What to See in England
By Gordon Home
Public Domain Books
Bodiam Castle, Sussex
=How to get there.=–Train from Charing Cross, Cannon Street, or London Bridge. South-Eastern and Chatham Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Robertsbridge (4 miles from Bodiam). From Robertsbridge take train to Bodiam Station (which is close to the castle) on Rother Valley Light Railway. =Distance from London.=–51 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 1-1/2 to 3 hours.
1st 2nd 3rd =Fares.=–Single 8s. 4d. 5s. 3d. 4s. 2-1/2d. Return 14s. 8d. 10s. 6d. 8s. 5d.
=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"Castle Hotel." =Alternative Route.=–None.
Bodiam Castle is open to the public every day of the week except Sundays (tickets, obtainable at the keeper’s cottage, 6d. each; Thursdays, 1s. each).
There is practically no other moated castle in England which compares with Bodiam in its completeness. It was built about the year 1386, but its usefulness for defensive purposes, in view of the increasing destructiveness of weapons at that time, has been doubted. However, the knight who was responsible for its construction was Sir Edward Dalyngrudge, who fought at both Crecy and Poictiers, and must therefore have seen the primitive forerunner of the modern field-gun in use. The walls of the castle now enclose a grassy quadrangle, to which access is gained through a fine gateway, which still retains its outer iron portcullis. The three others, through which an attacking force was obliged to penetrate, have all disappeared. Although it has been stated that the parliamentary forces under Waller captured Bodiam Castle during the Civil War, it seems to be unlikely that such an attack was ever made; for in March 1645 the property was conveyed by the Earl of Thanet to one Nathaniel Powell of London, who was strongly in favour of the Commonwealth.
Lord Ashcombe, the present owner, has restored the walls very carefully, and the chapel and various private apartments with their fireplaces remain intact.
The castle buildings as a whole are a rectangular block entirely surrounded by the wide moat shown in the illustration. One crosses to the main gateway by a narrow raised pathway. The surface of the water during the summer is generally bright with water-lilies.
Bodiam Church is an Early English structure, now very much restored. It is on the hill, a few minutes’ walk from the castle.
[Illustration: BODIAM CASTLE.
One of the most perfect moated castles in England.]