Bodiam Castle

Bodiam castle 25.jpg

Bodiam castle was built between 1385 and 1388, toward the end of the castle building age by Sir Edward Dallingridge. His family name is a contraction of Dalling and Ridge, the area of Sussex where his family were land owners. Sir Edward made his fortune in the hundred years war against the French and through marrying well.  He received a license to crenelate from King Richard II and built Bodiam castle. 

There is some debate as to whether the castle was built for military use or to reinforce Sir Edward’s position with the nobility of England. The walls were relatively thin and contained a number of large mullioned windows, making the castle impractical to defend against canon fire.  However, my personal opinion is that while Bodiam was originally intended as a personal residence, Sir Edward added the fortifications due to the persistent threat of invasion from France. Sir Edward was commissioner of array for Sussex and could have potentially used the castle as a rallying point for his Sussex militia.

Bodiam was besieged in 1484 by Richard III and 1643 by Parliamentarians under the command of Sir William Waller. The castle surrendered quickly on both occasions. After the 1643 siege, Cromwell ordered the victorious Parliamentarians to dismantle the castle. It remained in a ruined state until it was restored in the 19th century by the Marquis of Curzon.

The postern tower, shown above, was originally connected by a bridge to the South shore of the moat. The postern tower is close to the kitchens and may have been used to receive delivery of food and supplies. The Eastern side of the castle contains the kitchens and servants quarters.

Bodiam Castle slideshow

Visiting Bodiam Castle

Sussex Castles web site © Richard Bird 2011                                                                                                               Historical Sources and References