A Brief History of Bodiam Castle

Never heard of Bodiam Castle? Located in West Sussex, England, this 14th-century moated castle was once the home of Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, who played a pivotal role in the First Barons’ War.

The castle fell into disrepair after Sir Edward died, and it was sold to the National Trust in 1926.

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Today, visitors can explore the castle’s gardens and moat as well as its inside rooms, which are also furnished to recreate what life would have been like back in its day.

“Bodiam is the most romantic of English castles, and has all that it takes to fulfill our dreams of what a castle should be.” – Anthony Emery, historian of medieval architecture

The History

Bodiam castle was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a knight and former soldier in the Hundred Years’ War. The castle is a 14th-century moated castle with an unusual octagonal design. It stands on the banks of the River Rother, close to the village of Bodiam. The castle was besieged and captured by Parliamentarian forces during the English Civil War in 1645 and has been uninhabited ever since.

Bodiam Castle Castles in England

Bodiam Castle’s octagonal design is intriguing because it doesn’t follow earlier designs for defensive castles built at this time. There are no records to show why Sir Edward chose to break from tradition, but historians speculate that it may have been due to lack of money or time.

Accessibility, opening times, facilities and prices

Bodiam Castle, located in East Sussex, England, is a spectacular castle. Built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, Bodiam has been occupied by many different families over the years. In 1940 the castle was sold to a private owner and it became uninhabited until 1993 when it opened as a tourist attraction.

“Bodiam Castle is a masterful display of medieval military architecture, with its wide moat, sturdy walls, and strategically placed towers.” – Charles Phillips, author of “Medieval Castles”

The site has been designated by English Heritage as one of the most important examples of early 14th century military architecture.

It is open all year round and can be accessed from nearby towns via public transport or car parks.

Entry is £13 for adults and £7 for children aged 5-16 years old with concessions available for groups and family ticket prices too.

Bodiam Castle in medieval England
Bodiam castle is a stunning medieval castle that was built in medieval England

Bodiam Castle Tours

Bodiam is open to the public. Tours are available every day at 11:00, 12:30, and 2:00. Admission costs £14 for adults and £7 for children under 16. Visitors may also wander the grounds at no cost. There is visitor information inside the castle, as well as in the barn nearby where horse-drawn carriages are parked.

“Bodiam is not simply a beautiful ruin, but an important reminder of the military and social history of medieval England.” – Trevor Rowley, historian and author of “The Norman Heritage, 1066-1200”

Where to stay nearby

Bodiam Castle is located in England, near the town of Robertsbridge. There is a visitor center on-site that houses information about the castle and its history as well as providing maps to help with exploring the grounds. The Hundred Years’ War led to significant changes to Bodiam’s layout, but visitors will still be able to see some original parts of the structure. One hundred years ago, Bodiam Castle was in a state of ruin, but has since been restored and is now one of England’s best preserved castles.

Visitors who plan on staying nearby can stay at the Royal Hotel Robertsbridge or The Ship Inn in Battle.

What else to see locally

Bodiam Castle was built in the early 14th century to defend the area against French invasion. It is one of the most perfect examples of a moat and bailey castle, and has been designated as a Grade I listed building. Today it is managed by English Heritage and visitors are welcome to explore its grounds. Visitors should take care as some parts are steep and uneven.

  • Facilities on site include
  • Toilet facilities,
  • Picnic tables,
  • Car parking
  • Visitor information points with staff available to answer questions about the history of the castle.
  • The ticket office is open from 10am-4pm (last admission 3pm) every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day when it opens at 1pm.
Bodiam Castle Gatehouse
The Gatehouse at Bodiam Castle

Nearby activities

Bodiam castle is just a short drive away from the heart of Sussex and a short walk away from the quaint village. There are plenty of activities to do in the area, such as visiting the famous lavender fields in nearby Beddingham.

Or, you can visit nearby Kingston-upon-Thames to go wine tasting. If you’re feeling brave and want to explore England’s haunted past, then try visiting nearby Walberton where many people have witnessed ghostly figures.

“Bodiam Castle is one of the finest examples of a medieval castle in Britain, and it offers a window into the world of chivalry, warfare, and feudal society.” – Nigel Saul, Professor of Medieval History at the University of London, author of “English Church Monuments in the Middle Ages”

Getting there by public transport

Getting to Bodiam Castle is easy by car or public transport. You can take a train from London to Battle, and then catch a taxi or bus the rest of the way. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Hastings.

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