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Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Sea, shingle and castles .....

Staying at Hever Hotel for a couple of nights, just down the road from the famous Hever Castle where Henry VIII met Anne Boleyn. After a late start (due to a sales pitch that the Monk steadfastly refused to see any benefit in signing up too!) we made our way down to Bodium Castle  and spent several pleasant hours exploring the remains of what must once have been a really beautiful home until Cromwell's mob destroyed it.

Bodium is the last truly medieval castle built in England, but it is really a fortified manor house and a rather palatial one at that. We took a number of photos and will post these as opportunity serves. The castle is built in a small artifical lake, created by diverting streams and building dykes to create several large ponds. It is square in plan with corner towers, a Gate Tower and a matching second gate tower on its south side which is built over the Great Hall range. Approach is over a wooden bridge, riginally builtat right angles to the gate and ending on an outwork from which a short draw bridge allowed access to the Barbican Tower which protected another drawbridge which gave access to the main gate. Another bridge and drawbridge gave access from the South where a harbour had been created and the River Rother limited access for an attacker. Luckily, the castle's owners have preserved most of the main structure, lost however, are all the internal buildings which the Parliamentarians destroyed.

From Bodium we made our way to Rye, one of the ancient Cinque Ports, and then to Winchelsea Beach where we sat on the huge pebble bank and watched the sea, the ships and the fishermen for a while. Then it was time to return to Hever via an interesting route with many twists and turns along sunken lanes and clogged A roads until we found ourselves once more in our converted stable yard.

Pictures will be posted eventually. The one thing to mar the day was a pheasant who decided to make a kamikaze flight across our path - bird met wing mirror obliquely. Wing mirror one, an explosion of feathers, a smear of bird poop down the side of the car and a dead pheasant n the verge for the foxes later. Not a high point methinks but pheasant have to be the stupidist birds I have ever come across! 

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