Arundells was a Medieval Canonry in the thirteenth century and probably first used by Henry of Blunston, Archdeacon of Dorset, who died in 1316. From the mid-1550s the house was leased by the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral to lay tenants, notably including Richard Mompesson and John Wyndham. Much of the current house's appearance is due to John Wyndham who lived here between 1718 and 1750. In the 1800s it housed the Godolphin Girls' school and a boys' boarding school (not at the same time!). After a period of decay and neglect in the 1960s, when demolition was considered by the Chapter, Arundells was faithfully renovated in 1964 by Mr and Mrs Robert Hawkings, with further refurbishment by Edward Heath when he came to live here in 1985. Sir Edward was able to purchase the freehold of the property in 1992 which is now owned and run by the charity set up in his name, the Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation. Over many years and six distinct periods of architecture, many evident in the picture of the back of the house (above), Arundells has developed into one of the finest houses inside the Cathedral Close.
The name derives from James Everard Arundel, son of the 6th Lord Arundel of Wardour who married John Wyndham's daughter Ann.
Sir Edward came to live here in 1985, and his collections of musical and sailing memorabilia, Oriental and European ceramics, paintings (including William Wyllie, John Singer Sargent, John Piper, Winston Churchill, Walter Sickert, Augustus and Gwen John, John Nash, L S Lowry and many more), original political cartoons, Chinese and Japanese artworks, bronzes and photographs are all on display within.
The house is surrounded by a beautiful two-acre medieval walled garden stretching down to the confluence of the rivers Avon and Nadder with perfect views of Salisbury Cathedral.