Bodiam Castle, England: attractions, history, interesting facts

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Bodiam Castle, England: attractions, history, interesting facts
Bodiam Castle, England: attractions, history, interesting facts
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In the Middle Ages, Great Britain constantly suffered from the raids of its neighbors. It was for this reason that a huge number of defensive structures were erected in this country at that time. One of them is Bodiam Castle, built in the 14th century in East Sussex. This is a worthy example of medieval military architecture, preserved in excellent condition. The fortress today is a popular tourist attraction, anyone can visit it.

History of the construction of Bodiam Castle

bodiam castle

Edward Dellingridge in 1377 returned to his native lands from the battlefields of the Hundred Years War with France. A descendant of a noble old family, having gone through numerous battles, received invaluable life experience, the glory of a valiant warrior, and also saved up a good amount of money. We alth and good reputation helped Edward marry Elizabeth Varley and receive dowry lands belonging to the county of Sussex. At that time, the Hundred Years War was still going on. King Richard II personally ordered to strengthen all wooden estatesand estates. Edward Dellingridge decided not just to rebuild his estate, but to erect a new fortress. A place was chosen near the Rother River. Construction began in 1385, and in 1388 Bodiam Castle was already habitable and protected from enemy attacks.

Description of the fortress

The new castle was conceived as residential. This is a special category of English fortresses, which were intended not only for military purposes, but also for the comfortable life of their owners in peacetime. Bodiam Castle had a number of private, public and service buildings. It had luxurious living quarters, an equipped kitchen, and halls for receiving guests. There was also a kitchen, barracks for soldiers, a dungeon for prisoners. The pride of the castle is a large hall, a room that was the center of life of the defensive complex. Such fortresses were considered full-fledged analogues of ordinary manor houses. They were supposed not only to hide from enemies, but also to receive guests, demonstrating the well-being of the family. In plan, the castle has the shape of an almost regular square. Today it can only be reached by crossing a wooden bridge over a moat with water. At the time of construction, similar bridges were on all sides. Bodiam is a fortress, very well defended. Round towers, hinged narrow loopholes and other “novelties” of military architecture of that period guaranteed a high level of security in the event of an enemy offensive.

Wonders of 14th century engineering

bodyam castle england

If you look at Bodiam Castle from afar, it seems that it grows out of the water. And it's not optical.illusion. A deep ditch was dug around the fortress walls, later filled with water, the width of which reached 200 meters. For its time, the fortress has a high level of comfort. Each room has a fireplace, a cunning system of stove heating of the castle is organized. Chimneys are laid in the walls of buildings according to a special scheme. When the stoves were heated, they filled with hot air and warmed up the walls well. Another technical novelty for its time is full-fledged latrines with sewage. The architects have thought of every detail to make the fortress impregnable and comfortable for life.

Bodiam Castle: the history of the fortress and all its owners

Bodiam castle in east sussex england

Edward Dellingridge, who built the fortress, never had time to live in it. By inheritance, the castle passed to his son - John. After a few generations, the glorious family of Dellingridge was interrupted. The new owner of the fortress was Thomas Lewknor, who became famous for supporting the Lancasters during the Wars of the Roses. King Richard III in 1483 accused him of high treason and ordered the siege of the castle. Thomas Lewknor surrendered without a fight, and only thanks to this the fortress was not destroyed. A couple of years later, in 1485, Henry VII ascended the royal throne. The new king returned Bodiam Castle to the Lewknor family. In the period from 1588 to 1830, the fortress changed four owners. Unfortunately, not a single family paid proper attention to the castle. In 1830, the fortress was put up for auction, it was acquired by John Fuller. This man really wantedto restore the old building. The thing is that in recent years the English castle of Bodiam was abandoned, no one lived in it. The historic building could have been turned into ruins even then, fortunately, this did not happen.

Revival of the fortress

John Fuller, who bought the fortress in 1830, began to actively restore it. For unknown reasons, he was unable to complete the restoration he had begun, and very soon the castle changed two more owners. Each of the new owners sought to maintain and improve the condition of their acquisition. The last private owner of this unique building was Lord Curzon. In his will, he ordered after his death to transfer the fortress to the National Trust for the Protection of British Monuments. The Lord died in 1925, his last will was fulfilled. Like many other castles in England, Bodiam Castle has entered the public domain. Almost immediately, this attraction became available for tourist visits. Today, the fortress is still in the hands of the National Trust, an organization that preserves the architectural heritage of Great Britain.

