Bodiam Castle, East Sussex
Bodiam, Robertsbridge | 13 miles from Rye
off B2244 (A268)
Bodiam Castle is surrounded by a wide moat which its high walls and flanking towers reflect upon the water, to make the castle feel larger and even more impressive. Whilst its walls are releatively thin and moat higher than its surrounding marshland, and therefore at risk from being drained at siege, whatever its potential defensive shortcomings, Bodiam appears the perfect castle in appearance.
The castle is easy to find and well signposted, providing car park and plenty of facilities. The inside of the castle is not so nearly as well preserved as the outside of the castle, but well worth the visit for any budding castle-finder.
~ History ~
1050's - Aelfhere, Earldoman of Mercia, holds his Saxon Hall and lands at Bodiam from King Edward the Confessor.
1060's - Following the Battle of Hastings Osbern, son of Hugh d'Eu, is granted the manor of Bodiam from William the Conqueror, and takes a new surname 'de Bodeham'. Through marriages the manor eventually passes to a Sussex family long established at Dalling Ridge, near East Grinstead.
1385 - King Richard II orders Sir Edward Dalyngrigge to 'strengthen and crenellate his manor house of Bodyham near the sea in the County of Sussex with a wall of stone and lime, and construct and make a castle thereof in defence of the adjucent countryside and for resistance against our enemies', in response to the threat of invasion and attacks from France who had sacked and pillaged the Sussex coastline inclduing Rye and Winchelsea ports for more than a decade.
1386 - From his considerable wealth amassed during the hundred years wars with France, war veteran Sir Edward commences the building of a new fortified manor at a new site navigable by the River Rother.
1387 - After more than fifteen years England finally regains control of the English Channel from the French.
1483 - King Richard III commissions to the Earl of Surrey and others to 'levy men in the counties of Kent and Sussex to besiege the castle of Bodyham which the rebels had seized'. The Lancastrian Lewknor family surrender to the Yorkists army with little resistance, but regain their castle following the Battle of Bosworth Field and the death of King Richard III.
1644 - Parliamentary forces take and dismantle Bodiam castle.
1829 - The castle is purchased by John Fuller to prevent its demolition.