Conservation and regeneration at Bodiam Castle

Nicole Perry, Conservation Assistant Nicole Perry Conservation Assistant
Staff and volunteers conserving a painting at Bodiam Castle, East Sussex

Here at Bodiam Castle we are transitioning through a project of regeneration. We will be starting conservation on our collection in a specialized suite to reveal new ways we can champion our interesting heritage.

The New Team

Beginning with a brand new Castle team and a conservation suite we are exploring the forgotten collection in new depths. The collection of paintings, documents, and archaeological artefacts requires specialised care and our new team of staff and volunteers are trained specifically to cope with the demands of the project.

The Bodiam Castle Collection

The collection was, prior to the project, kept in the North-East tower of the castle in unregulated conditions. We began our regeneration with a human chain of staff and volunteers from Bodiam Castle and Bateman’s who, piece by piece, passed the entire collection down the spiral staircase and then walked it out from the castle across the bridge.

Each piece of the collection is being catalogued and conserved and will, in future, be kept in an appropriately controlled secure location. In time we will be sharing our discoveries with visitors as we piece together the provenance and history of our artefacts.

There is a display of interesting finds and information open all day every day to keep you up to date on our current work and let you know how your support of Bodiam Castle is contributing to this regeneration.

Oil painting of Bodiam Castle, East Sussex
Oil Painting of Bodiam Castle on easel
Oil painting of Bodiam Castle, East Sussex

Looking after what we’ve got

The conservation project will also see the commencement of the much-needed building maintenance of the castle. The top of the North-West tower was once open to visitors, but after it became necessary to replace the roof after a period of bad weather, we had to close it.

During the winter of 2018, we were able to finally begin the final stages of repairs and in mid February 2019, we re-opened this tower with new safety railings and a fully repaired sandstone staircase, to allow visitors to once again walk across some of the battlements.

The Gatehouse was also re-pointed during the winter of 2018, and the exposed murder holes protected with a new waterproof membrane from above. These repairs coupled with those on the north-west tower have enabled access once again to the rooms above the castle entrance. 

The Gatehouse rooms are also home to our large colony of Daubenton's bats. We will be monitoring these very carefully during the year and to protect this important roost we will, at times, restrict access to these rooms for the well being of the bats and our visitors alike.

Bodiam Castle
A winter view across to the NE Tower at Bodiam Castle
Bodiam Castle

Thinking long term

The National Trust also plans to completely redesign your experiences inside the castle. Discoveries we unlock in our conservation suite will present new research opportunities which will rejuvenate our knowledge of Bodiam Castle. We can then create new interpretation for our visitors and supporters to enjoy.

This 2-3 year project is expected to cost around £349,000, if not more, and we are heavily reliant on memberships and donations. Your support is invaluable to us.