Interesting facts about the fortress

bodiam castle english bodiam castle

Built as a defensive structure, Bodiam Castle (England) was never used for its intended purpose. But if the siege did occur, the defenders of the fortress had every chance to withstand it. The castle has large cellars for storing food and drinks. A well was dug in the inner territory, which has survived to this day. Total inThe fortress has 10 spiral stone staircases, 33 fireplaces, at least 28 sewer drains. The castle even has its own chapel. For its construction, it was necessary to “move a little” the north-eastern fortress wall. Relative to the opposite, it protrudes 2.7 meters into the ditch.

Life at Bodiam Castle: Myths and True Facts

It is worth paying attention to the fact that for its time the castle was incredibly luxurious and comfortably equipped. The interiors were rich and varied. It would seem that living in such conditions with a view from the windows of the green fields and the water surface is just a dream. However, many experts agree that this is not entirely true. It is worth noting that for the climate of Great Britain a completely normal phenomenon is high humidity and a large amount of precipitation. The situation is aggravated by a moat, constantly filled with water, surrounding the castle along the perimeter. Despite the well-thought-out heating system and the presence of a large number of fireplaces, it was almost always cold and damp in the interior of the castle. Perhaps it is for this reason that the fortress constantly changed its owners. In addition, most of the stairs in it are spiral and rather narrow. It is almost impossible for two people to break up on them.

The state of the castle today

bodiam castle attractions uk

There is no trace left of once lush interiors today. Tourists are met only by the stone walls of the once impregnable stronghold. You can get to the castle by the preserved bridge. No interior decorationbut you can carefully examine the old brickwork and even touch it with your hands. Interesting installations depicting fragments of serf life in the Middle Ages await tourists in the best-preserved rooms of the castle. A variety of cultural events are regularly held within the walls of the castle. These are knightly tournaments and medieval feasts, performances of bards and theatrical performances. During such events, the fortress truly comes alive.

What to see during a visit to Bodiam?

Tourists are offered a sightseeing tour of the castle. During the tourist programs, you can learn the whole history of the ancient fortress and many interesting facts. Visitors are also allowed to climb the fortress wall and enjoy the picturesque views of the surroundings. The interior of the castle has not been restored. In some rooms you can see small exhibitions. There is a mini-museum of armor and weapons, where every tourist can try on their favorite helmet, armor or chain mail. In one of the halls there is an exposition - "refectory". There is always a table set with delicious dishes. A souvenir shop is open at the castle, where various items with the symbols of the attraction are sold.

Castles of england bodiam castle bodiam castle

Tourist information

We advise everyone who wants to visit Bodiam Castle in East Sussex (England) to remember its opening hours. Tours run daily from 7 February to 31 October. From November 6 to February 6, tourists can visit this attraction only on weekends, until 16.00. The castle is completely closed forvisits from 24 to 26 February inclusive. During the active tourist season, you can visit the fortress from 10.00 to 18.00. Where is the incredibly beautiful and majestic Bodiam Castle located? Attractions in the UK of this level are not difficult to find. The fortress is located about 100 kilometers from London, in the county of East Sussex. The nearest town is the village of Robertsbridge.

Tours

Medieval castle bodiam england

Excursions to the historical monuments of architecture in England are incredibly popular among tourists from all over the world. Bodiam Castle is located in a very picturesque area. It is surrounded by an old park, in the warm season, due to the riot of greenery, the fortress walls are almost invisible. A wide moat was dug along the perimeter of the fortress walls. From a distance it seems that the fortification grows directly from the lake. In clear weather, the walls of the castle are reflected in the mirror of an artificial lake; you can admire this optical illusion for an infinitely long time. This fortress captivates with its special atmosphere. The medieval castle of Bodiam (England) is not like many other fortifications. Despite the lack of interiors and historical exhibits, a tour of this fortress will not be boring. Walking under the battlements, it is not difficult to imagine what the castle looked like several centuries ago. Do not forget to take photos during the tour as a keepsake. If you believe the reviews of tourists, very beautiful pictures are obtained here. In the lake in front of the castle, water lilies grow and swimducks. Birds trustingly approach tourists and beg for treats.

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