Secrets of Great British Castles (2015–…): Season 2, Episode 6 - Arundel Castle - full transcript

Dan concludes the second series with a visit to Arundel Castle in West Sussex, which has been the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk for over 850 years. He gains an insight into how Arundel prepared for the visit of Queen Victoria in 1846.

[Dan Jones] For me, a great British castle

is a fortress, a palace, a home.

And a symbol of power, majesty and fear.

For nearly a thousand years,

castles have shaped
Britain's famous landscape.

These magnificent buildings have been home

to some of the greatest heroes
and villains in our national history.

And many of them
still stand proudly today,

bursting with incredible stories

of warfare, treachery, intrigue,
passion and murder.

Join me, Dan Jones,

as I uncover the secrets behind
six great British castles.

This time I'm in Arundel,
near Britain's south coast.

A classic English castle
whose comfort, elegance and grandeur

was enjoyed and admired by Queen Victoria.

But Arundel was originally built for war,

and it survived more than its fair share
of battles, brutality and bloodshed.

[warriors fighting]

The story of Arundel Castle
spans almost a thousand years,

and throughout it all, the lesson
for its owners has been the same.

Choose the right side
and you get to keep all this.

Choose the wrong one and die.

Advertise your product or brand here
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[birds chirping]

[Jones] Arundel Castle
dominates a hillside

where the Sussex Downs
roll towards the English Channel.

It's half medieval fortress,
half stately home,

a place that has its own gatehouse
and its own cricket ground.

It even has a duke,

the extremely prestigious Duke of Norfolk.

It may seem odd, but his family line
have owned this castle

for more than 800 years.

Even though it's not actually in Norfolk.

But you see, he's not any old duke.
He's also an earl.

Although we're in Sussex, Arundel Castle
is the seat of the Duke of Norfolk,

who's the first,
or the most important, peer in the land.

He also happens to be Earl of Arundel,

the oldest earldom in the kingdom,
so he's doubly important.

[announcer] In a few moments, Her Majesty
would arrive at the Palace of Westminster.

Awaited by the Earl Marshal, the Duke of
Norfolk, and the Lord Great Chamberlain.

[Jones] Traditionally, the Duke of Norfolk
was one of those who walked backwards

in front of the Queen when she opened
a new session of Parliament.

He faced her to show loyalty and respect,

but he had to watch his back
to avoid tripping over a dozing lord.

And actually, that pretty much
sums up the history of this castle

and of its owners, loyalty.

Who's on your side,
who's plotting against you?

You need to watch your back
because you never know who to trust.


[Jones] Today,
the Duke's own team is playing.

This used to be his private cricket ground

until the 1970s, when the Sussex
county sides started playing here too.

It regularly hosts big charity
and celebrity games.

Even Prince Philip captained
a side here in the 1950s.

Arundel has always attracted
people of power and influence.

But don't let all this
English reserve fool you

because underneath its serene exterior,

Arundel Castle has one of the bloodiest

and most dramatic histories
of any castle in Britain.

And it all begins more than 900 years ago
when England was conquered

by a bunch of men
who'd sooner have chopped your arm off

than enjoyed a nice game of cricket.

They were the Normans.

[clashing swords]

The Normans were a powerful and
warlike French aristocratic dynasty

descended from Scandinavian pirates,

and they loved a bit of fighting,
pillaging and conquering.

In 1066, the Norman lord
William the Conqueror,

also known as William the Bastard,

landed his boats
on the south coast of England,

about 50 miles east of Arundel.

He defeated the Saxon king
Harold Godwinson

at the Battle of Hastings
and took the English crown,

and he set about conquering
the whole realm.

Arundel was right at the top of his list
and it's easy to see why.

The town of Arundel
was perfectly situated.

Fertile land, fresh water
and easy to reach from the coast.

A real jewel.

And in 1067,
the year after the Normans arrived,

William the Conqueror gave
this entire area to his friend and ally

Roger de Montgomery,
one of the greatest lords in Normandy.

