Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Castle of the Week: Bodiam Castle

This week's castle is Bodiam Castle in England, and one that I find so incredibly enchanting. So much so in fact, it is the backdrop for my website and facebook page.

Bodiam was built in East Sussex in the late 14th century, to help defend against the French invasion during the Hundred Years War. The castle is surrounded by a moat, houses seven impressive towers, a main twin-towered gatehouse and an outer barbican. The very center of the castle was a large courtyard, which the castle surrounded with its various towers (3 stories high each) and then its connecting buildings within the curtain walls which were 2-stories high: apartments, chambers, a chapel, the pantry, great hall, service rooms, kitchen, stables, etc... There would have been a few bridges to the castle, one at the postern tower at the rear, a drawbridge would have connected the barbican to the main gatehouse. The barbican and outer causeway were on their own sort of island and beyond them was a bridge leading over the massive moat.

Note: all of the garderobes drained to the moat... Any enemy attempting to swim would essentailly be swimming in a large sewer.

Bodiam Castle is now operated by the National Trust, so you can visit it!

Now for some pics...

Looking into the interior of the castle

A view from the moat

The main twin-towered gatehouse

An aerial view of the castle and moat

This painting was done in 1906 showing the overgrowth and  lack of maintenance on the castle, which was then shortly after taken over by the National Trust, cleaned up and restored.

My favorite picture, a sunset surrounds the castle.


Laura Kaye said...

This is a great feature! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE castles! So keep 'em coming!

Eliza Knight said...

Thank you Laura! Me too :) And I will certainly keep them coming, I can't get enough!!!

Margaret Mallory said...

I love castles, & what a gorgeous setting! Thanks.


Daphne said...

We visited Bodiam in 2011 - one of our favorite castles!

Eliza Knight said...

@Margaret -- Me too, and I agree!!! I would LOVE to go there and just write.

@Daphne -- Oh, I bet it was so magical in person! Definitely on my "Must See" list!

Ellis Vidler said...

I went to Bodiam years ago and have that second picture framed. It was a wonderful place. I loved being there and imagining all sorts of things.

Another favorite is Camber Castle near Rye. Do you have any plans for it?

Eliza Knight said...

Ellis, thanks for the castle recommendation! I will put that one on my list :)

I plan to make a trip to England as soon as I sell one of my historical fiction novels. They are in the revision processes now, so fingers crossed it will be in the next couple of years!