Castle Goring

Worthing, West Sussex

Castle Goring

Castle Goring is a magnificent and unique 18th century building. It combines a Greco-Palladian south elevation with a gothic, castellated north elevation. Its architectural quality is demonstrated by its Grade I Listed status. The property is located within the South Downs National Park and lies between Brighton and Arundel.

From records it would appear John Biagio-Rebecca, who was enowned in the Sussex area was the original architect, however, it is believed this would have been a partnership with another party who to date is unknown. The south elevation is yellow brick and is thought to be a copy of the Villa Lante. The Gothic elevation is constructed of flint and sandstone, and it is believed that it was designed to replicate Arundel Castle which lies about 5 miles to the west.

The gross internal area of the main house is approximately 15,600sqft and is set within approximately 7.97 acres of land. The property has a number of fine rooms on the ground and second floor with ornate ceilings and detailed plaster work.


Castle Goring has an intriguing history and is understood to be the only large house in Sussex built by the Shelley family. Sir Bysshe Shelley, grandfather of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, commissioned the property. Construction is thought to have begun in the 1790s and continued for a period of 15 years or more. The intention was that the property would be lived in by Percy Shelley, however, following his unexpected death aged 29, this never materialised.

In 1825, the building was let to Captain (later Vice Admiral) Sir George Brooke-Pechel, fourth Baronet of Paglesham, and Lord of the Manor of Angmering, who was also the MP for Brighton from 1835-1860.

In 1835, Mary Shelley as widow of the poet who had inherited the property sold it to Brooke-Pechel. Brooke-Pechel’s daughter, Adelaide married Sir Alfred F C Somerset, who was deputy Lieutenant and Justice of the Peace for Middlesex. Their daughter Gwendoline married her cousin Arthur Fitzroy Somerset, who held the same offices for Sussex.

Between 1871 and 1880 the property was inherited by Sir Percy Burrell’s family through the female line. As the Burrell Family had no heir, the property then reverted to the Somerset family. The property was occupied by the family until it was requisitioned during the Second World War for use by Canadian troops. After the war, the house was used as a language school as well as associated residential and business uses. The property remains in the ownership of the Somerset family to this day.