And what had Montgomery
done to deserve all this?

Well, he stayed behind in Normandy,
keeping the show running

while William was over here conquering.

Even so, this was
a spectacularly good reward.

In fact, by the end
of William the Conqueror's reign,

Montgomery's fortune amounted
to about 3% of entire country's wealth.

He was, if you like,
a medieval Bill Gates.

Montgomery needed to protect
all of his valuable new land,

so he did what
the Normans did so very well.

He built a castle.

Originally out of timber
and surrounded by a huge defensive ditch.

When the ditch was dug,
the spoil was piled up

to make this huge
hundred-foot mount, or motte.

Then you stick your secure
central building right on the top.

That's what today we call the "keep".

A wooden castle on top of a hill
may not sound impenetrable to us today,

but back in the days before gunpowder,
it was pretty formidable.

Historian Marc Morris is
a leading expert in Norman castles.

Why wooden?

In the first instance,
they're interested in speed.

Remember there's a few thousand Normans
and two million disgruntled Anglo-Saxons.

So you are in the midst
of a hostile environment,

and you want to rivet
your power into place,

so you build quickly.

In the months that follow,
start creating that great mound of earth

behind us, the motte,
with, again, a wooden tower on top.

And this is a castle on a big scale,

on the same kind of scale as Windsor.

Is there any part of the castle

that still survives
from Roger of Montgomery's time?

Roger of Montgomery
is very, very powerful.

He has several castles across England
and into the Welsh Marches.

But as time wears on, he clearly decides

that Arundel, being right
on the south coast near to Normandy,

is one that he wants to invest
in heavily and what he does here

is he starts to invest in stone.

And the gatehouse behind you, there,

the bottom part of it, the lower storeys,
that is late-11th-century masonry.

So people were laying that masonry
in the time of Roger of Montgomery,

in the time
of William the Conqueror himself.

[Jones] Norman castles,
like the one Roger of Montgomery

was building here at Arundel, were partly
for protection, partly for intimidation.

But the Normans were also very good
at falling out with each other,

and the real problems came when they
had to defend against other Normans.

For almost two decades
after the death of William the Conqueror,

his sons had fought
and squabbled over the English throne.

In 1135, when his youngest son
King Henry I died

without a legitimate male heir,
the problems got even worse.

Soon the entire country was
on the brink of utter chaos.

Before he died, Henry I

commanded his barons to support
the claim of his daughter, Matilda,

to be England's first real queen,

a monarch in her own right,
and not just the wife of a king.

But with Henry dead,
the barons looked at each other

and had a collective change of heart.

Instead of supporting
the claim of a woman,

most changed their allegiance
to Henry's nephew Stephen of Blois.

[chanting in Latin]

[in English] Amen.

[Jones] In a scramble for the throne,

Stephen managed to have
himself crowned first.

It was a power grab
that would lead to a civil war

that lasted for nearly 20 years.

The country was ripped apart
by two cousins battling for the crown,

Stephen and Matilda,

and one of the most important
showdowns in that whole conflict

took place here, at Arundel Castle.

The castle was owned
by Matilda's stepmother,

so it was a natural safe haven

and the perfect place
for Matilda to base her forces.

All those English barons who decided
that England ought to be ruled by a man

had no idea who they were dealing with.

With Stephen and his army
on the march towards Arundel,

the fate and future of England
would be sealed right here at the castle.

Today, it's hard to imagine how
somewhere as pretty as Arundel Castle

could have such a dark and turbulent past.

But nearly nine centuries ago, in 1139,
it was a Norman fortress

at the heart of a bitter power struggle
between two cousins

battling for the Crown of England,

Matilda and Stephen.


This castle was protecting Matilda,
the daughter of King Henry I

and the heir to the English Crown.

Outside was the man
who'd claim that crown,

Matilda's cousin King Stephen,

and he had with him enough men
and firepower to besiege

and maybe even to destroy the castle
and everything inside it.

As military tactics went, the art
of the medieval siege was pretty simple.

