Now considered a “picturesque ruin,” Bodiam Castle was built in 1385 and was designed both as a family home and as one of England’s defensive structures to protect what is now East Sussex from invasion by France.
Bodiam’s exterior walls are almost all intact, while the interior remains give the visitor a vision of what life at Bodiam was like for its Medieval and Renaissance inhabitants.
Bodiam’s original wooden portcullis — the spiked gate in the doorway — is an extremely rare example. It was attached with ropes, chains, and pulleys, and could be quickly lowered when the castle was threatened.
Now owned and protected by the National Trust, Bodiam can be toured by visitors and is a popular field trip site for school children. Spiral stone staircases lead to battlements and open viewing platforms at the top. Bodiam is a child’s delight with its freedom from guards and fences.
If you find yourself in southeastern England, don’t miss Bodiam Castle. Its long history and untold stories will weave a spell for you and you’ll remember its beauty long after you leave.
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