest inhabited and complete castles in England. It’s drawn international tourists and history enthusiasts for centuries.

The first of the events, set in the castle’s keep, will be Life in a Medieval Castle. Running 28-29 March, Raven Tor Living History Group is set to recreate the culture and atmosphere of the Middle Ages. They’ll bring to life the Mediaeval world with their authentic costumes, realistic weapons and reconstructed armour, and will treat crowds to a showcase of traditional crafts and skills.

The Privateers & Revolutionaries Weekend, taking place on 11-12 July, sets two encampments of Smugglers and Red Coats against each other, as they portray England’s own attempted revolution – where the fighters struggled to abolish the monarchy permanently and establish a republic instead.

There will be guided and free-flow tours throughout, but visitors are also welcome to explore the castle independently and at their own leisure. Make sure you visit the armoury and the breathtaking Regency library, as well as the opulent Victorian bedrooms and the fully 40 acres of stunning grounds.

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On-site, visitors will also find an art collection including paintings by renowned artists including Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Canaletto. Film and TV aficionados, meanwhile, will spot filming locations from Doctor Who, The Young Victoria and The Madness of King George.

Mustering for Agincourt, a special event spanning the weekend of 20-21 June, will also commemorate the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. Raven Tor Living History Group will focus on the preparations for the 15th Century war – which eventually led to peace between France and England.

Continuing the theme of historical anniversaries, the Exhibition Room at Arundel Castle will play host to a special exhibition commemorating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta signing.

Arundel Castle is also known for its wonderful walled gardens, such as The Collector Earl’s Garden, the Stumpery, the Herbaceous Borders, a fully functional Organic Kitchen Garden and a beautiful rose garden.

Finally, there’s an entire week devoted to the Medieval Joust and Tournament, which features competitors from across the world, running 21-26 July. This is Europe’s largest and longest competition of its kind.

Castle Manager Bryan McDonald said, ‘We are thrilled to unveil our events calendar for the upcoming open season and we’re especially looking forward to recognising two key historical anniversaries in 2015.

‘Our visitors will be able to see history brought to life with our professional events from Raven Tor Living History Group. I’m certain this year will be another resounding success!’

Major events in 2015 at the Castle include:

Life in a Medieval Castle, Saturday 28 to Sunday 29 March, 2015
Normans and Crusaders, Saturday 4 to Monday 6 April, 2015
MG Owner’s Club Gathering, Sunday 19 April, 2015
Castle Siege, Saturday 23 to Monday 25 May, 2015
Mustering for Agincourt, Saturday 20 to Sunday 21 June, 2015
Privateers & Revolutionaries Weekend, Saturday 11 to Sunday 12 July, 2015
Jousting & Medieval Tournament Week, Tuesday 21 to Sunday 26 July, 2015
History in Action (Multi-period), Saturday 29 to Monday 31 August, 2015
Normans and Crusaders, Wednesday 28 to Thursday 29 October 2015
Shakespeare in The Collector Earl’s Garden, Date TBC

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For more information, please visit arundelcastle.org.

About Daniel Wren

Vada Magazine staff writer. Interested in travel, news, politics and dating.