One side goes into their castle,

closes the portcullis,
lifts the drawbridge and bolts the door.

The other side,
armed to the teeth, camps up outside

in the hope that those in the castle

will succumb to thirst,
starvation or disease.

Actual attacks were rare.
You risked losing too many men,

and those inside the castle had
the advantage of height, solid battlements

and later, arrow loops and murder holes

to pour boiling oil down
on those trying to get in.

But here's the thing. So far as we know,
a siege never actually began.

So what did happen?

[bell ringing]

Put yourself in Matilda's position.

Outside is her cousin Stephen
with a large army and a bad attitude.

He has more men than you,
and your castle's mainly made of wood

and not stone, so do you resist
or do you negotiate?

Matilda's fate was uncertain,
to say the least.

And history's equally uncertain.

All we do know is that
there was a very bizarre conclusion.

Stephen agreed to something
completely unexpected,

and frankly, quite hard to explain.

He decided to let her go.

Stephen basically
allowed Matilda to escape

and he gave her
a guaranteed safe passage to Bristol,

where she could meet up with her allies.

It's really hard to work out
what Stephen was thinking.

But at the end of it all,
I think we just have to write this down

as a major miscalculation.

Stephen's leniency had dire consequences.

Having been let go,

Matilda wasn't just going
to let her cousin keep the crown.

She fought back.

[dramatic music playing]

For almost two decades,
the cousins battled it out

in a vicious, bloody and drawn-out war
known as the Anarchy.

It left England a smouldering wreck.

It devastated the countryside,
destroyed communities and ruined lives.

One chronicler said it was as if
Christ and his saints were asleep.

Matilda never became queen.

But in 1153,
the conflict was finally resolved

when Stephen agreed
to make Matilda's son his heir.

He would become King Henry II,

but it would take England and Arundel
decades to recover from the war.

The man who'd brokered the peace
settlement between Stephen and Matilda

was William d'Aubigny,

and he was rewarded by being made
the very first Earl of Arundel,

and later, by being given
Arundel Castle to keep.

The d'Aubigny family held the castle
for over a hundred years,

until the fifth Earl of Arundel
died without children.

In 1243, the title and the castle
passed to his nephew John FitzAlan.

The FitzAlans were the family
who would make Arundel what it is today.

In fact, they've occupied it
continuously ever since,

give or take the occasional
disagreement with the Crown.

This powerful family added
the massive barbican and its towers,

a moat, drawbridge and portcullis.

These heavy-duty walls and gates
were not only for defence,

but also allowed advertisement
of the FitzAlans' wealth and status.

No one showed that better

than the great 14th-century
Earl of Arundel, Richard FitzAlan.

During his lifetime,
Richard FitzAlan would be a soldier,

a counsellor to the King,
a clever financier

and one of the wealthiest men
of the 14th century.

He used his riches
to transform Arundel Castle

into one of the most
spectacular buildings in England.

And where did his money come from?

Friendship and fighting.

As a teenager, Richard FitzAlan
became firm friends with a 14-year-old

who just happened to be
King Edward III of England.

For 45 years, they embarked on
a truly incredible adventure together.

At the heart of it was a war with
England's greatest enemy, France.

Edward III was one
of England's greatest warrior kings.

Together, Edward and Richard
devoted almost their whole lives

to the Hundred Years' War,

a conflict with France that really
summed up the golden age of knighthood,

when kings and earls
didn't just sit around in tents

directing things from afar,
they fought in the thick of battle.

The Hundred Years' War epitomised

an era of loyalty
and brotherhood on the battlefield.

Tough military men who had
each other's backs when it mattered.

Tobias Capwell is an expert
on medieval arms and armour.

Toby, in the 14th century,
were kings like Edward III

and nobles like Richard FitzAlan
really fighting in the middle of battle?

The whole foundation
of medieval warrior culture

was that the leaders
had to lead from the front.

It's all about the personal loyalty

of warriors to their masters.

So if your leader isn't there,
there's no point in anybody else going.

