25 July, 2010

Bognor Regis, Arundel and Amberley

Bognor isn't that nice, but I didn't stay there for very long. Bognor and Littlehampton (another dreary place) do have an art trail though. I upped sticks and went to Arundel, home of the recusant Duke of Norfolk (in West Sussex?) with their fairy tale castle. The Duke of Norfolk is the hereditary Earl Marshal responsible for the ceremonial relating to the Crown. If you're organising a coronation he's your man!
I went into the church to have a look around. The church is separated from the castle chapel by a wrought iron gate with a perspex screen, this is because the castle chapel is RC whereas the church is protestant. The attendant stared at me for having the affrontery to look into the castle chapel without paying for it. I simply stared back and lingered a bit longer than I would have! Pshaw - what a cheek. The protestant part of the church was a bit ordinary though, the chapel a bit more well appointed as befits some of the wealthiest nobs.
The tiny container vn museum in Arundel took me about 5 minutes to get around, including a pleasant conversation with the Lady in charge. Some of the Tower Hamlets Libraries are called IdeaStores so I wonder where they got the idea for the name from?

Just up the road from Arundel is Amberley Industrial Museum, mainly a road transport collection of Southdown busses with some craftworkers and an Electricity and a telecoms hall. Jam packed full of stuff it took me slightly more than the half day recommended, although I would advise going on a weekday in term time for maximum freedom from screaming kids.

THese pictures give a good impression of what's there that isn't (Tillings) Southdown.

The village of Amberley has its old castle (well really a fortified manor house although I'm not sure what the distinction is - Arundel is a castle but that's also a fortified manor house too. Amberley castle was first built by the Bishop of Chichester and, as is fitting, the castle abuts the church. The castle is as jealously guarded as ever with unfriendly notices saying 'inspection by appointment only' and prohibiting access to the lane where it stands. It was late so I did not trespass as I would have done had it been earlier.

The village has some lovely thatched cottages but is about a mile from the station for the morning commute.

The church has a romanesque chancel arch and some meadieval wall paintings. It is an impressive structure with long low sloping roofs.

I had a great day out in glorious weather!

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