Second hand bookshop at Bodiam Castle

Paperback books on a bookshelf

Our volunteers work tirelessly at Bodiam Castle to help us in many ways and our second hand bookshop is no exception. Visit our little 'Aladdin's Cave' up in Castle Cottage and discover some hidden gems.

Funding for a project

The overflow from the moat at Bodiam Castle lies on the eastern bank of the moat.  Except during times of drought, there is a constant flow of water over the grille, under the bank and out into the land beyond.  This area of wetland is very overgrown but yet is an ideal environment to promote some very diverse nature and wildlife.

In 2012 a plan was hatched to regenerate this area and thus encourage back some natural plants and wildlife that have long since left.  The estimated cost of the project was around £10,000 and as there was no funding available the idea of the second hand bookshop at Bodiam Castle was born.

Volunteer to the rescue

Setting up and running the bookshop would need a dedicated person.  Our request was answered by volunteer, Marion Batter, who was keen to support the project and we have been very grateful for the tremendous effort she has put in since then.

The second hand bookshop

Marion says, 'I started to run the second hand bookshop in 2012 to help raise funds to pay for the proposed Wetlands Project.  The books are contributed mainly by local people with our bestsellers being paperbacks and children's books.  We also sell DVDs and CDs and they are popular and help us achieve our objective.

We've had a few surprise donations including several special edition books and several sets of reference books which have sold for between £30 - £50.

I've had a great deal of help from my husband, Alan, who works with the estates team at Bodiam Castle.  He does all the heavy lifting and goes out to collect books from friends who want to contribute to our worthy cause.

I endeavour to sell quality books at very reasonable prices, paperbacks are generally 50p each.  This ensures that we enjoy a good reputation in the local community and beyond.  We sometimes get books that are not appropriate for our audience and I donate these to a local charity shop.  If they don't sell them then they have the facility to recycle them for pulp and receive a donation to their cause.'

The Wetlands Project at Bodiam Castle

The bookshop has now raised over £12,500 for the project.  We're waiting for confirmation that the project can finally go ahead and we're hopeful that this will start later this year. We'll keep you posted but in the meantime we plan to carry on raising money through the second hand bookshop as there are other projects that need support in our quest to keep our lovely castle special for ever, for everyone.

Have you books to donate?

We always welcome donations of books, DVDs and CDs.  Donations can be left in our shop or tea room or contact our admin team on 01580 830196 to arrange to deliver books directly to our second hand bookshop or organise a local collection.

Thank you for supporting us.