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Bodiam Castle was begun in 1386 by Sir Edward Dalyngrugge who was granted a licence to crenellate his mansion at Bodiam. Instead of just improving the current building, Dalyngrugge took the oportunity to build a completely new castle from scratch on a new site near by. Dalyngrugge won his spurs fighting in France with Sir Robert Knowles and amassed a large amount of wealth along the way. When Sussex came under threat from attack by the French, king Richard II was willing to allow the local lords in the area to fortify their homes and help defend the country. Bodiam was built in the valley of the Rother, a river which at the time could have been used by large ships to travel inland. The shape of the castle is based on designs Dalyngrugge would have seen in France and could be based on the castle of Villandraut. The castle is surrounded by a wide moat and is square in shape. At each corner and half way along each side are high towers. Access to the castle across the moat is via two small islands, one octagonal and one square. Originally access to the castle across the moat was via a right-angle shaped wooden bridge that would have left attackers exposed as they crossed. Inside the castle are the remains of the domestic buildings that would have been two stories high and would have contained private suites, servant's lodgings, a chapel and many other facilities that would have made the castle a complete home.

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1386   Licence granted to crenellate at Bodiam
    The king granted Sir Edward Dalyngrugge a licence to crenellate his mansion in Sussex due to threats of invasion, but Dalyngrugge decided to build a completely new structure instead.
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Last modified: 01/28/06