Arundel (Holy Trinity)

ARUNDEL (Holy Trinity), a borough, market-town, and parish, having exclusive jurisdiction, locally in the hundred and rape of Arundel, W. division of Sussex, 10 miles (E. by N.) from Chichester, and 55 (S. by W.) from London; containing 2624 inhabitants. This place, which derives its name from its situation in a dale watered by the river Arun, is first noticed in the will of Alfred, who bequeathed the castle and a few adjacent residences to his nephew Athelm. The castle, which was rebuilt by Roger de Montgomery at the time of the Conquest, was, in the reign of Henry I., besieged and taken from Montgomery's son, Robert de Belesme, who had rebelled against his sovereign, and settled by that monarch on his second wife Adeliza, who by a subsequent marriage conveyed it to William D'Albini, Lord of Buckenham, in the county of Norfolk. Matilda, daughter of Henry I., asserting her claim to the throne in opposition to Stephen, landed at Littlehampton in 1139, and was received and protected for several days in this castle against the forces of her opponent; in recompense for which service, her son Henry II., on his accession, granted the castle and honour of Arundel to William D'Albini and his heirs for ever. William, the fourth earl, dying without heirs male, the property was divided among his four sisters, and the castle and manor of Arundel descended to John Fitzalan, son of the second sister, in whose family they continued till 1580, when they passed to Philip Howard, Earl of Surrey, descendant of another of the sisters, who had married Thomas, Duke of Norfolk. On the earl's attainder in 1589, the castle and manor of Arundel reverted to the crown; and they continued to form part of the royal possessions till the death of Queen Elizabeth. The property was restored by James I. to Thomas, son of Philip, from whom, in uninterrupted succession, it has descended to the present proprietor, Henry Charles, Earl of Arundel and Duke of Norfolk. During the civil wars the castle was garrisoned for the parliament, but in 1643 was taken by the royalists under the command of Lord Hopton, who placed in it a garrison of 200 men, and appointed Col. Ford, high sheriff of the county, governor. Being, however, afterwards besieged by Sir William Waller, it finally surrendered after a defence of seventeen days, was dismantled as a place of defence, and so far destroyed as to unfit it for a baronial residence.

The castle is situated on the summit of a high hill, and defended on two sides by the precipitous acclivity of the ground, and on the other by deep fosses. The walls originally inclosed an area 950 feet in length, and 250 feet in width, in the centre of which was the keep, a circular tower of great strength 100 feet in height, built on an artificial mound, and evidently of Norman origin. After remaining in a ruinous state till 1720, Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, restored part of the buildings, and erected others of modern style, making Arundel his occasional residence. Charles, the 11th duke, in 1791 made considerable additions; the north-west front was built in 1795, and the wing that contains the library and other apartments was completed in 1801. The entrance, which is by a deeply recessed Norman arched doorway, leads to the grand staircase and gallery, the latter of which, 195 feet in length, opens into the Barons' hall, erected in commemoration of the triumph of the barons in obtaining Magna Charta. The library is a strikingly magnificent apartment, 117 feet in length and 35 feet wide, panelled throughout with mahogany and cedar exquisitely carved, with a richly ornamented roof. The chapel is an elegant structure in the decorated English style, the walls of which are strengthened with slender enriched buttresses, terminating in crocketed pinnacles; the interior is lighted by windows of excellent design. The banqueting-room, formerly the ancient chapel, the saloon, and all the other state apartments of this magnificent structure, are of corresponding splendour. The entire range of building occupies three sides of a quadrangle, and the expense of restoration and the erection of new portions has already amounted to £400,000. The pleasure-grounds and gardens are tastefully laid out, and the park, which abounds with stately timber, comprises 1200 acres; the surrounding country presents richly varied scenery, and from the higher grounds within the park, and especially from the towers of the castle, are obtained extensive prospects. The castle is the head of the honour of Arundel, and confers on its possessor the title of Earl without creation, a feudal right which was adjudged by parliament, in the 11th of Henry VI., to an ancestor of the present Duke of Norfolk.

