SLIDESHOW: Carpet of Flowers at Arundel

People from across the county have descended on Arundel Cathedral for the annual Carpet of Flowers.

Each year, thousands come by coach, car, bus and train to see a stunning 93-foot long Carpet of Flowers which is laid out each year along the central aisle of the cathedral.

JPCT 280513 S13221176x Arundel Cathedral. Carpet of Flowers -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 280513 S13221176x Arundel Cathedral. Carpet of Flowers -photo by Steve Cobb

The tradition of the Carpet of Flowers was begun by Henry, 15th Duke of Norfolk, soon after the church of St Philip Neri was completed in 1873.

It was not until 1965 that the church became Arundel Cathedral.

In the early years the flowers were grown and laid by gardeners on the Norfolk Estate and then in the mid-1950s, when the estate has less staff, Miss Le Sage, a teacher at the then Tortington School said she would supply additional flowers. Her gardeners joined with estate gardeners to carry on the tradition.

In 1970, when she retired, some women of the parish got together and began the carpet as it is known today.

They extended the width of the carpet from four feet to six feet, and in recent years the original length of the carpet - 98 feet - was shortened to enable visitors and particularly wheelchairs to get round each end of it.

Today (Wednesday), it is open for viewing until 5pm. Solemn Mass will be held at 5.30pm and will be presided over by the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, the Rt Rev Kieran Conway.