It was expected that a king would fight
in the front ranks with his men.

You can't stay behind.
You can't stay at home.

You cannot send young men
to their deaths without going with them.

The reality
for the noblemen, for the knights,

is that they don't do anything
until the armies are this close.

[Jones] I don't like to be close
to that sword, which looks sharp.

[Tobias Capwell] It sort of resonates
with a kind of power, doesn't it?

When you know
it can make your arms fall off.

[blades swishing]

That's how male bonding happens.

It's about going through strenuous,
traumatic experiences together

where you think you might die,

and then you all come home
forever bonded, closer together.

And that's what
the whole fabric of medieval society,

knightly culture is based on.

[Jones] All of Richard FitzAlan's loyal
service to his king in the mid-1300s

was spectacularly rewarded.

He was even left in charge of England
for two years while Edward III was abroad.

And combined with the riches he gathered
from victorious battles in France,

FitzAlan, the Earl of Arundel,
became almost unimaginably wealthy.

In the 1370s, when he was an old man,

Richard FitzAlan was said
to have 30,000 pounds in cash

stored in a single tower,
probably the keep, here at Arundel Castle.

Now, today, that would be like having

ten million pounds
stuffed under your mattress.

Obviously, all of that
cold hard cash is gone,

but the signs of FitzAlan's war booty are
still everywhere in the castle buildings.

Just take a look at this private chapel
in the castle grounds.

Medieval nobles were obsessed
with legacy and immortality.

What's the use of having
all that money, power and respect

if you can't set it in stone
to remind people that you were here?

This stunning FitzAlan chapel
was founded after Richard's death,

using the wealth that he'd built up
during a lifetime of royal service.

Beginning with FitzAlan's grandson,

virtually every one
of the Earl's successors

is buried here in this chapel.

You're left in no doubt
about how important they were,

or at least how important
they thought they were.

It's almost an overwhelming space.

It's not very different
from the tombs of the great medieval kings

at Westminster Abbey.

But it's still incredible
to think that all of this

was built on the spoils of the war.

None of the grandeur brought
to Arundel Castle would've been possible

without the war booty
plundered on foreign battlefields.

But the biggest war was yet to come
for the Earls of Arundel

because they were Catholic

in an England that was about
to become violently Protestant.

They would have to fight
for their very existence

under the reign of Britain's
most famous king, Henry VIII.

Arundel Castle had been
a seat of great wealth and power

since the time of William the Conqueror.

But in the 16th century, every ounce
of that wealth and power came under threat

because of King Henry VIII.

In 1534, Henry set up
the Protestant Church of England

with himself as its head and separated
from the Catholic Church of Rome.

Anyone who failed to pledge allegiance
to the new Church of England

was in danger of incurring
the King's wrath.

Hundreds of Catholics
were killed for defying Henry.

But the FitzAlan Earls of Arundel
remained true to the Catholic faith.

Even given their high status,
they were treading a very fine line.

And today, the chapel
at Arundel Castle still shows

how the FitzAlans brazenly
challenged the authority of the King

and his new Protestant religion.

This glass door looks pretty ordinary.

In fact, it's anything but,
because it marks the division

between a Church of England
parish church on that side

and the Catholic chapel,
the FitzAlan chapel

within Arundel Castle on this side.

But it's not just rare,
although it is rare,

it's also very symbolic

because in a way, this tells you the
whole story of the English Reformation,

a time when Henry VIII
ripped the English Church

away from the Church of Rome

and ushered in a period
of repression and persecution,

when your loyalty to your God and to
your King was constantly under question.

And if either was found wanting,
you would meet your maker.

In 1555, the FitzAlans joined forces

with another of England's
most powerful Catholic families.

Lady Mary FitzAlan of Arundel married
Thomas Howard, the fourth Duke of Norfolk.

From then on, this new Catholic dynasty
would be known as the Fitzalan-Howards,

or sometimes simply the Howards.

These statues represent the two families.

On one side, we have
the horse of the FitzAlans.

And then over here
is the lion representing the Howards.

