Bodiam Castle near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, England is a moated castle built in the late 14th century. Built by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III in 1385, Bodiam Castle helped defend the region during the French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War. The roughly square castle is situated so perfectly on the landscape and with the surrounding moat appears to be much larger than it actually is. The moat surrounding the castle is primarily fed by springs which would have made it nearly impossible to drain by anyone wishing to take control of the fortification. It is so difficult to drain the moat that during renovations in the 1930s that pumps were not entirely adequate to move the water from the moat to the nearby river.
The small civil parish of Bodiam from which the castle gained its name is located in the valley of the River Rother near the villages of Ewhurst Green and Sandhurst. A 12th century church and Bodiam Castle are the primary tourist attractions but that was not always the case. There was a time where Bodiam and the valley of the River Rother were known for their production of hops used in the brewing if Guinness beer.
While the exterior of the castle has survived well and had few renovations over the centuries, the interior is in complete ruins. Since there is no one living at the castle and there is no roof to keep out the stars, it is a perfect place to hold an outdoor wedding or event.
One of the most interesting features of the historic site is not the castle tea room, but the five species of bats that live amongst the grounds. Bodiam Castle has a dedicated staff of volunteers that in association with the Bat Conservation Trust take care of a unique colony of local bats. Bats in this region have earlier seasonal births than any other place in Great Brittan, and it is thought that the largest Daubenton’s bat roost is on the site.
Owned by the National Trust since 1925, Bodiam Castle is a Grade I Listed Building and a Scheduled Monument.
Bodiam Castle Facts
- Bodiam Castle is visited by more than 150,000 people each year.
- The castle was featured in Mpnty Python and the Holy Grail.
- The shape is considered quadrangular, which is castle historian speak for square shaped.
- Bodiam Castle was built by Edward Dalyngriggr in 1385 with permission of Richard II.
- Sandstone is the primary building material of the castle.
- There is no keep at Bodiam Castle and because of its small size rooms and chambers were built against the curtain walls.