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 Castles of England - Bodiam Castle

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Bodiam, East Sussex, England

Bodiam Castle is located near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, England. The castle is completely surrounded by a spring fed moat, with approaches from the north and south. It defended the upper reaches of the River Rother that was navigable as far as Bodiam in medieval times. The castle is rectangular in shape with a large round tower at each of the four corners, and a square tower on the centre of each side.

The castle well is in one of the corner towers, and the chapel in another tower. Although the moat gave it good protection from attack, the castle was more of a fortified residence than a military castle, as it did not have thick walls or extensive surrounding defences. The main gatehouse is on the centre of the North wall. The southern square tower has a second gate. Both gateways used to have bridges over the moat. The northern bridge had a right angle turn with the corner supported by an octagonal bastion. This provided defence to the main gate by exposing any attackers approaching along the bridge to fire from the north-west tower. Within the bailey is a ruined range of domestic buildings.

The castle is open to the public. Visitors can explore the medieval battlements, ramparts and moat, try on armour (on selected days in school holidays), visit the museum. The Terrace Room can be hired for wedding receptions, birthday parties and corporate entertaining.

Bodiam Castle is a late medieval moated castle built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III. The castle remained in the Dalyngrigge family until passing to Sir Thomas Lewknor and family in the late fifteenth century. Over the centuries it changed hands a number of times.

Most of the castle interior was destroyed by parliamentary forces during the English Civil War in 1645, but the exterior was undamaged. After the Civil War, it fell into decay until the 20th Century. The castle was bought by Lord Curzon in 1917. After restoring it, he gave it to the National Trust in September 1926.

The Arts
Bodiam Castle has been used as a location in several films and videos: Monty Python and the Holy Grail in an establishing shot identifying it as "Swamp Castle"; the music video for Saxon 1983 single "Power and the Glory"; the music video for Enya's song "The Celts"; Doctor Who episode, The King's Demons; Bodiam Castle was also used for the exteriors of Huntington Castle in the third season of Robin of Sherwood.

Other Castles in the Area
  Camber Castle, East Sussex
  Hastings Castle, East Sussex
  Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex
  Leeds Castle, Kent
  Pevensey Castle, East Sussex
  Scotney Castle, Kent

Scotney Castle
Bodiam Castle

Photograph by David Martin. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Scotney Castle
Inside Bodiam Castle

Photograph by Liz Williams. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Scotney Castle
Bodiam Castle

Photograph by Helmut Zozmann. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

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