« AnteriorContinua »
they were restored to his son Thomas, on the accession of King James, who was anxious to redress the wrongs of the father, by extending the hand of royal favour to the son. This event in the fortunes of the Howard family took place in 1604; and from that period down to the present time, the title has passed without interruption through a line of descendants
Cui genus a proavis ingens, clarumque paternæ
Nomen erat Virtutis. Mith this brief and hasty sketch of the origin of the Castle of Arundel and its powerful lords, whose deeds and destinies shed around its history feelings of mingled sympathy and admiration; we turn aside to view the fortress, whose apartments have been the hereditary asylum and berceau of patriotism, chivalry, piety, and British independence, during a period of eight centuries.
Combien de souvenirs ici sont retracés !
To the great antiquity of Arundel Castle we have already adverted. Bevis*-a hero of romance—is currently believed to have been its founder; but however easily this may be disputed, the fact of its having been a royal fortress, long before the Conquest, seems fully established. The earliest recorded evidence to this effect appears in the
Domesday Survey, where it is stated that, in the time of Edward the Confessor, the castle of Arundelt rendered for a certain mill forty shillings, for one pasture twenty shillings; and that between the town, the port, and the customs of the shipping, it rendered twelve pounds, and was worth thirteen.
But as the name and epoch of its founder remain in total obscurity f, conjecture, however plausible or ingenious, would here be fruitless; and leaving the fanciful antiquary and etymologist to indulge their several tastes
* See Appendix to this vol. p. 338, also Ellis's cluded that the Castrum de Harundel,'a royal resi Metrical Romances, vol. ii. p. 245.
dence, was one of those which survived the demoli † Castrum Harundel T. R. E. reddeb^de qodation of English fortresses which succeeded the Con. mol^ino XL. solid. et de iiibus conuviis (conviviis ?) quest. [Tierney, i. 33; and Dallaway.] It is sup. xx soloid. et de uno pasticio xx soloid. etc. etc.— posed that, at the death of Alfred, fifty castles or Domesday Survey, quoted by Tierney.
upwards had been raised under his direction, and it I A careful examination of the evidence in re- is not probable that the whole of that number could spect to its foundation, inclines us to refer that event have disappeared in the comparatively short period to the time of Alfred, whose policy, it will be remem- which elapsed between the demise of that monarch bered, led him to augment the national security by and the establishment of the Norman dynasty. Ante, the erection of numerous fortresses, particularly in p. 8, n. 6.-Also Adp. p. 334. the maritime districts; and it may be readily con
THE CASTLE-ITS POSITION-NORMAN ADDITIONS.
in exploring the labyrinth of fable, we turn at once to the broad noon of history, to draw from authentic sources such facts as may appear in some respects more extraordinary than fiction.
The Castle of Arundel, in point of situation, presents every advantage which could be desired for the erection of a military fortress. At the southern extremity of the elevated platform on which it stands, a strong wall inclosed the inner court, containing upwards of five acres; on the north-east and south-east a precipitous dip of the hill, to at least ninety feet, rendered the castle inaccessible. On the remaining sides, a deep fosse, protected on the north by a double vallation, and cutting off all external communication in that direction, secured the garrison against any sudden incursion or surprise. Or, if assailed,
From gate and battlemented tower
In the centre of this spacious area, rose the donjon or Keep, circular in form, of enormous strength, crowning a lofty artificial mound, and commanding a wide and uninterrupted view of all the neighbouring approaches. The height of the mount, from the bottom of the fosse on the external side, was seventy feet; on the internal, sixty-nine; and with that of the walls and battlements, by which it was crowned, presented a commanding elevation on the east of ninety-six feet; and on the west, of one hundred and three. The walls, measuring from eight to ten feet in thickness, inclosed a nearly circular space, varying between fifty-nine and sixty-seven feet in diameter, which afforded accommodation for the garrison. The apartments, judging from the corbel stones still remaining, appear to have been arranged round the walls, converging towards the centre, from which they received their light, as from an open cupola. Externally there were neither loop-holes nor openings in the masonry, from which, as in other keeps, an army could be annoyed; so that it was only from the ramparts and battlements that the garrison could repel an assault.—See Dallaway's Rape of Arundel and Horsted's History.
Such in all probability was the 'Castrum de Harundel' when the Conqueror placed it in the hands of Roger Montgomery, and such as it had been when
erected by the wise policy of King Alfred. At this time the Keep appears to have comprised the whole strength of the place, the barbican or outer rampart excepted; so that to give it the strength and space of a Norman castle, by contributing those improvements which the circumstances of the time demanded, and of which its natural position was highly susceptible, engaged the first care of its Norman possessor. The external walls, accordingly, were faced with a new casing of Caen stone; the whole structure was supported at intervals by broad flat buttresses; and on the south-east side of the Keep an improved
entrance was effected, where the Norman art is still visible. It is a wide semicircular archway cut through the solid wall, ornamented on the inner side with a plain torus moulding, and terminated on the outer by a smaller arch, richly carved with the chevron and other orna ments in common use during the latter part o. the eleventh century.*
But of all the architectural improvements
effected by Roger Montgomery in the wide area beneath the Keep, the most conspicuous in the present day is the great Gateway. It consists of a square tower standing over an arched way, which forms the entrance to the court, and communicates with the Keep by a raised passage carried across the moat, and terminated by a flight of steps. The upper part of this tower is supposed to be the work of the thirteenth century; but the lower portion, comprising the whole of the covered-way, retains its original stamp, and presents a striking specimen of Norman taste. The arch is circular, without a keystone, and quite destitute of ornament. The arch, as well as all that remains of the ancient front of the tower, is composed of square blocks of Pulborough stone, the angles of which still preserve their original sharpness. A portcullis was formerly placed at the outer extremity of the passage, which was probably still further strengthened by a drawbridge over the fosse immediately beneath it.t-See the engravings.
