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peopletalk's Podcast

Jun 1, 2007

My audio tour to day is of Bodiam Castle which stands on the borders of Kent and Sussex in south-east England. It was originally built as an extremely fortified manor house and is a symmetrical square stone castle surrounded by an artificial lake fed by underground springs.

The appearance of Bodiam Castle is exactly how most people imagine a medieval castle should look like, with its square of walls, a round tower at each corner, and a square tower midway along each wall, entirely surrounded by a moat. That it looks so perfect and picturesque may not be by accident for many people have debated whether the castle was really built as a defensive fortress or as an elaborate stately home.

It was built at a time when the aristocracy were looking for a castle that could be comfortable and homely as well as a protection for them and also as a sign of their wealth and standing. There would have been at least 100 people living there, as there were three stories of rooms in the walls and a fourth storey in the towers.

A royal licence to crenellate his manor house, in order to protect the local area from a possible French invasion, was given to Edward Dallyngrigge in 1385. This wealthy veteran of the Hundred Years War used the licence as an excuse to build an entirely new castle nearby. Little is known about the castle during the middle ages, but it doesn't appear to have been inhabited after the 15th century. Later owners of the castle took measures to preserve the building, most notably Lord Curzon who acquired the castle in 1917 and undertook a restoration of Bodiam. Thanks to the work he carried out it is now possible to climb most of the towers and walk on top of some of the walls.

Music by Jeni Melia and Chris Goodwin please visit
Photos of th Bodiam castle

Konrad Dwojak
over sixteen years ago

Beautifully described castle and a great tour. The castle reminds me the times and movies about Robin Hood. I was actually amazed that the peasants handed in a written document during their revolt because peasants at that time were simple people and I believe none of them could write or read. In addition, they were treated like slaves, comparable to early African slaves in the US.