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The ancestral home of the dukes of Norfolk, Arundel Castle is a much-restored mansion of considerable importance. Its legend is associated with some of the great families of England -- the Fitzalans and the powerful Howards of Norfolk. This castle received worldwide exposure when it was chosen as the backdrop for The Madness of King George (it was "pretending" to be Windsor Castle in the film).

Arundel Castle has suffered destruction over the years, particularly during the civil war, when Cromwell's troops stormed its walls, perhaps in retaliation for the 14th earl of Arundel's (Thomas Howard) sizable contribution to Charles I. In the early 18th century, the castle had to be virtually rebuilt, and in late Victorian times it was remodeled and extensively restored again. Today it's filled with a valuable collection of antiques, along with an assortment of paintings by Old Masters, such as Van Dyck and Gainsborough.

The latest attraction is the first-time opening of the Gate House. In various rooms you can see exhibits of the civil war that was fought at the castle between 1642 and 1645. Costumed mannequins and an audio presentation bring this former era to life.

Surrounding the castle, in the center off High Street, is a 445-hectare (1,100-acre) park whose scenic highlight is Swanbourne Lake.