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The history of the castle dates back to the Norman Conquest when one of the Norman nobles, Richard Fitz Herbert, was given land at a crossing of the river Medway. A typical motte and bailey wooden castle was built, but this was destroyed some years later during a rebellion. It was rebuilt in stone and the twin-towered gatehouse was added in the 13th century. The gatehouse still stands and is considered among the finest in England. The castle had a succession of owners but the Civil War saw an end to its existence and parts of it were gradually demolished and used for buildings elsewhere. The grounds are free of charge and are open daily 8am to dusk. There is an admission fee for the castle which is open 9am to 5pm Mondays to Saturdays, and 10.30am to 5pm Sundays. There is an audio tour which lasts about one hour and is also available in French, German, Dutch and Spanish. The tour offers interactive displays and tableaux recreating medieval life.
Kent and East Sussex Railway
This rural light railway runs 10.5 miles along the Rother Valley from Tenterden to Bodiam with stops at Rolvenden, Wittersham Road and Northiam. Tenterden was by-passed during the railway building of the 19th century, but a light railway, the Rother Valley Railway, was eventually opened in 1900. A light railway was defined as cheaply constructed with a short life, with reconstruction to a higher standard hoped for from profits. It continued in this form until railway nationalisation in 1948, but losses to road traffic meant that the line closed to passengers in 1954 and to goods traffic in 1961. Enthusiasts managed to save the line from demolition and upgrade the track, and it was reopened gradually between 1974 and 2000. It now operates as a tourist railway running trains pulled by steam engines. Themed events, including a Santa Special, are staged, and a Pullman dining car runs on certain dates. Travellers can buy a daily hop-on hop-off ticket to visit stops on the route. Free car parking is available at Tenterden and Northiam stations. A timetable is posted on the website.
The Hop Farm
The Hop Farm is set in 400 acres of the Kent Countryside and has a museum where you can see old farming traditions and some of the machinery that was used. There are around 12 Oast houses which are located in the Oast Village and here you can see how they used to make beer. They still grow hops purely for demonstration purposes. There is also a small farm holding area where you can walk around and visit pigs, sheep, cows and many other animals. Facilities also include a new Skypark which provides activities for visitors, a gift shop, craft centre and tea rooms. Car parking is available and free. Opening times are 10am to 5pm (last admission at 4pm) and they are open year round,except between 24th-31st December