Town overlooked by castle
|Area||12.13 km2 (4.68 sq mi) |
|Population||3,475 (Civil Parish.2011)|
|o Density||286/km2 (740/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|o London||49 miles (79 km) NNE|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
The much-conserved town has a medieval castle and Roman Catholic cathedral. Although smaller in population than most other parishes, Arundel has a museum and comes second behind much larger Chichester in its number of listed buildings in West Sussex. The River Arun runs through the eastern side of the town.
Arundel was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Reform Act 1835. From 1836 to 1889 the town had its own Borough police force with a strength of three. In 1974 it became part of the Arun district, and is now a civil parish with a town council.
The name comes from Old English Harhunedell, "valley of horehound", and is first recorded in the Domesday Book.Folk etymology, however, connects the name with the Old French word arondelle "swallow", a diminutive form of arunde or aronde, and swallows appear on the town's arms.
Arundel civil parish occupies an area somewhat larger than its built-up clusters, with the old town towards the north and the new to the south, separated by a main road.
Arundel town is a major bridging point over the River Arun as it was the lowest road bridge until the opening of the Littlehampton swing bridge in 1908. Arundel Castle was built by the Normans to protect that vulnerable fairly wooded plain to the north of the valley through the South Downs. The town later grew up on the slope below the castle to the south. The river was previously called the Tarrant and was renamed after the town by antiquarians in a back-formation.
Arundel includes meadows to the south but is clustered north of the A27 road, which narrowly avoids the town centre by a short and congested single carriageway bypass. Plans for a more extensive, HQDC bypass were debated intensely between 1980 and 2010 and a junction was built for it at Crossbush. In Spring 2018, Highways England published their preferred route for the new bypass. During 2018-19 there is a further period of consultation when views on a more detailed design for the four-mile dual carriageway will be sought.
Arundel railway station is on the Arun Valley Line. The Monarch's Way long-distance footpath passes through the town and crosses the river here, while just under five miles north and north-west of the town the route of the South Downs Way runs.
The town itself lies outside the boundaries of the South Downs National Park.
Arundel is home to one of the oldest Scout Groups in the world. 1st Arundel (Earl of Arundel's Own) Scout Group was formed in 1908 only a few weeks after Scouting began. Based in an HQ in Green Lane Close, it has active sections of Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts and Scouts.