Beautiful England - photos of England and the UK

Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle has a beautiful fairy tale setting, surrounded by a wide moat. The towers seem to float on the water. It seems remarkably complete from the outside, but inside, although well preserved, it has lost its roof. It is debatable whether it was built as a fortress or grand house. Construction started in 1385, under licence from Richard II for Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, to provide a defence against a possible invasion from France. It was not needed, but did see military action during the Civil War. The Parliamentary army besieged it and the castle quickly surrendered.

As the castle has suffered so little damage, it is easy to visualise how it must have been when occupied. It had amenities ahead of its time. Basic central heating was provided by ducts in the walls, which carried away smoke and heat from the fireplaces. It was given to the National Trust by Lord Curzon in 1926.

Visitors can arrive at Bodiam Station on a steam train operated by the Kent and East Sussex Railway. This one hundred year old railway, runs from Tenterden.