Sunday, November 20, 2011

Arundel Castle, England, Part II

Continuing my tour through the grounds of Arundel Castle, England (if you want to see the first post about this Castle and its gardens click here) , today I take you to the Chapel Garden and inside the Castle Chapel itself.

(you can click on the photos to enlarge)

But before we go there I would like to share some facts about the Castle with you. Arundel Castle belongs to the dukes of Norfolk for many generations.  Even though the Castle has an medieval appearance and the earliest structure, the keep, was build in the 11th century, most of Arundel Castle was destroyed in the English Civil War. What you see today is the result of an intensive reconstruction process undertaken by the eighth, eleventh, and fifteenth duke of Norfolk between 1718 and 1900. Interestingly, the current duke still lives in a spacious residence in part of the Castle. Arundel Castle is mainly famous for the atmospheric keep, the Great Hall and the library, which has paintings by Gainsborough, Holbein and Van Dyck. In my opinion the Castle and the Castle Gardens are well worth a visit, even though be prepared to pay a steep entry fee!

On the way to the Chapel Garden we passed this impressive and beautiful gate.

We now have entered the garden belonging to the Fitzalan Chapel, which houses the tombs of past dukes of Norfolk. The garden was clearly beyond its prime in terms of the blooming time, but to me appeared still very pretty in its lush greenness. I was surprised to see that they planted this row of palms here. They looked like my Mexican Fan Palm to me but I might be wrong. Anyway, I liked the almost Mediterranean style of planting quite a bit. To me it also brought some kind of lightness and almost playfulness to the heavy gray stones of the Chapel and the adjacent building, which was a nice contrast.

The bed was framed by a neatly clipped boxwood hedge. I really like the wooden obelisk painted in an unobtrusive blue-gray color with what I believe is a 'Climbing Iceberg' rose growing through it.

Close-up of the white rose. I just love the lightness, airiness, and elegance that white roses are giving to a space.

There was a second blue-gray obelisk, planted with what I believe is a 'Climbing Iceberg' rose closer to the Chapel itself. When the allium was in bloom it must have been a quite lovely color combination. The euphorbia in the front goes also very nicely with this arrangement. In the background you see the beautiful old wall of the Chapel.

One last shot of the white rose. I never can get enough of them.

Looking back from the stairs leading up to the Chapel down on the same bed. In the background on the right you can see parts of Arundel Castle.

We are now inside the fourteenth century Fitzalan Chapel and the photo above shows the colorful, intriguing glass window behind the main altar.

This tomb I found particular impressive.  It shows the two effigies of the seventh duke. The top portrays him as he died in his full armor and the bottom sculpture as an emaciated corpse. To me there is a certain humbleness in the way this tomb is designed: In the face of death even a duke is no way different from any other common person, but that might be just my interpretation.

After we left the Chapel I went over to the other side of the garden to get a shot of the whole bed that I have already shown you in the photos above. As you can see this garden area is quite small and therefore hard to photograph. On the opposite side of the "Palm Bed", visible in the foreground of this photo there was a symmetrical design of more boxwood hedge framed beds. In this garden the strict formality of the beds was a perfect fit to the surrounding architecture. 

Then I went back over to the other side and turned around and this is what you saw. This building was located directly adjacent to the Chapel, but if I remember correctly was not part of the Chapel itself. Again, I love the palm trees, the ivy climbing up the ancient walls and the boxwood clipped into neat low hedges framing the beds.

If you looked to the left you see that the bed in the center, which contained a small pond if I remember correctly is surrounded by two boxwood framed beds to the left...

...which are matched by two of the same shaped beds to the right. All four outer beds were planted on the inside with cosmos, which looked a little bit puny. Maybe they were just freshly planted. To me it is relieving that even in a very well cared for garden not everything turns out to be perfect.

After this we are off to see more gardens belonging to the Arundel Castle grounds. But this is material for another post...

See you in the garden!



  1. Thank you once again for this tour of a wonderful ancient castle with beautiful gardens.

    *This tomb I found particular impressive. It shows the two effigies of the seventh duke. The top portrays him as he died in his full armor and the bottom sculpture as an emaciated corpse. To me there is a certain humbleness in the way this tomb is designed: In the face of death even a duke is no way different from any other common person* I agree.

    We really enjoyed seeing the beautiful cathedrals around Europe when we were there in the early 70's.

    It sure must have been wonderful to see all of this granduer and beauty in person.

    Have a lovely Thanksgiving ~ FlowerLady

  2. I would have never thought of Palm trees in England. Is there anything they can't grow there?!!! What a gorgeous and imposing castle. Beautiful symmetrical beds. Such an impressive tomb. Thanks for the tour. Yes, sometimes we forget - we are all the same. Weeds grow in everyone's garden. Or, as I often remember: "into every life a little rain must fall." Your new header photo is beautiful!

  3. Oprowadzając na robiłaś bardzo ładne zdjęcia. Podoba mi się witraż w kaplicy i ogród . Palmy bardzo zdobią ogród i przycięte bukszpany.Trzecie zdjęcie od dołu jest piękne dla mnie. Pozdrawiam

  4. FlowerLady, thanks for commenting! Yes, my husband and I had a wonderful time in England and enjoyed seeing all the gardens and ancient buildings like the castles, mansions, and cathedrals quite a bit. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, too!

    Holley, thank you for your comment! I was also puzzled to see palm trees growing there. I like your saying "into every life a little rain must fall". Will add that to my repertoire :-)! I am pleased that you noticed that I have a new header photo and even more that you like it!

    Giga, thanks for commenting! I also loved the stained glass window of the Fitzalan Chapel very much. It is really impressive to me how much work they put into these type of windows. The colored glass breaks up the light so beautifully.


  5. Knot gardens... Love them! Thank you Christina for showing this beautiful place!

  6. Tatyana, thanks for your comment! It is my pleasure to share photos from the Arundel Castle grounds on my blog. I love knot gardens, too, but consider them personally too much work to maintain in my own yard!

  7. What a gorgeous photo's of the castle. When I go inside in this kind of bildings it always brings a little bit of mystic atmosphere. You are lucky to take photo's inside. These days you are not aloud to take photo's inside by some castle's and have to buy a postcard. The gardens are also lovely captured. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a nice weekend

  8. Marijke, thanks for leaving a comment! I am glad that you like my photos of Arundel Castle and its grounds. Actually as far as I remember it was forbidden to photograph inside Arundel Castle itself, but it was allowed to take photos in the Fitzalan Chapel. Wishing you a nice weekend, too!