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Bodiam Castle - East Sussex


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Bodiam Castle is a quadrangular castle located near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, England (grid reference TQ785256). It is said to be a perfect example of a late medieval moated castle.
It was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, supposedly at the request of Richard II in order to defend the surrounding area from French invasion. However, recent research suggests that the castle was built more for show than as an effective defence. There is evidence supporting that research, as the walls of Bodiam Castle are only a couple of feet thick.
The castle is completely surrounded by a spring fed moat, with approaches from the north and south. The castle itself is rectangular in shape, being longer in the north-south, and has large round towers at all of the four corners, and a square tower defending the centre of each side. The castle well is located in one of the corner towers, the chapel in another.
The main gatehouse is on the centre of the North wall of the quadrangle for protection, while the southern square tower has a postern gate too. Both gateways had long bridges leading over the moat, of which the northern one turns at right angles on an octagonal bastion before reaching the shore. This provided further defence to the main gate by exposing any attackers approaching along the bridge to arrow fire (and, by this time, gunfire) from the defenders in the north-west tower. There were also machicolations in the gatehouse and in the postern to drop scalding water and tar on invaders.

19th Aug 2008

Citizenship, Design and Technology, Geography, History, PSHE

Key Stages:
Foundation, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

East Sussex Bodiam castle architecture

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