The Earls of Arundel
and the Dukes of Norfolk,

this was a marriage of title,
of wealth and of power.

This combined family now had two titles.

They were the Earls of Arundel
and the Dukes of Norfolk.

But all that power
and wealth was in jeopardy,

as long as their Catholic beliefs

were at odds with
England's official Protestant faith.

Henry VIII's daughter Queen Elizabeth I

had the fourth Duke of Norfolk,
Thomas Howard, executed in 1572

for plotting against her.

Then she had his son Philip
locked up in the Tower of London

for refusing to renounce
his Catholic faith.

The dynasty was suffering
a disastrous fall from grace.

Jessie, after the turmoil
of Henry VIII's reformation,

this was a very dangerous time

to be a big Catholic
aristocratic family, wasn't it?

Yeah, definitely was,

and especially for the Howards,
who are the preeminent

Catholic family in the country.

The Howards had
a very, very turbulent 16th century.

They really did, actually.

For about four generations, you see them
just being knocked over like Skittles.

You have Thomas,
the fourth Duke of Norfolk,

he was caught up in a plot
to replace Protestant Elizabeth I now,

um, on the throne of England, with
Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots, her cousin.

And then his son Philip, Earl of Arundel,

was sent to the Tower of London
for ten years,

and he died there of dysentery.

Why didn't they just
keep their heads down?

You think they would, wouldn't you?

The fourth Duke of Norfolk, Thomas,
he did, and he wrote this desperately,

desperately sad last letter
to his son Philip, saying,

"Beware of blind papistry", as he put it.

And beware of high degree.

In other words, yeah,
keep your head down, watch your back.

In a way, it's a miracle
that this family actually survived

and that Arundel Castle
is still here today.

[Jessie Childs] Yeah, it is.

Their motto is "Sola Virtus Invicta",
"only virtue unconquered".

There's that amazing self-belief,

but there's also that Icarus quality.

They always would sail
a little bit too close to the sun,

which is why you get these disgraces,
but they would always rise up.

[Jones] The union between the Howards
and the FitzAlans of Arundel,

which had promised so much,

had instead been marred by calamity.

In the space of four generations,

four family members had been imprisoned
for treason, with two of them beheaded.

And of course, they lost everything,

their titles and their castle,

which reverted to Queen Elizabeth I.

It all leads you to wonder how on earth

are the Fitzalan-Howards
still at Arundel Castle today.

How did they retain
all their power and royal favour?

They certainly didn't
roll over and convert.

They remain staunch Catholics to this day.

The fate of the Fitzalan-Howard dynasty
rested on the next in line.

Thomas was named after his grandfather,

the recently beheaded
fourth Duke of Norfolk,

but he wasn't born in a castle.

He was born in the shame
and relative poverty

of a humble village in Essex.

You'd have to say that this young
Thomas's prospects didn't look good.

But when Queen Elizabeth died

and James I came
to the English throne in 1603,

the Fitzalan-Howard family's
fortunes changed dramatically.

The new King James I was pretty well
disposed towards the family

that supported his mother,
Mary, Queen of Scots,

and then supported
his own claim to the English throne.

Now the King repaid their faith.

Thomas was reinstated as Earl in 1604,

and the Fitzalan-Howards
were back in Arundel Castle.

Young Thomas was smart enough to know
he needed to start from scratch,

to keep his head down,
steer clear of politics

and try to restore
the family name and fortune,

and he started
in the very best way possible.

He married an incredibly wealthy woman.

This is Thomas's wife, Alethea Talbot.

She was the daughter
of the Earl of Shrewsbury,

and she inherited huge estates
across the north of England.

Now, her wealth

meant her husband could indulge
his single great passion,

which was art collecting.

With the family back in the money and
back in royal favour, under Charles I,

Thomas acted as a government envoy,
travelling across Europe.

He spent a lot of time in Antwerp
and in Padua in Italy,

and he liked what he saw.

The art he collected
came back here to Arundel Castle.

