Bodiam Castle is a 14th-century moated castle near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, England. It 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. Of quadrangular plan, Bodiam Castle has no keep, having its various chambers built around the outer defensive walls and inner courts. Its corners and entrance are marked by towers, and topped by crenellations. Its structure, details and situation in an artificial watery landscape indicate that display was an important aspect of the castle's design as well as defence. It was the home of the Dalyngrigge family and the centre of the manorof Bodiam. Possession of Bodiam Castle passed through several generations of Dalyngrigges, until their line became extinct, when the castle 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 it is thought that Bodiam was surrendered without much resistance. The castle was confiscated, but returned to the Lewknors when Henry VII of the House of Lancaster became king in 1485. Descendants of the Lewknors owned the castle until at least the 16th century. By the start of the English Civil War in 1641, Bodiam Castle was in the possession of Lord Thanet. He 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 its purchase by John Fuller in 1829. Under his auspices, the castle was 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 Trustsince 1925, donated by Lord Curzon on his death, and is open to the public. How to get here By train Seasonal steam railway from Tenterden town to Bodiam station: 1/4 mile. Mainline railway stations at Robertsbridge, 5 miles; Battle, 10 miles (London Charing Cross to Hastings route) No public transport links from mainline railway stations, only private taxis. No taxi rank at Robertsbridge - need to pre-book taxis. Taxi rank at Battle. By road 1.5 miles (2.2km) east, off B2244, 3 miles (5.6km) south of Hawkhurst. Look out for The Curlew restaurant on crossroads opposite turning to Bodiam. 3 miles (5.6km) east of A21 at southern end of Hurst Green village, midway between Tunbridge Wells and Hastings. Parking: In main car park next to shop and tea room at bottom of site. Car park is approximately 400 yards from castle entrance. Free parking for NT members. Non members: £3 for cars, £1 for motorcycles, £5 for coaches. By foot Sussex Border Path between Hawkhurst and Ewhurst Green goes through the grounds of the castle. By ferry Seasonal passenger ferry (April to September) from Newenden Bridge, Newenden village on A28 - operated by Bodiam Boating Station. By bus 349 Stagecoach from Hastings train station to Hawkhurst, stops opposite main car park entrance. By cycle Sustrans Facilities & access General Free parking for NT members. Non-members:£3 for cars, £1 for motorcycles Wharf tea-room serves home-cooked, seasonal, local food and drinks Terrace Room, attached to the tea-room, is available for functions and events Castle gift shop sells gifts, cards, books, plants and local produce including Bodiam wine and honey Refreshment kiosk opposite the castle entrance is open during the summer and has open-air seating Toilets are situated next to the tea-room in the main car park. There are no toilet facilities near to the castle Dogs on leads are welcome in the grounds only. Dog tethering point and dog bowl outside ticket office opposite castle entrance. Assistance dogs are welcome in all areas Picnic benches are available outside the tea-room and next to the refreshment kiosk Story of Bodiam exhibition area in ticket office ‘The history of Bodiam’ film showing in the north-east tower Family & children Baby-changing facilities are available in the toilets at the main car park. There are no facilities near to the castle Children’s guide is available from the ticket office and the castle gift shop Children’s sandpit next to the refreshment kiosk near the castle (weather permitting) Find the wooden sculpture of Sir Edward Dallingridge in the grounds The Wharf tea-room offers a children’s menu, high chairs, and a baby bottle and food-warming facility Pocket money priced toys and games on sale in the castle gift shop Family-focussed events throughout the year Towers and ramparts to climb and explore and numerous masons’ marks to discover See the ducks and fish in the moat Various children’s trails and 50 things activities Access Four designated mobility parking spaces in the main car park next to the tea-room and gift shop Two designated mobility parking spaces next to the ticket office with easy access to the castle - ask in the car park for directions A volunteer-driven mobility ‘buggy’ service can be requested in peak season from the main car park to the ticket office Gravel paths throughout the site with some slopes and undulating terrain. Paths can be muddy in wet weather Steps into some rooms in the castle Steep spiral staircases up to the towers and ramparts Pictorial booklet of views from the castle towers and castle history is available for non-stair climbers from the ticket office and castle gate Ramped access to ‘The history of Bodiam’ film room Accessible toilet in the main car park next to the tea-room Two manual wheelchairs available to borrow from the tea-room and ticket office respectively (to pre-book call 01580 830196, option 0) Tea-room, shop and castle courtyard – level access Braille guide available Induction loop in ticket office Prices Gift Aid Whole property Adult: £8.60 Child: £4.30 Family: £21.50 Group adult: n/a Group child: n/a Standard Whole property Adult: £7.80 Child: £3.90 Family: £19.50 Group adult: £6.80 Group child: £3.40 vents Knight & princess academy Every Weds & Thurs 29 July to 27 Aug 2015 Calling all budding knights and aspiring princesses. Our Knight & Princess Academy will be looking for trainees again this summer. Don't delay as places fill up quickly for this popular event. Call 01580 831324 to book your place. Normal admission charges apply. £6.50 per child Summer holidays Building Bodiam - 25 July to 2 Sept During the school holidays, come and explore our tented medieval village on the hill overlooking the castle. Find out how the tradespeople living there would have helped to build the castle and see them at work. Watch out for details of whose visiting each week. Lammas celebration - 1 August : 11am to 4pm Come and celebrate the medieval festival of the wheat harvest. We'll be trying out our bread oven and holding a sheep chase with a twist. Castle help wanted Medieval Mop Fair : Sat 26 & Sun 27 Sept : 11am to 4pm Come along to our annual hiring fair and discover some of the medieval jobs that were on offer for those who wanted to work in the castle. Would you make the grade to become a castle cook, servant or gong scourer? Our castle cooks will also be busy in the kitchen area preparing some medieval dishes, just as they would have done for Sir Edward and his guests. Eating & shopping Wharf Tea-room There's plenty to tempt you at the Wharf Tea-room The Wharf Tea-room serves hot and cold food and drinks throughout the day and is the perfect place to take a break during your visit. Lunches Come along and sample our hot & cold lunches, prepared by Phil, our chef. Our main dishes include National Trust favourites and our own local specialities including a children's menu and vegetarian options. Afternoon tea There's always 'time for tea' at Bodiam Castle and especially when Marilyn has been baking some of the National Trust favourite cakes and scones. Why not treat yourself to a delicious afternoon tea in our tea room? Local produce The tea-room is proud to support local producers and we have regular deliveries of locally sourced food and drink. Why not treat yourself to a locally brewed beer or delicious fruity ice cream? New spring range at our gift shop Come and see the delightful new Spring range in our Castle Gift Shop Our Castle Gift Shop has just received its first delivery of items from the new spring range. There's beautiful scarves and gift items from a delightful butterfly collection. Ask our staff for their ideas, they have a wealth of knowledge and experience and will be happy to help you select the perfect present.