Radical ESSEX




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Hadleigh Castle

The building of Hadleigh Castle was started in around 1215 by Hubert de Burgh, First Earl of Kent, who was gifted the land by King John. De Burgh’s castle was a lavish, grand statement, but he fell out of favour with John’s successor, Henry III, and in 1239 ceded all his lands to the crown.

Built on the slopes behind Leigh, the castle’s position overlooking the estuary meant it played  a crucial role in defending the Thames estuary from French attack during the Hundred Years War. In later centuries, it was owned by Henry VIII, but after his death fell into the hands of Lord Riche, who made the crumbling castle profitable by selling off stone for building materials. It then passed through a number of owners, before the site and land were bought by General Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, who set up a farm colony in 1891. 

More information here

Hadleigh Castle, Castle Lane, Benfleet, SS7 2AP (View on Map)
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Radical Essex is a project re-examining the county in relation to radicalism in thought, lifestyle, politics and architecture. A programme of events will take place across Essex throughout 2016 and 2017, shedding light on the vibrant, pioneering thinking of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The project will celebrate the crucial role Essex has played in the history of British Modernism and its utopian ideologies under the themes ‘The Modernist County’ and ‘Arcadia for All’.

The Radical Essex site is designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio and Alex Rich, developed by Twelve.

Radical Essex is led by Focal Point Gallery in collaboration with Visit Essex and Firstsite. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England it forms part of the country wide Cultural Destinations programme, a partnership with VisitEngland, supporting arts organisations to work with the tourism sector to deliver projects that maximise the impact culture has on local economies.

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If you are a business or arts organisation interested to be involved in the project or learn more information, please contact us here

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our project partners: