The appearance of Bodiam Castle is exactly how many people imagine a medieval castle should look like. It has a square layout with a round tower at each corner, and a square tower midway along each wall. The entire castle is surrounded by a water filled moat. That it looks so perfect and picturesque may not be by accident for many people have debated whether the castle was really built as a defensive fortress or as an elaborate stately home.
A royal licence to crenellate his manor house was given to Edward Dallyngrigge in 1385 in order to protect the local area from a possible French invasion. This wealthy veteran of the Hundred Years War used the licence as an excuse to build an entirely new castle nearby. Little is known about the castle during the middle ages, but it doesn't appear to have been inhabited after the 15th century. Later owners of the castle took measures to preserve the building, most notably Lord Curzon who acquired the castle in 1917 and undertook a restoration of Bodiam. Thanks to the work he carried out it is now possible to climb most of the towers and walk on top of some of the walls.
- 3 miles south of Hawkhurst, 3 miles east of A21 Hurst Green midway between Tunbridge Wells and Hastings
- Bodiam Castle, Bodiam, near Robertsbridge, East Sussex, TN32 5UA
- The National trust. Open to the public. Admission fee
- For further information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk
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