Bodiam is situated in Rother Valley, a once navigable waterway to the sea, with historic links back to iron age and Roman times. A Roman road from Hastings to Rochester had a crossing over the Rother somewhere near present day Bodiam bridge, and there was a river port on the south side of the Rother at that time probably used for the export of iron ore. Today the village is known for having the quintessential Englishman’s castle with its eight towers, and moated defences. Originally built in 1385, Bodiam Castle has spent centuries as one of the best loved and best known castles in England.
The castle was built by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, who is known to have once been a knight of Edward III. With his knowledge of battles, he designed the castle with the intention of defending the beautiful area of East Sussex, from a possible invasion by the French, during The Hundred Years Wars.
Sir Edward Dalyngrigge was the youngest son within his family and this meant that he was the last in line to inherit anything from the estate. However, he married into a family that owned land, and it was during 1378 that he found himself owning the manor of Bodiam. During his knighthood, which spanned from 1379 to 1388 he found himself with enough money to build himself a home, which was the beginnings of Bodiam Castle. This fine castle is now in the hands of the National trust with far reaching views down the Rother valley a once navigable river course to the sea. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodiam-castle
The rest of the village is dispersed up the slope of the Rother Valley on Levetts Lane with a mix of 19th century housing built to house hop pickers working for the Guinness family who farmed approximately two thousand acres in the local area from 1907 to 1976 and employed 90% of Bodiam adult residents. The hops were hand picked until the 1960’s when picking machines were introduced and the Guinness family sold the land in 1976 when hop production ceased. The village pub, the Castle Inn is situated at the bottom of the valley with housing running up the hill past the village primary school https://bodiamceschool.co.uk/esussex/primary/bodiam
Claremont Senior School now functions from the historic manor house at top providing private co educational schooling for 13 – 18 years olds. https://www.claremontschool.c o.uk/and beyond to the pretty small St Giles church.
The Castle attracts approximately 160,000 visitors a year to the village, some of them arriving on the Kent & East Sussex Steam Railway running from Tenterden to Bodiam and others arriving on the tourist boat from Newenden, but the majority by road. A local bus service runs daily from Hastings to Hawkhurst https://tiscon-maps-stagecoachbus.s3.amazonaws.com/Timetables/