The town is pleasantly situated on rising ground within four miles of the sea, and chiefly on the north bank of the river Arun, over which is a neat stone bridge of three arches. The houses are in general well built, and many of them modern and of handsome appearance; the streets, which are lighted with gas, are paved under an act of the 25th of George III., and the inhabitants plentifully supplied with excellent water. A considerable coasting-trade is carried on. The imports are chiefly butter, bacon, pork, lard, grain, and starch, from Ireland; grain and cheese from Holland; grain, oilcake, wine, fruit, and eggs, from France; timber, mostly from the Baltic; and coal from Newcastle and Scotland. The exports are principally oak-timber, corn, flour, and bark, to the west of England and Liverpool, and to Ireland. The port has a custom-house with the usual officers, and also affords a facility of intercourse between London and the Mediterranean, enabling the fruit ships from the latter to perform two voyages in the season: ships drawing sixteen feet of water can enter. The Brighton and Portsmouth railway passes to the south of the town, and has a station near Leominster, where the Arun is crossed by a bridge of peculiar construction. A canal also, connecting the Arun with the Thames and with Portsmouth, affords a medium of conveyance to various parts. There are two breweries on a large scale for the supply of the neighbourhood. The market is on Tuesday, chiefly for corn, the sale of which is considerable; and on every alternate Tuesday there is a large cattle-market: a few years since, a building was erected by subscription on the quay, for the purpose of a corn-market. The fairs are held on May 14th, Sept. 25th, and Dec. 17th, chiefly for cattle and pedlery; but, since the cattle-markets were established, they have been but little attended. Arundel is a Borough by prescription, and has had a corporation from the time of the Conquest: the government is vested in a mayor, three aldermen, and twelve councillors, and the mayor and late mayor are justices of the peace; the municipal and parliamentary boundaries of the borough are the same, and are co-extensive with those of the parish. Petty-sessions are held by the county magistrates every alternate Tuesday, in an elegant town-hall erected by the late Duke of Norfolk, at an expense of £4000. The powers of the county debtcourt of Arundel, established in 1847, extend over part of the registration-district of Worthing. The borough returned two members to parliament from the time of Edward I. to the 2nd of William IV., when it was destined thenceforward to send only one: the mayor is the returning officer.

The parish comprises 1834 acres, of which 30 are common or waste land. The Living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 0. 10.; net income, £199; patron, the Earl of Albemarle. The church, situated at the upper end of the town, was greatly damaged by the forces of Sir William Waller, who occupied it during the siege of the castle; but the whole was restored by the late duke. It is a large and ancient cruciform structure, with a low well-built central tower, surmounted by an obtuse leaden spire painted white; the style is chiefly later English, and the interior is very neatly fitted up. At the east end is the Norfolk chapel, consisting of a nave and north aisle divided by three fine arches, and lighted by windows of elegant design: this is the burial place of the noble family of Howard, and it contains some interesting monuments. There is a place of worship for Independents. The Benedictine monastery of St. Nicholas, to which William D'Albini, the second earl, annexed the then vacant rectory of Arundel, was founded by Robert de Montgomery; the establishment flourished for two centuries, but was so greatly impoverished by Edward III., that it was neglected till the reign of Richard II., when the Earl of Arundel dissolved it, and founded in its place the College of the Holy Trinity, for a master, twelve chaplains, two deacons, two sub-deacons, and four choristers. This college continued to flourish till the Dissolution, when its revenues were estimated at £168. 0. 7.: part of the original building was converted by Charles, Duke of Norfolk, into a Roman Catholic chapel and a residence for his chaplain. The earl founded also the hospital of the Holy Trinity for a master and poor brethren, the revenue of which at the Dissolution was valued at £93. 18. 6¾.: on the rebuilding of the bridge over the Arun, in 1724, a considerable portion of the edifice was removed to furnish materials for that structure. The learned Chillingworth, who had joined the royal army, was taken prisoner during the siege of the castle by the parliamentarians, and confined in the episcopal palace of Chichester, where he died.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.