The House

Arundells is one of the finest houses in the Cathedral Close bringing together six distinct architectural styles. The house was originally a medieval canonry, with the first recorded occupant being Henry of Blunston, Archdeacon of Dorset, who lived here from 1291 until his death in 1316.

Leonard Bilson, another Canon, lived here until he was pilloried and imprisoned for acts of sorcery and magic in 1571.

A lease of the property was taken by Sir Richard Mompesson in 1609. He undertook major restoration works and the lease was transferred through his wife to her family, in whose occupation it remained until the end of the Century.

John Wyndham became the Tenant in 1718 and much of the re-building work that he undertook resulted in the house that you see today.

The name “Arundells” comes from James Everard Arundel, son of the 6th Lord Arundel, who had married John Wyndham’s daughter, Ann. The Arundel’s were a distinguished Roman Catholic family and Jesuit Priests were sometimes secreted in the attic.

Arundells hosted the Godolphin Girls School (and later a boys boarding school) between 1839 and 1844. During the Second World War the house was used by the Red Cross as a centre for their library service and as a wool depot.

The property fell into disrepair and demolition was considered following a long period of neglect. Extensive refurbishment works were undertaken by Mr and Mrs Robert Hawkings in 1964.