Conservation in Action at Bodiam Castle

Scaffolding on the north-west tower

Visitors to Bodiam Castle this autumn and winter will be able to see the National Trust actively working to conserve the castle for future generations.

What’s happening?

On 28 August 2018 we began building scaffolding across the north side of the castle courtyard so that specialist stone masons can work on areas of the castle we couldn’t normally reach. The work will be visible from the ground and outside the castle, and information will be available. If you have any questions on your visit, our volunteer Castle Keepers are always happy to help. We’re expecting the work to last until spring 2019, so there’s plenty of time to come and see what we’re doing.

Scaffolding on the Gatehouse
Scaffolding on the castle Gatehouse
Scaffolding on the Gatehouse

Under the scaffolding arch

The Gatehouse tower needs re-pointing with new mortar to strengthen the ruined walls, and a few missing sandstone blocks are going to be replaced with new ones to strengthen the walls even more. The murder holes above the gatehouse are also going to get some new lime mortar too. The last time this area of the castle was worked on was in the 1980’s, so we’re pleased we’ve managed to raise the £25,000 needed just for this part of the project.

Old, damaged, sandstone steps in front of newly carved steps.
Original and new sandstone steps
Old, damaged, sandstone steps in front of newly carved steps.

We're getting there, step by step

Up until 2016 the north-west tower roof was open to visitors, but had to be closed after heavy rain caused a large leak that damaged the roof and part of the medieval sandstone staircase leading to it. The roof and the new safety bars are in, but the last step is the staircase for another £25,000. The scaffolding that’s up now will allow us to get into the area, replace the ruined steps, and get the roof back open to visitors in spring 2019. 

Rooftop of the north-west tower
Top of the north-west tower
Rooftop of the north-west tower

What does this mean for our visitors?

While the work goes on, the northern section of the castle will be closed to visitors across the autumn and winter period, but there’s still plenty to do at Bodiam Castle. Climb the Postern tower to the roof to look at the wonderful views across the valley; watch our 'Story of Bodiam' film, visit our exhibitions, and join our guides for tours of the castle and grounds.

We look forward to seeing you soon.