The Barbican, or Bebis' Tower, as it is generally called, is another of those warlike adjuncts by which the Norman baron strengthened and improved his new residence. It occupies the north-west side of the ditch by which the Keep is surrounded, and, notwithstanding the ravages of siege and storm, presents many of the characteristic features of Norman architecture. It is an oblong tower, supported by a huge buttress at each of its angles, and originally was of considerable elevation; but during the Parliamentary siege, about to be noticed, the upper part was destroyed, and the temporary roof which now
+ For other particulars the reader may consult Wright-Caraccioli–Dallaway-Horsfield, and Tierney.
THE KEEP-THE BARBICAN-THE PRISON.
covers it was supplied at a later period. The whole is now invested with a luxuriant mantle of ivy, and presents, like the adjoining Keep, a green pyrainidal mass of foliage, through which at intervals the grey stone and white mortar are discernible. It is haunted ground
For there, 'tis said, 'mid scenes forlorn,
When midnight spreads her dreary pall,
Rings loudly from its ramparts tall.
away like fleeting clouds. Under the east end of the Castle is an immense bault, described by a late historian of the Castle as sixty-six feet in length by nearly twenty-one feet in width, and upwards of fourteen feet high. The arches are circular, and formed of square blocks of chalk strengthened by four transverse ribs of massive stone. The walls, varying in thickness, present at different parts externally a compact mass of seven feet and upwards. This is the dismal receptacle in which the unhappy captive whom the fortune of war had placed at the mercy of his feudal lord, or the culprit who had violated the laws, were shut up in miserable durance. Few have ever traversed that dreary vault without an involuntary shudder, as imagination conjured up the scenes of human agony that must have transpired unheard, unpitied, under the veil of its sepulchral darkness
Where oft, at the dark and midnight watch,
As the sentry walks his round,
Send forth a dismal sound.
A curious instance of escape from this dungeon, in connexion with the llaw of sanctuary, is recorded by Mr. Tierney, on the authority of Bishop Rede's Register :-A person named John Mot, having been committed on a charge of robbery, contrived to elude the vigilance of his keepers, passed the
enclosure of the castle, and had nearly succeeded in effecting his retreat, when his flight becoming known, the constable, assisted by a part of the inhabitants, followed in close pursuit. Finding that he was likely to be over taken, the fugitive turned to the College of the Holy Trinity, and seizing the ring attached to the gate, claimed the rights of sanctuary. The constable, however, appears to have doubted
the validity of this appeal to ecclesiastical protection, and the captive was forcibly disengaged, and hurried back to prison. But the circumstance got wind; rumours of the occurrence soon spread through the neighbourhood; the immunities of the church and the laws of sanctuary were said to have been violated; two of the parties who had aided the constable in securing the offender were summoned before the bishop, to answer the charge in
person. Being questioned, and found guilty, they were ordered to make a pilgrimage on foot to the shrine of St. Richard, at Chichester, to present an offering there according to their ability; to be cudgelled (fustigati) five times through the church of Arundel, and five times to recite the Pater-noster, the Ave, and the Creed, upon their knees before the crucifix at the high-altar. Before, however this sentence could be carried into execution, it was ascertained that, on discovery of the error which had been committed, the captive had been “restored to the church.” The cudgelling was therefore ordered to be remitted ; and an offering of a burning taper by each of the offending parties at the high-mass on the following Sunday, was substituted in its place.*
Of the Baronial Chapel, believed to have been erected at the same time, and now converted into the modern dining-room of the castle, little is known, beyond the fact of its having existed in the latter part of the thirteenth century t. During the minority of Richard Fitzalan, a royal patent was issued, by which we learn that the king, in right of the wardship which he possessed, presented to "the chapel of St. George, within the castle of Arundel.”I From that early period, down to the close of the last century, when the late Duke entered upon his plans for restoring the castle to its original splendour, this hallowed apartment had served as the family oratory of the Montgomeries, the Albinis, the Fitzalans, the Howards. But the rich and beautiful Gothic temple which the Duke has substituted has, in some degree, compensated for the metamorphosis to which the primitive altar of the family has been subjected. The spot, however, where an altar had stood for centuries—at which so many generations had knelt in their joy or their sorrow; had paid the tribute of gratitude in prosperity, and implored succour in adversity; at which the marriage benediction, the baptismal rite, and the solemn service for the dead, had been so long and often celebrated-such a spot, however transformed by the hand of man, to whatever secular purposes converted, possesses that inherent sanctity which no disguise can obliterate
Unseen a hallowed incense fills the air,
Register, R. f. 106. quoted in Tierney, vol. i. 44. + A.D. 1275. Tierney, i. 45. Pat. 3. Edw. I. na. :D ...