South East News

950 Years of History

A record number of tulips and three major anniversaries were just the beginning of Arundel Castle’s 2018 open season. The UK’s hottest summer on record meant fantastic displays in the Gardens, but it also had a knock-on effect for the Castle’s events! On the most sweltering day of the year, 26 July, jousters vied for glory in heavy replica armour as the world’s longest jousting tournament celebrated 10 years in action.

This year marked the 950th anniversary since the Castle’s initial construction was begun during the Norman conquest of England. The famous Collector Earl’s Garden, fondly named after Thomas Howard, the 14th Earl of Arundel, celebrated its 10th anniversary having been opened in 2008 by HRH The Prince of Wales. 
The 10th outing of the jousting tournament was commemorated with the ultimate showdown: Champion of Champions. The competitors were pitted against their former teammates in a contest of skill from which only one individual could emerge victorious. After six days of intense competition, the title of Champion went to Andreas Wenzel of Germany. 
In the Gardens, a record number of over 60,000 tulips burst into bloom for the Castle’s largest ever Annual Tulip Festival. Head Gardener Martin Duncan was awarded this year’s prestigious Kew Guild Medal and a young volunteer was commended by South East in Bloom for their gardening prowess. 
In August, as part of the wonderful Arundel Festival, Illyria theatre group debuted at the Castle with a stunning al fresco performance of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. 
Castle Manager Stephen Manion commented: “We’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every visitor that has walked through the Castle gates in 2018. Your visits help us to preserve this historic landmark for generations to come. 

“Whilst the Castle is closed, our team gets even busier. The Gardens team is already hard at work preparing next year’s displays. Inside the Castle, our taste buds are tingling as the hunt begins for the most delicious treats for the café, restaurant and next year’s events. We cannot wait to reopen on 02 April 2019 and show you all what we’ve been up to!” 
For more information on the Castle and its events calendar, please visit: