Bodiam Castle appears in top 10 best-loved castles

Bodiam Castle
Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle has been rated as one of the top 10 best-loved castles in the UK.

The attraction appeared in a poll commissioned by UKTV Play to launch The Castle Collection, which is a selection of programmes celebrating a range of shows featuring castles, such as Time Team.

Bodiam appeared at number two and was beaten by Windsor Castle, which came first.

The castle, near Robertsbridge, was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, with the permission of Richard II, ostensibly to defend the area against French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War.

Bodiam is roughly square-shaped and this type of castle, with a central courtyard and buildings against the curtain wall, was characteristic of castle architecture in the 14th century.

The castle passed through several generations of Dalyngrigges until their line became extinct.

It then passed by marriage to the Lewknor family. During the Wars of the Roses, Sir Thomas Lewknor supported the House of Lancaster, and when Richard III of the House of York became king in 1483, a force was despatched to besiege Bodiam Castle.

It is unrecorded whether the siege went ahead but the castle was confiscated and returned to the Lewknors when Henry VII of the House of Lancaster became king in 1485.

By the start of the English Civil War in 1641, Bodiam Castle was owned by Lord Thanet, who supported the Royalist cause, and sold the castle to help pay fines levied against him by Parliament.

The castle was subsequently dismantled, and was left as a picturesque ruin until it was bought by John Fuller in 1829.

It was then partially restored before being sold to George Cubitt, 1st Baron Ashcombe, and later to Lord Curzon, both of whom undertook further restoration work.

The castle is protected as a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Monument.

It has been owned by the National Trust since 1925, donated by Lord Curzon on his death.

Emma Boston, general manager of UKTV Play, said: “We are a nation of castle lovers and there are an incredible array of beautiful historical ancient treasures across the country.

“When we looked at the shows that proved really popular on the service we found that those set in or featuring castles often did really well.

“So we created the Castle Collection on UTKV Play, where you can find fantastic historical programming such as Time Team, Secrets of Britain and Castle Builders, as well as the surprising, such as an episode of paranormal show Ghost Adventures set in a castle.”

Pauline Wall, general manager at Bodiam Castle, says “We’re delighted to hear that Bodiam has been named as one of the UK’s best-loved castles. Built in the 14th century, it is one of Britain’s most picturesque and romantic medieval monuments.

“Bodiam has been in the care of the National Trust for 90 years and is much-loved by our visitors, who come from the local area and from afar to explore the iconic ruin and historic landscape.”

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