Thomas, the Collector Earl, was obviously
very cultured, very sophisticated.

I think he was very
politically savvy as well.

The reign of Charles I
was a very turbulent time.

It would end in the English civil war.

Actually, this wasn't a bad moment
to be getting out of England

on long art collecting tours.

I think there was more to it
even than that.

Considering what had happened

to generation after generation
of this family,

amassing all of this art,
this cultural splendour,

was a way of restoring family pride.

It was a way of saying, "We're back,

and we're back greater than ever."

By the time he died in 1646,

Thomas Howard had amassed a vast array
of art, literature, gems and jewellery.

His library included priceless sketchbooks
by the great Leonardo da Vinci.

In his will, he stated he wanted
the whole collection kept together.

Sadly, that didn't happen.

But the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford
houses the Arundel marbles,

Thomas's personal hoard
of ancient European statues and carvings.

Where in Europe did he go
to get all these wonderful antiquities?

[Alison Pollard] He travels to Rome

and undertakes
what are called excavations.

But what we actually think was
that they weren't true excavations,

but there were some statues
planted for his benefit, to find,

which he then had to purchase
and then bring back to England.

[Jones] Could you give us an idea
of the contribution of the Collector Earl

to British art
and British heritage in general?

Well, he inspired, um,
all the future collectors.

So when you travel around Britain today,

and you see these country houses
full of these beautiful objects,

really, we've got Arundel
to thank for them.

[Jones] Although much
of his collection is now elsewhere,

recently, the castle decided
to commemorate Thomas, the Collector Earl,

with a specially designed garden
to recognise his artistic taste

and his legacy.

This used to be a car park.

His body is in the family tomb
in the chapel,

but his spirit is in this garden,

which is a recreation of the formal
gardens of the 17th century.

Thomas Howard defined
how this period in British history

would be seen and remembered.

The artists he encouraged went on to paint

an entire generation
of Britain's ruling class,

most notably,
the Flemish master Anthony van Dyck,

whose work is all over the castle.

But there's an irony there

because van Dyck's probably most famous
work is a portrait of King Charles I,

the monarch who helped bring about
the downfall of Arundel Castle.

In 1642, civil war broke out,
dividing Britain.

The royalists supported Charles I,

and his right to rule
his country as he pleased.

The Parliamentarians, known as Roundheads,
challenged the authority of the King.

Arundel Castle, which had become
more of an art gallery than a fortress,

was suddenly called back into action.

But at the outbreak of the civil war,

the Collector Earl,
Thomas Howard, was abroad,

his health failing.

He would never see
his beloved castle again.

Thomas died in Italy
as civil war raged across England

and engulfed Arundel.

December 1643, Arundel Castle was held
by royalist forces loyal to Charles I.

But outside the walls, a huge
Parliamentarian army was gathering,

maybe 10,000 strong.

They battered the castle
for more than two weeks,

until eventually,
on the 6th of January, 1644,

it surrendered.

The castle and the chapel
were badly damaged,

but ultimately, the reason
the siege had succeeded

was that they'd run out of water.

The men inside were dying of thirst.

But there was worse to come.

After the Roundheads won the war

and chopped Charles I's head off,

they set about slighting British castles,

tearing down or dynamiting
their walls and towers

to make sure they could never
be used for military defence again.

Some of the greatest
castles in Britain were ruined,

and Arundel was no exception.

Arundel was a shadow
of the palatial fortress

it had been for so many centuries.

But its enemies had failed
to destroy this place for good.

In fact, they'd left
the foundations for another

golden age in the castle's history.

Arundel was about to be reborn
in the image of the perfect castle.

A castle fit for a queen,

or at least for a queen's visit.

And that was just as well
because Queen Victoria was coming to stay.

By the end of the 17th century,

the once mighty Arundel Castle
lay in ruins.

But it was about to be returned
to its former grandeur.

The rich and powerful family who owned it,

the Fitzalan-Howards, held two titles.

They were Earls of Arundel
and Dukes of Norfolk.

