Visitors to Arundel Castle in West Sussex will be able to enjoy its recently opened new water gardens, with a variety of wildlife to observe and a new thatched boathouse and roundhouse.
A two-year project has preceded the opening of the water gardens, which boasts three ponds connected by a boardwalk and a rustic bridge. The ponds themselves are the historic ‘stew ponds’ in which the castle’s and friary’s inhabitants kept fish for eating in stews.
Now, the area has been given a new lease of life that has seen swans returning to raise cygnets, ducks with ducklings and coots with their chicks.
Head gardener Martin Duncan has re-designed the historic ‘stew ponds’ at Arundel Castle, keeping the original framework of the ponds. He worked with the estate foresters to sustainably source the timber for the boathouse and roundhouse which were built by local artisans Kevin Coull and Bradley Hanson. The thatching was completed by a Master Thatcher, Gavin McDonald, and his sons.
Martin commented: “We have created this wonderful garden for visitors to enjoy the water plants, wildflowers and wildlife in a way that feels unobtrusive and natural. The thatched boathouse and roundhouse blends beautifully with the charming scenery while serving as a focal point for visitors.
“It’s a safe haven for wildlife and a lovely outdoor space for our visitors to relax in. We’re delighted to see people enjoying it.
“The Arundel Castle Garden team have done a wonderful job in the planting up of the water gardens and creating wildflower areas. The water lilies were placed from our rowing boat, Jemima Puddle-Duck.”
Elsewhere in the gardens, visitors this month can expect to see an array of tropical colours from lilies to displays of enormous dinner-plate sized dahlias, as well as an abundance of fruit and vegetables in the organic kitchen garden.
Arundel Castle reopened its gardens to visitors on July 8, and its interior will open on Wednesday, August 5. Special ticket prices have been launched, £10 for an adult gardens-only ticket or £15 for the castle and gardens.
Children’s tickets are just £5 and children under five years go free. The castle is open Tuesday-Sunday from August 5, as well as the Bank Holiday Monday.
Arundel Castle has been certified as ‘Good to Go’ by VistEngland.
For more information, visit: arundelcastle.org.