The Library

The Library is the principle survivor of the 11th Duke’s work and is one of the most important Gothic rooms of circa 1800 in the country. It is 122 feet (38 meters)long, entirely fitted out in carved Honduras mahogany and treated as if it were a church, with slender clustered columns supporting a ribbed vault. *

The Library

Death Warrant of Thomas 4th Duke of Norfolk

Death Warrant of Thomas 4th Duke of Norfolk

The Library is one of the more important country house collections, rich in manuscript and printed material relating to Catholic history. It comprises ten thousand books and was collected by the 9th and 11th Dukes.*

Silver Icon by Faberge

The Library

The Library

*From the Arundel Castle guidebook

8 Comments CherryPie on Feb 11th 2019

All mankinde is of one Author, and is one volume; when one Man dies, one Chapter is not torne out of the book, but translated into a better language.

John Donne

New Growth

8 Comments CherryPie on Feb 10th 2019

The Baronial Hall

The Baronial Hall

The Dining Room

The Dining Room

Pen used to sign the Catholic Emancipation Act

Pen used by George IV to sign the Catholic Emancipation Act, 1829

Relics of Mary Queen of Scots

Relics of Mary Queen of Scots

Relics of Mary Queen of Scots

The Drawing Room

The Drawing Room

The Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase

The Smallest Room

The Smallest Room

Bathroom

Bathroom

The Victoria Bedroom

The Victoria Bedroom

4 Comments CherryPie on Feb 9th 2019

… a short top and sides

A Short Top & Sides

This morning, around 8am I heard an unusual loud industrial noise which sounded like it was in the street in front of my house. I looked out of my window, there was nothing to be seen. The volume ebbed and flowed and I took it to be a road cleaner making its way around my estate. Every time the sound got louder I had another look at the street in front of my house. Nothing!

Every time the sound got louder the neighbourhood dogs were barking for England!

In the back of my mind the noise sounded familiar…

Ah yes! Hedge trimming of the bridle path that runs past the back of my garden, it happens but once a year.

A Short Top & Sides

A Short Top & Sides

When I looked outside the back of my house, at the end of the bridal path I could see the the tractor with its hedge trimmer. Despite the rain and wind the tractor was ready with its trimmer for another sweep of the hedges. The tractor went back and forth trimming the sides, also back and forth at least three times trimming the top off the far side hedge.

Suddenly after just over two hours the tractor was gone. The nearside hedge had not been treated to a top cut, let alone a small trim.

Oh well… I am sure the birds that were also disturbed with the industrial activities will enjoy the extra greenery in the summer months.

Sunshine after the Rain

After the tractor had left, the sun came out :-)

10 Comments CherryPie on Feb 7th 2019

Private Chapel

The foundation of this Chapel, the last part of the 15th Duke’s rebuilding of the Castle, was laid in 1894 and it was completed in 1898. It is a masterpiece of Victorian craftsmanship: the stone carving in particular is outstanding and was done by Rattee and Kett of Cambridge. The columns and the floor are of polished Purbeck marble from the Dorset quarry which was specially re-opened in the 1870’s when the Duke bought his marble. The stone bosses down the centre of the vaulted ceiling depict the life of Our Lady, to whom the Chapel is dedicated.

The finest feature of the Chapel is the stained glass which was supplied by John Hardman of Birmingham and made under the supervision of Dunstan Powell (Pugin’s son-in-law). The windows show scenes from the life of Our Lady, and the design of roundels is based on the early glass at Canterbury Cathedral.

The silver vases on the altar are by Charles Kandler and made for the 8th Duke in 1730; the candlesticks are Sheffield Plate, c.1790.

The Private Chapel was used daily for family and household morning and evening prayers in the early years of the 20th Century and Mass was celebrated here on Sundays and feast days until c.1960, when the shortage of priests compelled regular Mass here to cease. It is, however, still used for private family occasions, such as the christening of the Duke and Duchess’s children, and for Mass, and for Mass said for special groups of visitors.*

*From an information board next to the Chapel

Private Chapel

Private Chapel

Private Chapel

Private Chapel

4 Comments CherryPie on Feb 6th 2019

Arundel Castle

There are nearly 1,000 years of history at this great castle, situated 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.

The oldest feature is the motte, an artificial mound, over 100 feet high from the dry moat, and constructed in 1068: followed by the gatehouse in 1070. Under his will, King Henry I (1068-1135) settled the Castle and lands in dower on his second wife, Adeliza of Louvain. Three years after his death she married William d’Albini II, who built the stone shell keep on the motte. King Henry II (1133-89), who built much of the oldest part of the stone Castle, in 1155 confirmed William d’Albini II as Earl of Arundel, with the Honour and Castle of Arundel.

Apart from the occasional reversion to the Crown, 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 and it has been the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors for over 850 years. From the 15th to the 17th centuries the Howards were at the forefront of English history, from the Wars of the Roses, through the Tudor period to the Civil War. Among the famous members of the Howard family are the 2nd Duke of Norfolk (1443-1524), the victor of Flodden, Lord Howard of Effingham, who with Sir Francis Drake repelled the Armada in 1588, the Earl of Surrey, the Tudor poet and courtier, and the 3rd Duke of Norfolk (1473-1554), uncle of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, both of whom became wives of King Henry VIII (1491-1547).

These were politically dangerous times: the ‘Poet’ Earl was executed in 1547; his father, the 3rd Duke of Norfolk only escaped the death penalty because King Henry VIII died the night before the execution was due and the 4th Duke (1536-72) was beheaded for plotting to marry Mary Queen of Scots. There have been two cardinals and a saint in the Howard family; St Philip Howard, 13th Earl of Arundel (1557-95) died in the Tower of London for his faith. By contrast, his son, the ‘Collector’ 14th Earl (1585-1646), as his nickname suggests, was responsible for many of the treasures which can be seen today. The results of all this history are concentrated at the Castle, which houses a fascinating collection of fine furniture dating from the 16th century, tapestries, clocks, and portraits by Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Mytens, Lawrence, Reynolds, Canaletto and others. Personal possessions of Mary, Queen of Scots and a selection of historical, religious and heraldic items from the Duke of Norfolk’s collection are also on display.

During the Civil War (1642-45), the Castle was badly damaged when it was twice besieged, first by Royalists who took control, then by Cromwell’s Parliamentarian force led by William Waller. Nothing was done to rectify the damage until about 1718 when Thomas, the 8th Duke of Norfolk (1683-1732) carried out some repairs. Charles Howard, the 11th Duke (1746-1815), known to posterity as the ‘Drunken Duke’ and friend of the Prince Regent subsequently carried out further restoration.

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) came from Osborne House with her husband, Prince Albert, for three days in 1846, for which the bedroom and library furniture were specially commissioned and made by a leading London furniture designer. Her portrait by William Fowler was also specially commissioned by the 13th Duke in 1843.

The building we see now owes much to Henry,15th Duke of Norfolk (1847-1917) and the restoration project was completed in 1900. It was one of the first English country houses to be fitted with electric light, integral fire fighting equipment, service lifts and central heating. The gravity fed domestic water supply also supplied the town. Electricity cost over £36,000 to install, but the splendidly carved chimneypiece in the Drawing Room only cost £150!

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle

10 Comments CherryPie on Feb 5th 2019

Know most of the rooms of your native country before thou goest over the threshold thereof. Especially seeing England presents thee with so many observables.

Thomas Fuller

Night Sky

PS: Click on the photograph to enlarge it. You will see stars surrounding the moon

8 Comments CherryPie on Feb 3rd 2019

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