SOUTH-EAST SICILY  October 2015   /  ALONG THE VIA AEMILIA  October – November 2015  / YORK MINSTER November 2015  /  MADEIRA  December 2015  / NEW YEARS EVE IN FLORENCE Dec – Jan 2016 

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle

Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 October 2015

some spaces remain – please contact us to confirm availability before booking


Glimpsed on approach from the Sussex coastal road, the soaring cathedral and muscular castle on the horizon almost transport you, for a moment, to France. The seat of the Dukes of Norfolk, Arundel Castle has acted as backdrop to the many tumultuous events of the leading Catholic family of England. In magnificent grounds overlooking the River Arun in West Sussex and built at the end of the 11th century by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel, it has nearly 1,000 years of history behind its walls. Arundel Castle has descended directly from 1138 to the present day, carried by female heiresses from the d’Albinis to the FitzAlans in the 13th century and then from the FitzAlans to the Howards in the 16th century. Within its massive 11c earthworks, one finds a stunning array of early buildings: the original stone gatehouse dating from 1070, a complete 12c curtain wall, a perfect shell keep of 1140, the undercroft of Henry II’s late 12c palace and what is thought to be the oldest surviving garden in England. An 18c Georgian Gothick library and a superbly-crafted Gothic mansion built between 1875 and 1900 sit side by side with the earliest buildings. With the best-preserved Gothic Revival interiors in the country, the great Hall derives from the Kings Hall at Winchester. The tall chimneys were modelled on those at New College Oxford. The chapel reconstructs Henry III’s now vanished Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey. Electroliers, picture hooks, kitchen cupboards and a billiard table were all designed in the Gothic style. The gentlemen’s lavatories were vaulted in stone with washbasins of Purbeck marble. Every door has a different type of hinge and keyhole. The total cost was the equivalent of £114 million today. By kind permission of His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, a team of the castle’s resident experts will illuminate and guide us as we investigate the architecture, the furnishings and memorable collection of portraits by Rubens, Mytens and Van Dyck set within in the castle’s picturesque rooms in great depth. We examine important documents in its archives, including the death warrant of the 4th Duke of Norfolk. We hear about the progress of the various conservation projects on which the castle staff are engaged. We walk through the Castle’s 1780s landscape park ‘worthy of Claude Lorraine’ and engage with the new Bannerman ‘Collector Earl’s Garden’ a brilliant tribute to the 14th Earl of Arundel, collector of the Arundel Marbles. We eat in private chambers in the Castle. We end each day with visits to the dazzling family tombs of the 14c FitzAlan Chapel and the magnificent Hardman stained glass in the Cathedral.

OUR HOTEL A listed building in the heart of Arundel, within easy walking distance of Arundel Castle, the four-star Swan Hotel was refurbished to a high standard two years ago with comfortable, beautifully decorated and individually-furnished rooms. We understand that the breakfasts are delicious with a wide choice of cooked options served.

COST: £695 Members, £745 non-Members, £45 single room supplement, includes one night accommodation with breakfast, two lunches with wine, one of which is a private lunch at Arundel Castle, one dinner with wine, two private coffees, tea, all lectures, and exclusive visits to the house and garden and private curatorial tours, all travel during the tour, all gratuities, all tuition by Nicholas Friend, VAT. Excludes travel to and from the tour.  




SOUTH EAST SICILY   17 – 24 October 2015
ALONG THE VIA AEMILIA   October – November 2015
YORK MINSTER   November 2015
MADEIRA   December 2015
NEW YEARS EVE IN FLORENCE   December – January 2016