The Oak Gates Provided by Jack Fuller, Entrance to the Gatehouse
The South Range: Postern Tower at Centre
To the left was the Great Hall,
to the right the Kitchen
Bodiam Castle was built by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge in the last decades of the 14th Century. It was partly demolished after the English Civil War. Sir Thomas Webster purchased the ruin on 23 July 1723. He also bought Battle Abbey and Robertsbridge Priory about the same time.
Architects and artists were drawn to the castle and inspired by its setting and proportions. Bodiam remained in the Webster family until it was purchased by John "Mad Jack" Fuller in 1829.
In accordance with Fuller’s will, Bodiam Castle was left to General Sir Augustus Eliott Fuller MP, the son of Jack Fuller's cousin John Trayton Fuller. It was Augustus Eliott Fuller's son Owen John Augustus Fuller-Meyrick who sold Bodiam Castle to George Cubitt (1828-1917), the first Lord Ashcombe in 1864.
Lord George Nathaniel Curzon purchased the Castle from Ashcombe's son Henry Cubitt, the second Lord Ashcombe, (1867-1947) in 1916 and undertook the restoration of Bodiam Castle that visitors enjoy today. The Castle was bequeathed to The National Trust by Lord Curzon when he died in 1925.
Unfortunately, some misinformation exists about the ownership of the castle after Fuller’s death.
"The third Sir Godfrey Webster attempted to sell the property in 1815 and finally achieved the sale of the castle and 24 acres of adjoining land in 1829 to John Fuller of Rosehill in the parish of Brightling, Sussex, for £3,000. (Fuller's copy of the auction particulars was recently given to the Trust by a descendant.) Fuller is thought to have bought the castle to save it from being dismantled by the Websters and the stone used for building. He is recorded as having provided new folding oak gates in the front doorway of the Gatehouse, and also as having restored the Postern Tower, presumably by removing the cottage which was there 50 years earlier. These were the first positive moves to protect the ruins, an intention that was pursued more vigorously by George Cubitt, who purchased the castle and 24 acres from John Fuller's grandson for something over £5,000 in 1864."
Bodiam Castle, The National Trust Guidebook, David Thackray, 1991, pp. 26 & 27.
It is well known that John Fuller never married and has no proven offspring. In 1864, George Cubitt bought Bodiam Castle from Owen John Augustus Fuller-Meyrick, son of Augustus Eliott Fuller, who inherited the castle from his father’s cousin, John “Mad Jack” Fuller.
Located near Robertsbridge, East Sussex, Bodiam is arguably the most photographed castle in the United Kingdom. Its wide, reflective moat and symmetrical construction give it an imposing presence on the landscape.