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Philip Howard, who, upon the death of his grandfather, was summoned to parliament as earl of Arundel, by tenure of the castle only. In this family it has remained to the present Bernard Edward, duke of Norfolk.
The castle is of very remote antiquity, and its datė, as a military strong-hold, has been referred to times in which the Romans were masters of this island. It is recorded in the College of Arms, that William the Conqueror, after the battle of Hastings, bestowed the earldom of Arundel, which had been held by king Harold, upon earl Roger de Mont Gomeri. King, in his Munimenta Vetusta, decides that the appearance of herring-bone masonry in the walls, is an absolute indication of the Saxon æra, or perhaps of greater antiquity. The circular form of the keep, as well as the fact above mentioned, favours this supposition, and that earl Roger found that part of the fortress already completed. Most of the Norman keeps are square, as London, Rochester, Norwich, and Haddington, all of them built soon after William possessed himself of this kingdom.
Independently of the outworks, the circumference of the whole site of the castle is oblong, 950 feet, by 250 wide, including five acres and a half. Almost in the centre of the enclosed fortification a mount is thrown up, which proudly overlooks the whole castle, and is a conspicuous object from the surrounding country. The keep is situated on a Roman or Danish earth-work; the walls are from eight to ten feet thick, and strengthened with ribs or buttresses, This circular keep was flanked by a square or oblong tower, and guarded by a portcullis, in which was the present entrance, approached by a long flight of stone steps, and above it an oratory dedicated to St. Martin. The keep was accessible from within and without the castle area, and was tenable independently of it. By the steps and sally-port, it is connected with the great gateway, a plain circular arch under a large square tower, in which are two chambers, which were originally those of state, in which the empress Maud was received by queen Adelisa.
The external gateway, which is a continuation of the first, was fortified by a portcullis and drawbridge over the vallum, or deep ditch. The barbican tower rises from an artificial mound, on the north-west side of the great vallation and mount of the keep. An approach to it was practicable only by a very steep flight of steps, and a small sharply-arched door-way. It was connected with the sally-port of the keep by a covered way, and the wall which surrounded the whole fortified space. This walled enclosure was strengthened by numerous square towers, open withinside, and the whole embattled, and having steps to facilitate a communication around the whole circuit. A curious military contrivance may still be seen, which is to convey sound by means of a circular funnel, made through the grouted mortar in the thickness of the wall. The last mentioned tower was originally one of the most lofty of the castle, consisting, at least, of four stories or divisions of chambers. Having been dismantled in the last siege, it was repaired with a temporary roof, as it now remains.
Under the exterior gateway are constructed small vaults, in which it is said that prisoners of war were not unfrequently confined. They are still shewn as “the dungeons," and are, indeed, systematically contrived to excite horror, by the exclusion of light and air. The space beyond the keep, enclosed by the rallation, has been for several centuries occupied as a garden.
Of the military history of this celebrated castle, much is to be related. The first siege was in 1102, by king Henry I., to whom it was surrendered, upon the condition that Robert, the son of carl Roger, should be allowed to retire into Normandy. In the month of July, 1139, the empress Maud, with her brother, Robert, earl of Gloucester, landed at Littlehampton, and was received in this castle with great courtesy by queen Adelisa, at that time in possession of it. King Stephen, then occupied in the siege of Marlborough, appeared suddenly before the castle, and threatened its demolition, if the empress were not given up. Adelişa pleaded the rights of relationship and hospitality, and the king, allowing her plea, suffered her royal visitant to withdraw, who pursued her way to Bristol.
During the lapse of five centuries, the castle suffered nothing from hostile violence, but remained the peaceful and nearly constant residence of the noble owners, by whom it was gradually increased, and splendidly furnished. In 1397 it was the scene of a memorable confederacy against the weak and profligate government of king Richard II. « The duke of Gloucester contrived an assembly at Arundel Castle with the earls of Derby, Arundel, Marshal, and Warwick, and also the archbishop of Canterbury, the abbot of St. Alban's, the prior of Westminster, and others. Being come to Arundel Castle on the day appointed, early in the twenty-first year of Richard's reign, they were sworn to assist each other, in all such matters as they should determine, and therewith received the sacra
the hands of the archbishop, who celebrated mass before them the following day. They resolved to seize the king, with the dukes of Lancaster and York, and commit them to prison; and that all the lords of the king's council should be drawn and hanged. But the earl marshal betrayed their purpose to the king, and thus their design was frustrated.”
As a military position, it was of the greatest importance, and the possession of it was gained by the Royalists and Parliamentarians alternately. In the winter of 1643-4, it stood a siege by Sir Wm. Waller of seventeen days, and then having capitulated, was given up to plunder.
The siege of the castle by Cromwell, and its consequences, had reduced the north-western side of the base court to complete ruin ; the great hall, with the adjoining buildings were destroyed ; and though the castle was still habitable, it ceased in a great measure to be the residence of its noble proprietors. About 1711, Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, determined to reside here occasionally; and with that intention erected a modern brick building, as an interior front, and refitted the old apartments.
