The castle was built in 1600-and-something as a fort to defend england from VIKINGS and SCOTS. This bit of the story is boring - it's all ONLY SOUTH FACING HARBOUR ON THE EAST COAST blah blah ROMAN ROADS etc etc.
BUT in 1910, it was purchased by the man who founded House and Garden Magazine, in order to show off to his friends. He hired a rather innovative Edwardian architect who renovated the fort into the current castle, with cosy little rooms with marvellous views, and then got a gardener called Gertrude Jekyll to make a cute little walled garden. Then Mr House and Garden bought lots of fancy old furniture (which was really cheap as everyone was getting rid of their old stuff at that time to buy clean streamlined modern stuff). And then he got all his awesome bohemian friends to come over for summer where they hung out and practiced the cello and drank a lot. It sounds AWESOME. It had so much more character than the Stately British Homes we've visited, and for some reason because it belonged to someone who was "new money" and not ye olde nobility, I'm much more pleasantly disposed to him. I suppose because I can safely assume he wasn't as utterly tediously boring as the British nobility. Anyway, despite the driving rain it was WIN.