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Castles (near) Kent : Bodiam Castle

シッシングハースト城から車で20分程のところにあるBodiam castleボディアム城)は、正確に言うとケント州ではなく、隣のイースト・サセックス州にある。このお濠に囲まれた四角形のお城は、エドワード3世に仕えた騎士Edward Dalyngrigge(エドワード・ダリングリッグ)により、百年戦争におけるフランスの侵略からの防衛、そしてステータスと富を象徴する彼自身の住まいとして、1385年に建立。四角形という構造上、防護壁と中庭に沿って、様々な部屋が作られた。Dalyngrigge家が途絶えると、婚姻関係によってLewknor(ルークノー)家の手に渡り、16世紀までその所有下にあったが、その後は様々な所有者を経た末、1643年に取り壊され、廃墟となった。1829年にJohn Fuller(ジョン・フラー)に買い取られ、Fullerを含む、George Cubitt(ジョージ・キュビット)初代Ashcombe(アシュコム)男爵ジョージ・カーゾン (初代カーゾン・オヴ・ケドルストン侯爵)と続いた所有者の手で一部修復された。カーゾン侯爵の死後、1925年にNational Trustナショナル・トラスト)に寄贈され、第一級指定建造物、指定遺跡として保護されている。


Bodiam castle, 20-minute drive from the Sissinghurst Castle, is located in neighboring East Sussex, not in Kent. This quadrangular-shaped moated castle was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, as his home to show off his status and wealth and as a defence against French raid during the Hundred Years’ War. Chambers were built around the outer defensive walls and inner courts. After Dalyngrigge family’s line became extinct, the castle passed by marriage to the Lewknor family, who had owned the castle until at least the 16th century. Since then, Bodiam had been on different hands and was dismantled in 1643. It was left as a ruin until its purchase by John Fuller in 1829, but was partially restored by Fuller, George Cubitt, 1st Baron Ashcombe, and then the last owner of the castle, Lord Curzon. It has been owned by the National Trust since 1925, donated by Lord Curzon on his death, and is protected as a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Monument.

Although quite knocked down, towers and some rooms, where you can learn the history of Bodiam on 15-minute DVD as well as exhibition, are open to public. You may want to walk up narrow and steep spiral staircases to the top of the towers, where you will be rewarded with wonderful views. You can enjoy watching dozens of desperate ducks and carps fighting for food thrown by visitors on the bridge which connects the park and the castle. Kids can play on the grass surrounded the castle and around the WWII bunker built in the castle ground against German invasion, which never occurred. Very peaceful and picturesque castle.