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England Bodiam Castle Bodiam East Sussex

England Bodiam Castle Bodiam East Sussex (Known places)

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Tags: castle (129 pics)

Bodiam Castle is a quadrangular castle located near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, England (grid reference TQ785256). It was built in 1385 (629 years ago) by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, with the permission of Richard II in order to defend the surrounding area from French invasion.

Construction commenced four years after the English Peasants' Revolt of 1381 (633 years ago) which Sir Edward had helped repress and two years before he was elected to the Merciless Parliament which launched armed rebellion against the king. Sir Edward switched sides in Jul. 1389 (625 years ago) and was retained as a king's knight, making him a leading figure in the royal administration within weeks. In 1392 (622 years ago) the king appointed Sir Edward warden of the city of London following the mayor's arrest during a year of political upheaval. Sir Edward died a year later.

While the castle served little military purpose owing to the thinness of its walls, it evidently housed a garrison sufficient to protect Sir Edward and his family from political enemies, civil unrest and plague which revisited England in 1391 (623 years ago).

Bodiam castle's design owes its inspiration to castles in France where the owner campaigned successfully as a soldier for the Earl of Arundel in 1359 (655 years ago) near Paris, for the Duke of Lancaster in 1373 (641 years ago) at Bordeaux and for Lord Despenser in 1374 (640 years ago) at naval engagements. With the collapse of Italian banks earlier in the century, military campaigns had become self-financing through kidnap and ransom of such figures as the Duke of Burgundy, John the Good. French castle design was well suited for the incarceration of wealthy dignitaries.

By 1434 (580 years ago) Sir Edward Dalyngrigge's nephew Richard was living in the castle. Research suggests that the castle was built more for show than as an effective defence: the walls of Bodiam Castle are only a couple of feet thick; the moat is relatively shallow and can be easily drained; and the towers contain too many windows to be considered militarily effective.


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