In the year 1786, the late Charles, Duke of Norfolk, succeeded to the title ; and he had long contemplated the complete restoration of this castle. He had resolved to form the whole
his own design; and he accordingly selected from his own estate at Greystoke, in Cumberland, young men who had shewn ability as artificers, whom he placed under architects and sculptors in London, until they were become perfect in their art. This intention fully answered his expectations, and it will be universally allowed, that in no building of equal extent in this kingdom, superior masonry or carving will be now seen. The restoration of this seat of his noble ancestors gave an ample scope for the ideas which he entertained of baronial magnificence in early days; and was the employment and delight of his leisure, during the last twenty-five years of his life.
The square tower at the south-east angle was the first built, and was begun in 1791, and the north front in 1795. As this includes the new or habitable part of the castle, a few observations inay be necessary. With respect to the dimensions, shape and arrangements of the rooms, his grace imposed upon himself a necessity of accom. modating them, not only to the old foundation, but in most instances to the party-walls. The objections raised by professional architects against their symmetry, will not avail much with men of intelligence and candour, who know that a castle, (and one of the most ancient in England), if in its restoration any attention were paid to its proper character, would scarcely contain apartments of modern proportions. But here were bounds not to be exceeded ; and it was no inconsiderable merit in a nobleman who made architecture his amusement, to have produced so much accommodation, with so characteristic an effect, within a space already.allotted ; and to have reconciled the massiveness of castle masonry, in any degree, to the airiness of modern structure. This chief front is of Portland stone, and the entrance by a large door case upon the early Norman model, a style which pervades the basement story.
The south-eastern side of the court is principally occupied by the library, and is 122 feet in length. It was begun in 1801. Externally it is of plain Gothic architecture, of the age of Henry VI., with a central projection, and a bay window. The first idea, with respect to the plan withinside, was an imitation of the cloister of Gloucester Cathedral, or of the aisles of the Chapel Royal of Windsor, to be wrought with elaborate carving upon the ceiling, entirely of mahogany. This was in part abandoned, by the disproportionate lowering of the roof, and the introduction of ornaments exquisitely carved, not of one, but of various æras. It is, notwithstanding, a room in a singular and beautiful style, admirably calculated for the purposes of a library, and is estimated to be capable of holding 10,000 volumes, and all of them of easy access.
At the extremity of this wing is an unfinished saloon, described in Dallaway as the Alfred Saloon. In front of this, and facing the court, is a representation of king Alfred granting the Trial by Jury. On the right stands Alfred, with his guards and attendant nobles behind him. With his left hand he presents a Saxon scroll, containing the charter or institution of Trial by Jury to one of the judges, who is kneeling before him : whilst with his right he points to twelve men, to act as jurors, and who occupy the back ground in the centre of the piece. Immediately behind the judge, who is receiving the scroll, and a little further removed in the piece, are seated two figures with tablets, one of whom is apparently engaged in noting down the words of the king : and behind these, in the fore ground, under an ancient oak, stand five other judges. The culprit, in whose favour the trial by jury is supposed to have been first granted, is seen, with bis hands tied, between his two keepers, and with them fills up the back ground on the left hand.
The great hall, called the Barons' Hall, from its peculiar embellishment, was begun in 1806, and was connected with a chapel at the north end. A Norman arcade forms the basement upon which it rises, and supports a paved walk towards the court, from which it is approached on the outside ; upon the frieze are carved, in stone,
the cognizances of the family. The style of the windows and battlements is that of the fourteenth century.
Of the interior much may be observed. The roof, with certain deviations, resembles that of Crosby Place, London. It is entirely of timber frame, of Spanish chesnut, most curiously wrought, and finished so as to produce a grand effect. The corners at each termination are canted off, and thus describe a semi-octagon, a form certainly not usual in any ancient example. The dimensions are 70 feet by 34, and 36 feet 6 inches to the centre of the roof. Of the several modern Gothic balls which have been erected within a few years, none can claiın so appropriate a design, or ornaments so characteristie of the early centuries.
The series of stained glass windows, thirteen in number, offers a peculiar and interesting exhibition. In the largest, at the north end, is an historical composition, representing the compelled ratification of Magna Charta by king John. There are four portraits :first, the late Duke of Norfolk, as Baron Fitzwalter ; second, the present Mr. Howard, of Greystoke, and M.P. for Shoreham, as the page; third, Alderman Combe, as Lord Mayor of London; and fourth, Captain Morris, a friend of the late dake, as the Master of the Knights Templars. The other personages are Cardinal Pandolfo, the Pope's legate, and Cardinal Langton. The scene is placed in the king's camp at Runnimede, with a view of Windsor Castle in the distance.
On the eastern side of the room, and nearest to the great window, is the present Lord Surrey; next to him is the late Lord Henry Howard, brother to the present duke, and father to Mr. Howard of Greystoke ; next is Mr. Howard of Corby; and lastly another portrait of the late duke. The remaining two windows on this side have never been filled up. On the western side there are also two windows unoccupied. Nearest to the great window is the portrait of Lord Andover, now Earl of Suffolk ; next is General Howard, now Lord Howard, of Effingham; in the third is Mr. Howard, his lordship's father; and in the fourth is the late Lord Suffolk.
On the 15th June, 1815, this magnificent room was first opened, and a splendid entertainment given, in commemoration of the sixth century, completed on that day. At this sumptuous dinner, about seventy of the nobility and gentry of the county and others were assembled. Among them were twenty-two individuals of the four branches of the noble family of Howard, and probably more than ever met together at one table, since they had attained the first rank of nobility. The vast display of ancient plate, and certain baronial ceremonies, rendered this a scene of splendour rarely exhibited.