Is Bodiam Castle just a bit lump of old rock with an expensive car park and cafe? Well, kind of, but there’s also a gift shop.
After a billion weeks of lockdown, we ventured out into the East Sussex countryside to visit the castle that a) was built to defend the area against the French, b) has a moat and c) I had visited years ago when I was just a tiny little lesbian in a school uniform.
I remember Bodiam Castle from my school days as having a huge draw bridge, big rooms and corridors to walk down and a smashing gift shop with every piece of stationery you could think of with a logo of Bodiam Castle on it. I must’ve misremembered the castle that I had actually gone to at school because the castle I just described, was not Bodiam Castle.
The medieval moated beast sits on the beautiful grounds owned by the National Trust and has a ruined interior. It also has 6 large towers, two of which you can climb up via the steep-ass stairs. As you clamber up the staircase you begin to wonder how the shitting hell the soldiers and knights used to run up and down the bloody thing over 700 years ago.
Some of the original door frames and arches are still intact and as you crouch down to get through them you begin to wonder how the shitting hell the soldiers and knights used to move freely between rooms without constantly beheading themselves.
A quick history of the castle: it was built in 1385 by the King Knight and MP Sir Edward Dallingridge, it was used as a defensive castle and luxurious home and was saved from demolition in 1828 by the MP John ‘Mad Jack’ Fuller, who bought it at auction. John made his money from the slave trade so although we have this nice castle to visit on the weekend, it is at the expense of slaves.
Anyway, moving on.
There’s a lot of green grass around the castle where you can sit and eat food from the little tea room that’s just by the entrance to the castle. Prices are absolutely extortionate, the choice is lacking and the victoria sponge is so very, very dry, but the worst thing about the tea room? Well! Some woman in front of us told us to stand away from her because apparently we were too near, ok sure, we weren’t the full 2 meters away but her husband had nudged passed me earlier and she didn’t have her mask over her nose so who are the real idiots not complying to Covid regulations?
To conclude! The moat around the castle is lovely and full of large carp which are so big they look like they’ve taken steroids. The castle itself is nice and interesting but it’s a tad dull. I felt the same when I went to Rome, once you’ve seen one lump of rock which “could’ve been a fireplace”, you’ve kind of seen them all.