Table of Contents

Bodiam


Basic Info


Name: Bodiam
Location: Sussex
Country: England

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Content


Bodiam Castle stands near the river Rother, between Kent and Sussex. It was built by Sir Eddward Dalyngrygge who was granted permission to fortify his house against a possible invasion from France. As soon as it as finished the English regained control of the Channel and Bodiam became redundant. Dalyngrygge built a symmetrical quadrangular stone castle surrounded by an artificial lake. Bodiam fell into ruins but the outer walls were restored by Lord Curzon early in this century.


Visitor Accounts


Gordon Herndon, 74, from Leesbur.Viginia,USA, wrote:
I lived in England several years and visited Bodiam Castle over 150 times. I was awed in the hypnotic beauty and symmetry of the castle walls and moat. My wife and I plan to visit England in the next few months and this beautiful place will be on our agenda not only o see it but to view it as one of he most outstanding placed I frequently visited and have wanted to share. I'd like to see the apartments rebuilt in the center to resurrect it in its complete beauty. I've photographed it thousands of times in color and black and white but have given all of my photos away.
Melissa Fisher, 15, from USA, wrote:
The Bodiam Castle, located in East Sussex, England along the border with Kent, is a site that is breathtaking. Made of a sandy, brown stone, the castle seems to float majestically in a water-filled moat. Surrounding the moat is a broad expanse of greenery, making the perfect setting for this fairytale castle. Not always has the Bodiam Castle been so magnificent, though. The Bodiam Castle began simply as a Saxon hall in as early at A.D. 1066, as recorded in the Doomsday Book. After a Norman Conquest, the hall was taken over by a Norman family, the Bodehams, who controlled the entire area. The hall, or more formally known as the Manor of Bodiam, was changed into the manor house for the Bodehams and become the foundation for the construction of the present-day Bodiam Castle. For three centuries the hall was a place of construction and renovation. Threats in A.D. 1385f from French forces allowed King Edward the Third to grant Sir Edward Dalyngrigge a license to strengthen and construct the hall into a castle. Edward Dalyngrigge had came into control of the Manor of Bodiam in 1378 when he married Elizabeth Warddeux, who's family had also married into possession of the Manor of Bodiam. Though, the actual Bodiam Castle is not the site of where the manor house was, it is clearly linked. Edward, not wanting the manor house changed, decided to build a whole new castle nearer to the river, Rother. The castle served as a military stronghold and a place of residence for the lord and his family. The castle was never actually attacked by the forecasted invasion of the French. For many years the castle was in peace. In the A.D. 1480's, the castle was surrendered to the Crown after being besieged. After being regained by the Lewknor family in the A.D. 1500's, it belonged to John Tufton, the second Earl of Thanet from A.D. 1639 to A.D. 1645. During the English Civil War and after the Bodiam Castle had been victimized by the Parliamentary forces, Cromwell ordered the castle to be torn apart. The inside of the Bodiam Castle was completely destroyed, but the outside was left very much intact. Ownership of the Bodiam Castle has been passed though many hands during the last 270 years. During that time the castle has received very little attention and repairs have been neglected. In 1917, though, Narquess Curzon came into ownership and things began to change. He began restoration and continued in its repairs up until his death in 1925. The Bodiam Castle, now, rightfully belongs to the National Trust, which keeps the site of the castle and the castle in excellent shape. During the time when the Bodiam Castle was built, castles were built to last and were to be comfortable and secure for the lords or nobles that resided in them. The outward appearance of the castles helped in showing the lords of nobles wealth and rank. Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, who began the building of the Bodiam Castle mixed what he saw in France and what was popular in England. He borrowed the comfort and luxuries from the French and the strength and stability from the English fortresses. The style in which Dalyngrigge built and furnished the Bodiam Castle made it one of the most modern during its time.
The Bodiam Castle is build with symmetrical towers and a broad open court. The living quarters or apartments are spread throughout the quadrangle sides facing to the interior of the castle and the court. Though the castle is sealed off from the outside world, inside it is open and airy. The way that it was built showed the end of the Middle Ages. The lord's quarters were well connected with an escape route that would lead to at least one of the three different draw bridges. Spiral staircases led up through the towers and other stairways wound their way through the halls and corridors. Though, believed to be strong at the time and a fortress against the enemies the castle was not built well enough to withstand a large-scale attack. Luckily that has never been put to the test and never likely will.
Nick, 13, from Missouri, USA, wrote:
I am currently doing a report on the Bodiam castle in my computers class. There is little info about this castle on the web… and the same info is usually stated again. But this castle is Wonderful looking!! I have never visited this castle but I want to. Its an awesome castle!!
Nick, 13, from USA, wrote:
The Bodiam castle is a nice one. It is wonderful for taking pictures. If you are ever in Sussex go and see it. There is not any good info any where on the web. its driven me INSANE.
Scarlett, 13, from California, wrote:
I think this castle is a beautiful piece of work it is perfect for kids to do a project or anything else well that is all I think of it.
Cristal. 16, from Texas, wrote:
This castle is very beautiful. I have been to every castle in England, except for two of them. I have also stayed in 2 of them. My family, the Pennington's, had their own castle, which I have visited the most. But no castle I have ever been to has even come close to the Bodiam castle. I love the structure of it. I just wish there was more information on it on the net. I am doing a report over Bodiam Castle, but there's hardly any info on it anywhere! We have to write a 4 page report over it-and I think there should be more info on it. Your site doesn't have that much info, but I love the picture.
Lauren 14, from USA, wrote:
I am currently doing a school project on Bodiam castle. I found that it has a lot of history, and not only has beauty but defenses. The castle is wonderful- but I do recommend bringing a raincoat !!Also watch out for the sheep poo!! ok- I'm sure I've given you some teenage insight :) Bodiam is definitely worth seeing!!
Jenny Lopez, 19, from Canada, wrote:
I visited Sussex in England in June and I visited this magnifique castle as part of a tour! I think it's an amazing piece of history and it is a wonderful place to visit! If you are ever in Sussex I encourage that you see the Bodiam castle.
Jim Parker, 26, from USA, wrote:
This Castle is quite breathtaking indeed! Recommended for any age, though you will get quite tired. It is very enjoyable and will please many castle-loving people. Hint: Take a camera with PLENTY of film. You will treasure these forever.
Edgar Locke, 47, from UK wrote:
I visited Bodiam Castle recently. If you have an idea in your mind of what a typical castle looks like, this is it. Another castle I love, indeed I grew up near it, is Amberley Castle in West Sussex, built at the same time as Bodiam. You get a great view of the castle from the train as it slows down to call at Amberley Station. The first mansion on the site was the home of St Richard, Bishop of Chichester. St Richard's famous prayer is displayed on a plaque on the wall separating the castle from the church. It's a castle I strongly recommend you describe on this site
Neill Cooper. 40+, from UK wrote:
The best Castle in the world! Greatly enjoyed by our (and other) young children. The perfect exterior is just what one hopes of a castle, but rarely sees. The inside is well worth exploring. Lots of special activity days, such a Robin Hood visit (yes, it is not really RH country), jousting, Easter egg hunts (!?). Also a large park, sheep, a river, a local steam railway. Not to be missed. Free to National Trust members.
Mike Stempo, 44, from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA, wrote:
For many people, Bodiam Castle is a mind's eye view of what a castle would look like (unless of course you're into Disneyesque translations). My children stood in awe the first time they set eyes on Bodiam Castle. They explored and imagined themselves the original occupants for hours. It is well worth the trip and can be included in a tour of Leeds and Hever Castles without too much trouble.