In 1786, Charles Howard
became the Earl of Arundel

and set about making some changes.

An extravagant socialite,

he saw Arundel
as a potential pleasure palace,

and he began making major
renovations before taking up residence.

Along with Arundel,

Charles also inherited the title
of 11th Duke of Norfolk.

The castle, like the Duke,
was going to be big, brash and impressive.

The 11th Duke
was a rambunctious character.

He loved to entertain
and to hold parties here at the castle.

He was also a member
of London's infamous Beefsteak Club.

Dedicated to the principles
of liberal prosperity,

their motto was "beef and liberty",

but there was a fair amount
of wine involved as well.

He was nicknamed
the "Drunken Duke" or the "Dirty Duke".

He had such an aversion to soap and water

that his servants had to wait
until he'd passed out in a stupor

before stripping him off
and giving him a wash.

His personal life was predictably
chaotic and unconventional.

His first wife died in childbirth,

and his second was certified insane

and had to be confined
for almost 50 years,

leaving the Duke to make his way
through a succession of mistresses

and father at least
six illegitimate children.

Charles wasn't just flamboyant.
He was fashionable too,

and he began remodelling
and rebuilding Arundel Castle

according to the tastes of the day.

This picture gallery
was totally redesigned,

so were rooms across the castle,

and ornate new wings were added
in the Gothic revival style.

Today, you'd call that "retro".

It was harking back
to an earlier, greater period in time,

in this case, the imagined
romantic English Middle Ages.

But at the turn of the 19th century,

that was the height of hipster cool.

Charles's ambition was to make
his castle a place to be seen.

By 1797, he was estimated to have
spent 200,000 pounds on the castle.

And by the time he died,
that had risen to 600,000,

or about 40 million pounds
in today's terms.

Perhaps, because of those costs,

he also decided to do something
incredibly modern for the time.

He started letting in paying tourists.

Social historian Ruth Goodman explains
how Arundel Castle was at the forefront

of the 19th-century
obsession with the past.

So, Ruth, in the 19th century,

that was really the birth of tourism
at the castle, wasn't it?

Absolutely. I mean, I think
when you look around this place,

it's like a film set, isn't it? [laughs]

And that was very much the purpose.

People were rediscovering the past again.
There was a certain fantasy element

to enjoying the past.

When you look around the castle today,
you see a lot of tourists.

Arundel is right at the forefront of that,

starting to collect tickets,

"Thank you very much for coming to see
our marvellous, recreated Gothic home."

Ruth, I loved the story
of the Dirty Duke, who is so filthy

that his staff waited
till he was blind drunk

and passed out before they washed him.

[laughs] He was a bit extreme,

but it was an age in which
it was really quite difficult to be clean.

So what would you use
to get rid of the stench of the age?

This is the perfume of the Victorian age,

which is a mixture of lemon and bergamot.

-Very simple ingredients.
-Very simple ingredients,

but the two mixed together.

But very fresh.

This scent was the scent
of Victoria and her court.

I feel like I don't need
to wash this hand...

[both laughing]

And it carries.

-There's no doubt it carries.

This one here,
this is a gentleman's hair product.

Quite a light one, this,
hardly any scent to that at all.

-Have a go?
-Mmm, go for it.

You don't need very much,
just a little tiny bit on your fingers.

Okay, there we go.

-Quite light.

Bit of, sort of...

Shine to it, I imagine.
It's fine. What's in it?

Well, all sorts of things.

If you were the King, then it might
actually be based upon bear fat.

-Oh, Jesus Christ.

Have I just put bear fat in my hair?

You haven't.
Most people couldn't afford bear fat.

You be glad. You just got lard.


Lard, almond oil, little bit
of rosewater, a bit of vodka...

That's genuinely amazing,
'cause it sounds disgusting, but...

It is really effective.

Yeah, I mean, modern products
are not so dissimilar.

It all goes back to Victorian times.

And it all goes back to Victorian times.

Those clever Victorians.

