Abandoned castle Bodiam (England)
Bodiam Castle is a breathtaking spectacle. It seems that he seems to swim over the watery moat that surrounds him, and separates his sandy brown masonry from a wide space enveloped in vegetation. Located in East Sussex on the border with Kent, Bodiam Castle is one of the most interesting monuments of the richest history of southern England.
Unfortunately, to this day the castle has not survived in its original form. Time has taken its toll, and to date only unassailable walls remind of its former greatness. Although it takes a little effort, and our imagination paints the collapsing walls of the rooms and rooms. And if you listen, you can undoubtedly hear the whispers of servants, and the clatter of dishes, and the wonderful sounds of the lute and shalme.
Yes, it’s a feast in honor of Henry’s 7th victory in his fight with the Yorkers for the English throne. And at the head of the table is Sir Thomas Leukner himself, the owner of the castle, who fought so bravely for his king.
The history of the castle begins in 1385. Terrible times. England has been fighting the war with France for almost 50 years, and this war in history is known as the “centenary” (1337-1453). Many took part in voluntary campaigns and battles for their homeland for the purpose of gilding and military awards. Sir Edward Delingridge was one of these volunteers, and after ten years of campaigns he managed to make a fortune. Returning to his homeland, he successfully married the daughter of a large landowner and, having received at his disposal the feudal estate of Bodiam, built on the accumulated state a family nest – Bodiam Castle.
It is important to note that the war with France at the time was in full swing, and the territory of Sussex was particularly vulnerable, since the French attacked the French troops and pirates. Therefore, the castle fulfilled not only the role of a patrimonial nest, but first of all it was a strategic point and protection from the enemy. This influenced the architecture of the building.
The quadrangular castle is surrounded on all sides by a watery moat, and the main entrance is connected to the shore by a wooden bridge, although it can be assumed that the bridge was previously a drawbridge. From each corner tower round towers, terminated by merlons (they are also called hammers or denticles), serving as a cover for the shelling.
Bodiam is a classic example of the architectural construction of the 14th century. Military historian Catchart King describes him as the best-preserved representative of architecture of his kind.
In England, history is treated with special respect, not missing even the smallest details. Here, for example, this inscription at the main gate. The real vandalism. However, English historians, she was interested in the fact that the same inscription was also found on the collapsed bridge construction.
The inscription testifies to the presence in the castle of a certain James Brian, who served in the 35th regiment of the British army in 1818 that year. Historians, having raised archives, only know that he comes from Brighton.
However, what James did in 1818 in Bodiam, is still a mystery. Maybe there was a military hospital or a military base, historians are working on it. Although, regardless of the reason why James was in the castle, the guy was probably bored there, since he spent so much time painting the walls with his own name.
Or, for example, wonderfully preserved coats of arms above the main entrance: in the middle there is the coat of arms of Sir Edward Delingridge with a cross, and on both sides of it are the coats of arms of his wife’s family, from which he inherited the lands of Bodiam. The coat of arms of the owners and founders of the castle, located on the facade of the building, is also a classic element of the construction of the Middle Ages.
Everyone stepping on the threshold of the castle or passing by must know who is the master here!
And these central wooden gates, upholstered in metal, saw in their time Sir Delingridge himself. The lucky ones! To date, they are among the oldest surviving gates in the whole of England. Not every gate can boast of this!
After the death of Sir Edward, the castle passed to his son John, after the death of which Bodiam passed to his wife. They had no children, and the widow bequeathed the castle to her husband’s cousin, Richard Delingridge. He also did not have any heirs, and the castle was given to his sister Philippe in 1470, who was married to another Essex landowner Thomas Leuknor.
In 1445, a new war unfolded, known in history as the “war of roses” (The War of Roses 1445-1485) – for the English throne between the houses of Lancaster and York. Sir Thomas Leukner, fighting for the Lancaster house, was defeated with the victory of the Yorkers, and the castle was confiscated. However, the story does not end there. Two years later, the Lancaster house at the head of Henry the seventh (he also – the daddy of the future King Henry the 8th, the grandfather of Mary the Blood, Elizabeth 1st and Mary of Scotland), won and returned Sir Thomas to the castle.
Until the 17th century everything was fine and peaceful, but that’s bad luck – a new war that has become fatal in the history of the castle.
The English civil war, which unfolded between the monarchy and the parliament (The English Civil War 1642-1651) ended with the execution of Charles 1st and the beginning of the reign of Oliver Cromwell.
Lewis Leuknor, the owner of the castle at that time, fought on the side of the monarchy, which lost the war, and the castle was confiscated by the new government, plundered and finally completely destroyed by order of Sir William Woller, general of the parliamentary army.
Since then, the castle stands in ruins, attracting only birds and random passers-by. However, since 1829, Bodiam Castle once again began to pass from one owner to another as a pawn. Many made their contribution to the restoration of the structure, but no one brought it to the end, and in 1925, his last owner, Lord Lurzon bequeathed the castle to the British National Fund. Since that time, this miracle of the architecture of the Middle Ages is protected by the state and opens its doors to all visitors and lovers of history.
The castle is located on the hill of a small hill with a magnificent view of the surrounding fields and forests. Numerous hiking routes, grazing in the meadows of the lamb, nearby villages with churches and medieval houses, meadows and grape fields. You can come here with family or friends, have a small picnic under the shady centuries-old oaks, enjoying the fresh air, peace and quiet.