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Mastel Family History

Mastel Family History

Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dallingridge, as a defensive castle (from those marauding French as well as the revolting peasants!) but also as home for his family.  Sir Edward was a soldier, King's Knight and a Member of Parliament.  Although the outer defensive walls are still standing strong and firm, the interior apartments have to be imagined (see plans of estate and castle).  Apparently the castle had no fewer than 33 fireplaces, mostly in the family accommodation, rather than the servants' quarters!  Any stranger trying to cross the drawbridge to either the main castle entrance or the rear tradesman's entrance would have had a nasty surprise - there were 'murder holes' above the portcullis towers equipped to drop cannon balls (or perhaps boiling oil?) on unwelcome guests.  [source: National Trust leaflet].


The first image shows an etching made in 1737 - by which time the castle was already falling into a state of disrepair.  The final photo shows the ducks and carp in the moat and the previous two are of a volunteer demonstrating the manufacture of woven ribbons.

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