Gems of England - Bodiam Castle

Continuing my visited castles, in no particular order, is a castle that has consistently stolen my heart, and one of my most visited since the first time I saw it in 2006, Bodiam is a fairytale. Its beauty is meticulous, and from every angle it captures the attention.

There is no doubt that was the point. Sir Edward Dallingrygge, who was given permission by Richard II to crenellate his manor house in the very late 14th century, certainly didn't scrimp on the design nor the location of his new fortification. Bodiam also wasn't a castle built on the site of a manor house, it was a completely new building. Clearly, there was some freedom of interpretation when it came to 'crenellating a manor' back in the 14th century.

There has been argument over the years to whether Bodiam was even really built as a true fortificaton (the moat is knee deep and the walls aren't particularly thick in comparison with other fortresses), but regardless, it's one of the finest looking castles in Britain, and is one of the most famous castles in the country based purely on this. If you see an article or a book about castles the likelihood Bodiam takes pride of place in or on it is very high.

In the care of The National Trust, Bodiam is a lovely place, with gorgeous views over the Kent countryside, not far from the steam railway that travels to Tenterden, and also with a lovely cafe (I don't work for the NT, honestly...). It is on my list of top 10 castles out of over 100 I've visited, and is somewhere I will continue to visit.

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