BODIAM CASTLE

Text by Michael Norfolk
Photographs by Michael Norfolk

Castles always hold a great fascination to many people and a favourite of mine is Bodiam Castle in East Sussex.

From the outside the castle, built around 1385, appears to be almost complete and undamaged.  It appears never to have seen a battle although seiges during the Wars of The Roses and the Civil War resulted in its interior being reduced to ruin.

Built by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a prominent local, it seems that rather than being constructed for defence against invading forces it was simply to reiterate his status and wealth.  Set in a delightful moated setting, its vision conjures up all the magic that castles evoke within and despite the destruction of the interior, there remains much to enjoy and explore.

After the destruction sustained during the 17th century, the 19th century saw renewed interest in the castle and a process of restoration began.  It was purchased by John Fuller in 1829 for the sum of 3,000 and later by George Cubbitt. However, it was the efforts of the last private owner, Lord Curzon, that resulted in the castle being in the condition it is in today.

Lord Curzon purchased Bodiam Castle in 1917 with the intention of making it habitable once more.  Despite this never coming to fruition an important restoration project commenced in 1919 and under the terms of his will, Bodiam Castle was transferred into the hands of The National Trust in 1926.


 

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