THE NATIONAL TRUST AT BODIAM CASTLE & BATEMAN’S
Wednesday 27th July 2022
A double helping of National Trust properties today! Bodiam Castle – an Archetypal 14th century moated castle with ruined interior – a glimpse of medieval splendour. Set in the heart of an historic landscape, with spiral staircases, battlements and a portcullis, 14th century Bodiam Castle is one of Britain’s most picturesque and romantic ancient monuments. Windows where arrows were once loosed, a tower that was once a look-out and ruins that were once walked upon by knights; this is a place where you can relive your childhood memories and let your imagination run riot.
Bodiam Castle was saved from demolition by the MP John ‘Mad Jack’ Fuller, who bought the castle at auction in 1828. Fuller – an anti-abolitionist who held extreme views on the benefits of slavery – inherited huge wealth made from slavery in Jamaica, and he continued to profit from the sugar trade during his life. In the impressive gatehouse is the castle’s original wooden portcullis, an extremely rare example of its kind and, beyond into the courtyard, enough of the interior ruins survive to give an impression of castle life. Bateman’s – a Jacobean house, home of Rudyard Kipling ‘That’s She! The Only She! Make an honest woman of her – quick!’ was how Rudyard Kipling and his wife, Carrie, felt the first time they saw Bateman’s.
Surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald, this 17th-century house, with its mullioned windows and oak beams, provided a much-needed sanctuary to this world-famous writer and inspired his work. The rooms, described by him as ‘untouched and unfaked’, remain much as he left them, with oriental rugs and artefacts reflecting his strong association with the East. Kipling wrote Puck of Pook’s Hill and Rewards and Fairies at Bateman’s, which includes the poem ‘If’. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907. Bateman’s is very much a family home that feels as though the Kiplings have just gone out for the day. Join us if you will.