Arundel has historically been known for its spectacular garden design.
There are nearly 1,000 years of history at Arundel Castle, situated in the 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. Understanding the small details of garden design demonstrated in Arundel, Glorious Gardens ensures they have keen eye for detail in their designs.
The gardens had been largely neglected before 1987 until the current Duchess permanently moved to the castle and began a programme of restoration. There are hot and cool herbaceous borders with contrasting foliage plants, a cut flower border which together with the ornamental Victorian kitchen garden supplies the Castle with fresh fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. A lean-to peach house and vinery, originally built in 1850 by Clarke & Hope, has also been restored and houses exotic fruit and vegetables. The sheltered location of the gardens makes it possible for many of the tender perennials such as cannas and salvias to remain in the ground throughout the winter. The Fitzalan Chapel has its own small garden planted in white and there is also a newly planted rose garden in what was once an 18th Century Bowling Green. Knowing the rich history of Arundel’s garden design Glorious Gardens incorporates the history within their designs.
The gardens and pleasure grounds lie within the Castle walls and in the Castle precincts which extend to the south and west and northwards to the boundary with the New Park. Inside the Castle, the domestic ranges at the southern end enclose the Quadrangle or Inner Court, which is laid to lawn, its present asymmetrical form altered from its former complete oval in the late C19. The steep, grassed slopes of the motte rise from the north end of the Quadrangle, the slopes being cleared of their tree cover by the end of the C19. Beyond the motte a path climbs northwards into the Upper Court which is enclosed by high walls and laid to a central, square lawn edged with shrubbery and with a yew hedge (planted mid 1990s) along the south side. Probably the site of the medieval castle garden, a garden is known to have existed here in 1635 which, between 1702 and 1708, was laid out as a formal garden with box plants, its northern slope cut into the present, surviving series of grassed terraces (Banks Assocs 1989). Used later as a kitchen garden, it was referred to as laid out in ornamental parterres in 1835 although a formal garden set out for the visit by Queen Victoria in 1845.
The New Park extends 3.2km northwards from the Castle grounds and is principally laid to open pasture interspersed with woodland on steep slopes such as Mill Hanger and Offham Hanger and blocks and belts of plantations on the hilltops and along the crests, the latter almost completely replanted (largely with beech) following destruction in the storm of 1987. Glorious Gardens has often created more formal gardens which complements the history of the town.