[Jones] The restoration work at Arundel
started by Charles, the Dirty Duke,

was completed by the 13th Duke, Henry,
during the reign of Queen Victoria.

And in 1844, Arundel was
given two years' notice

that the Queen and her husband,
Prince Albert, were coming to stay.

So, Ruth, we're living in Arundel Castle,
let's say, and we get word

that Queen Victoria is coming to stay,
presumably, is panic station.

A vast army, this huge machine,
has to sort of ratchet up into action

because you need
everything to be utterly ready.

I mean, you've gotta produce
food fit for a queen,

and you gotta be able to entertain
night after night after night.

All the flowers to decorate the rooms,
to produce the beautiful smell.

Then you're gonna have to have stacks
of clean linen. This is a vast effort.

The castle has to be
looking its absolute best.

Absolute best.

No matter what the reality is, actually.

-Shove it all under the carpet.

It takes a huge number
of people to do that.

All these things are
very labour-intensive.

There aren't any sort of
mechanised quick cheats.

It's all about people.
So it would be pulling in extra labour

from the towns and villages
around to just get it going.

[Jones] Victoria's visit
was a great success.

She stayed for three days.

There were fireworks, conjurers,
Ethiopian singers and lots of dancing.

She said Arundel reminded her
of her own castle at Windsor.

This ringing royal endorsement encouraged
successive generations of dukes

to keep the process going

and drag Arundel
right into the 20th century.

It would go on to become
one of the very first houses in England

to have electric lights,
service lifts and central heating.

Ruth, it's quite light, even airy
and certainly comfortable here today.

But it wouldn't have been like this
in the 19th century, would it?

No. No, it wouldn't.
To be fair to Arundel,

they were one of the first castles

to install electricity and central heating

and gives us this feeling
that we got today.

But for most of the Victorian period
and in most castles,

you gotta think of it without the lights,
think of it without the heating.

I mean, they're built
of stone, huge spaces.

Fundamentally, life in a castle
would be pretty uncomfortable.

Cold, dark,
even if it looks nice in pictures.


So, Ruth, this room is pretty dazzling.

We got the bed Queen Victoria slept in.

This is the actual one.

This is the actual bed that she and
Albert slept in, lovely crest above it.

I mean, it looks dazzling and beautiful...

Another thing the castle didn't have,
even in the rooms prepared for the Queen,

was running water.

So this looks like
rather a smart drinks table.

Yeah, except this is the bathroom.

-It's not even a separate room.

-[Jones] A chamber pot.
-A chamber pot.

[Jones] The famous chamber pot,
this is the toilet.

-That is the toilet.
-Never mind a flush or a system.

-This is it.
-No, no, no, that's it.

And everywhere you went,

I mean, Buckingham Palace, the same.
There was no running water

at this stage within people's houses,

even at the very top of society.

Even the Queen is busily having
to cope with a chamber pot.

In some ways, I find
this chamber pot quite reassuring

and even quite comforting.

Because even if you're the Queen,

even Queen Victoria, you know,
greatest monarch in the world,

when it comes down to it,

you still need one of these
just like everybody else.


[Jones] Today, the castle is very much
a home as well as a tourist attraction,

and it does have running water.

The present duke, Edward Fitzalan-Howard,

is the 18th Duke of Norfolk
and the 29th Earl of Arundel.

But he doesn't walk backwards any more
at the state opening of Parliament.

It was the tradition
in order to show respect,

but the Queen herself
asked for tradition to change

'cause she worried the Duke
might trip over and hurt himself.

Arundel Castle is still home
to the most prestigious peer in the land,

who holds the oldest earldom
in the entire country

and even has his own cricket team.

Arundel Castle really is
about as English as it gets.

From William the Conqueror to the Queen,

from invasion,
to reformation, to revolution.

Now, it's all hidden beneath
this perfectly civilised genteel veneer,

but scratch the surface
and you find a story of loyalty,

tenacity and single-mindedness

which has placed Arundel Castle
at the heart of Britain's stormy history.

[triumphant music playing]

[theme music playing]