Visits to the past

Today, I made two separate journeys to the past. One across 600 years, the other across no more than a decade.

This morning we went to Bodiam Castle. Bodiam is about ten miles from Hastings (scene of a historical battle in 1066, and latterly full of heroin addicts and video game arcades), in a valley surrounded by ducks. I’ve been several times (most recently in 2007 or so, with my friend Jenny, who was quite disappointed to find that inside it was a ruin, rather than full of tapestries and people drinking mead – I’m a cruel prankster) but this is the first time I remember there being a guided tour.

As a result, I gleaned new insight (for example, why the castle is where it is – it’s not in a strategic location and invaders could just detour around it, but as it was built by somebody who wanted to show off how rich he was, that was clearly less of a concern for him) and was also reminded of things I knew from elsewhere (like the fashion sense of knights). And now I know that Bodiam has three portcullises, which is particularly over the top given that Bodiam Castle was intended for partying rather than as a military fort.

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