Essay about Castles in England

Essay about Castles in England

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Castles in England

Bodiam Castle is situated beside the River Rother in East Sussex. Sir
Edward Dalyngrigge, a Sussex knight, founded it in the late 14th
century. It was originally designed as a coastal defence, as invasion
from France was a threat at this time. A manor house was actually
fortified on the same site as Bodiam castle, symbolising a transition
from a traditional medieval castle to a comfortable manor home, which
was strengthened in the event of attack in this case.

The site on which Bodiam Castle was built has several geographical
advantages, as can be seen by exploring the castle and its
surroundings. Firstly, it has very clear, long-distance views for
miles around once a person is situated at the top of one of its
towers, which is obviously a defensive advantage. As there is a river
so close by, Bodiam Castle was provided with a constant supply of
freshwater, and its own moat, which surrounds it. The moat would have
been useful in hampering enemy invasion, and making the castle walls
impossible to scale. On viewing what is today the River Rother,
however, there is evidence that is has changed somewhat over many
hundreds of years. As the banks are today are large and very steep,
this suggests that the river may once have been a lot wider, even up
to twenty metres across. The pillbox very close to the castle shows
that the site was good for defence even up to the time of the Second
World War.

The castle itself was built strategically near to the coast. It is not
apparent why just by visiting, but when Bodiam castle was built, there
was a serious threat of invasion from neighbouring France. From this
vantage p...


... middle of paper ...


...either type of evidence on its own is sufficient to provide a
historian with a complete history castle development. For example,
Bodiam Castle alone can only show a castle from a particular time
period; it cannot show what came before (e.g. Motte and Bailey
castles), which the written sources can. Obviously, more document
sources could give information in more detail, but what we do have is
detailed, concise and useful. Bodiam castle alone is enough physical
evidence of a castle that has developed over many years since castles
were first built; it has employed all the features that changed for
the better, such as rounded towers, and is a good example of a
well-defended structure from the 14th century. Together with the
written information, a historian is presented with the full picture of
castle development in England.

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