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Now is… taking a leap

Thursday 9 August 2018

On Friday 28 and Saturday 29 September, Chestnut Tree House will be hosting our exclusive abseil down Arundel Castle to celebrate our 15th birthday year. 400 brave participants will be taking on the challenge of abseiling 180 ft down the iconic Bake House Tower to raise money for their local children’s hospice.

Over these two days they will have fundraised enough to collectively pay for 400 hours of care at Chestnut Tree House. Places for the abseil have currently sold out but you can still join our waiting list to be the first to hear when a place becomes available on this amazing challenge.

Ahead of the abseil we’ve picked out our top 10 surprising facts about Arundel Castle.

  • Arundel Castle was built overlooking the River Arun at the end of the 11th century by Roger de Montgomery, the first Earl of Arundel and one of William the Conqueror’s most loyal barons.
  • Arundel Castle isn’t just one of England’s longest inhabited country houses; it’s also been the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors for over 850 years.
  • Arundel Castle was one of the first English country houses to be fitted with electric lighting; integral fire-fighting equipment; service lifts and central heating.
  • Two of King Henry VIII’s eight wives – Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard – were nieces of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Howard, a prominent Tudor politician.
  • The Castle’s oldest feature is the Motte, which was constructed in 1068 and is over 100 feet high from the dry moat.
  • HRH Queen Victoria & Prince Albert stayed at Arundel Castle for three days in 1846. Special furniture for the bedroom and the library was commissioned for their visit, which can now be seen on display in the castle bedrooms.
  • The 16th Duke of Norfolk, Bernard Marmaduke Fitzalan-Howard assisted in organising both King George VI’s and Queen Elizabeth II’s coronations in 1937 and 1953 respectively.
  • Anne Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk (1975-2013) was a leading figure in the early days of the British hospice movement, and founded the charity Help the Hospices – now Hospice UK – in 1984. She became the charity’s first Chairperson and then in 1998 its President.
  • The 16th Duke of Norfolk’s daughter, Lady Sarah Clutton, was Honorary President of Chestnut Tree House from 2003 (when the hospice was built) until her death in 2015. We owe her a huge amount of kindnesses, small and large, not least of which is the land upon which Chestnut Tree House was built.
  • Henry Fitzalan-Howard, Earl of Arundel and eldest son and heir of the current Dukedom of Norfolk, is currently Chestnut Tree House’s Honorary President. It is thanks to Henry and the Dukedom that we are able to organise this fantastic Abseil down the iconic Bake House Tower to celebrate our hospice’s 15th Birthday.
  • You can find out more information about Arundel Castle here.