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Historic England Research Records

Arundel Town Defences

Hob Uid: 392630
Location :
West Sussex
Arun
Arundel
Grid Ref : TQ0150007200
Summary : Arundel was a borough between 1066 and 1086. The town was defended on the east and south by the marsh and river respectively, but on the north and west a wall was added in 1295 to pre-existing defences. The earthworks consist of a possible promontory fort, an 11th century motte and civil war defences.
More information : (TQ 01530770) Earthwork (NR)
(TQ 01540731) St Mary's Gate (NR)
(TQ 01490764) Gateway (NR) (Remains of) (1)

Arundel was established as a borough between 1066 and 1086. The
castle (TQ 00 NW 101) was founded c. 1070. The town was defended
on the east and south by the marsh and river respectively, but
on the north and west & wall was added in 1295 to pre-existing
defences. (2-3)

Two series of defences appear to the north and west, an inner
and outer. (4)

OUTER SERIES:

The most northerly earthwork was alleged to have been the defences
of a promontory fort, but an account of 1275 refers to the making
and raising of the palisade which had fallen down from the
gate of Bogerwerth to the gate in the valley. The gate of
Bogerwerth has been equated with that at TQ 01490764 and if this
is correct it must imply that the earthworks were at least used
as a mediaeval defence. Eustace identifies two mounds at the
extreme angles of the vallum as possible sites of towers.
Foundations were found within the enclosed area and suggested
to have been a part of the town pre-1295 (see TQ 00 NW 8). The
course of this pre-1295 palisade is uncertain. The mention of two
gates and the omissions of Mary Gate may indicate the outer
course.

CIVIL WAR AND THE OUTER DEFENCES

Dallaway says these earthworks (ie those on the north) were
increased when the town and castle were put into a tenable state
by Lord Hopton before the siege. Eustace suggests that he
reused the 'old British Fosse' and constructed a wide ditch from
its north west angle down to the marsh ground of Park Valley.

INNER DEFENCE

A ditch and wall run from the castle wall to St Mary's Gate
and south west down Mount Pleasant and then south to Water or
Marsh Gate and the river. This wall appears to have been
built in 1295.

(TQ 01430720) Taylor suggests that the name Whytings Dyke applied
to a wooden palisade fixed between a row of lime trees which
stood along Poorhouse Hill (Mount Pleasant)

Arundel earthworks fall into three distinct groups:

1. A hillfort comprising a massive earthen rampart with a
deep outer ditch. It is U-shaped in plan, the ends of the work
resting upon the precipitous E slopes of the ridge which fall
to the valley of the River Arun.

2. In the 11th c., a Norman motte and bailey was constructed
upon the southern end of the hill fort and probably incorporated
the rampart. (The N ward is at a higher level than the S ward) (see
TQ 00 NW 101). The S side of the hill fort was also modified and
extended westwards in early Md times with a bank and ditch to
enclose the town.

3. In the Civil War, the N side of the hill fort was heightened,
and the ditch was deepened and turned at the NW corner to be
extended with a rampart on the S side to the marshes on the W
side of the ridge, so cutting off and enclosing the S end of
the ridge.

There is evidence to show that this latter work was formerly
part of an IA promontory fort. The rampart of the hill fort
clearly turns S at the NW corner. Consequently the reference to
the making and raising of the palisade in 1275 must refer to the
town defences between St Mary's Gate and Marsh Gate.

Also the name Bogerwerth would seem to apply to St Mary's Gate,
possibly the name it held prior to the founding of St Mary's
Chapel in 1415. (See 6" Map Diagram)
Earthworks: published 1:2500 survey revised.
Arundel Castle
St Mary's Chapel
Hospital of Holy Trinity or Maison Dieu
St Nicholas Church & Fitzalan Chapel
Castle Park
Dominican Priory (Site of) ( )

----------------------------------------
No evidence currently exists for a prehistoric origin for the
earthwork defences, although the presence of an Iron Age settlement
(TQ 00 NW 12) a little to the north and a Roman building in Tarrant
Street (TQ 00 NW 36) should be noted. Domesday Book records the
presence of a castrum, church and mill at Arundel in 1066, although
there is a debate as to what was meant by castrum. A possible
pre-Conquest coffin slab, apparently from the wall of Arundel Castle
(TQ 00 NW 101) (8a) may indicate the presence of a pre-Conquest
church in the area. Beresford regarded Arundel as a probable
replacement for the nearby Saxon Burgh of Burpham (TQ 00 NW 11) and
suggests that there may have been a civil settlement in the immediate
pre-Conquest period (8b). The castle, with its motte and twin baileys
was probably erected and the market place developed immediately after
the Conquest. Allcroft has suggested that the Domesday river port was
probably downstream, perhaps at Ford (8c). The town walls were
apparently erected in 1295, although they need not represent the
earliest enclosure of the town. The town was redefended during the
civil war (1642-9) but the town walls were subsequently demolished in
1659. The Arun may have remained a tidal estuary until the C16th. (8)

Arundel may have grown as Burpham declined. No port recorded at
Arundel in 1066, though the omission may have been a mistake as a
harbour and borough are noted in 1086. (9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1961
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Little Town of Arundel 1947, 7, 15, 22 (F D Allison)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8b
Source : New towns of the Middle Ages : town plantation in England, Wales and Gascony
Source details :
Page(s) : 492
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1967
Source Number : 8c
Source : Sussex County Magazine
Source details : (AH Allcroft)
Page(s) : 609-15
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Apr-30
Source Number : 9
Source : The south east to AD 1000
Source details :
Page(s) : 337
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1988
Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Arundel Borough & Castle 1922, 18-20, 59-60 (G W Eustace)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Annotated Record Map
Source details : Corr 6" (E C Curwen)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Hist of W Div of Sussex Rape of Arundel 1932, 192 (J Dallaway)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5a
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Mr Taylor Arundel Estate Clerk
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 VM 21-APR-52
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 ASP 12-JAN-70
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Historic towns in Sussex : an archaeological survey
Source details :
Page(s) : Oct-13
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1976
Source Number : 8a
Source : Sussex archaeological collections : relating to the history and antiquities of the counties of East and West Sussex
Source details : (PM Johnston)
Page(s) : 148-50
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 47 - 1904

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Promontory Fort
Evidence : Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Motte, Town Defences, Park
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Civil War
Monument End Date : 1649
Monument Start Date : 1642
Monument Type : Park, Town Defences
Evidence : Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WS 108
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 00 NW 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 392718
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 392732
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 392723
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 392715
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 392726
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TQ 00 NW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1952-04-21
End Date : 1952-04-21
Associated Activities : Primary, MAISON DIEU/HOLY TRINITY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1965-01-01
End Date : 1965-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TQ 00 NW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1970-01-12
End Date : 1970-01-12
Associated Activities : Primary, MEDIEVAL GATE, NORTH OF ARUNDEL CASTLE CRICKET GROUND
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31