Radical ESSEX




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Osea Island

Victorian philanthropist Frederick Charrington bought Osea island in 1903 and started the first temperance society. Charrington was a brewer, and after witnessing a drunken fight outside a pub that belonged to his family’s brewery, he set about rectifying the negative social effects of alcohol via the wealth he had accumulated in the brewing industry.

Osea was a place for those from East London to go to dry out. Wallabies were imported to the island to roam free, and palms were planted. A small steam ship, the HMS Annie, transported people to the mainland. It was requisitioned by the navy during both world wars, and has now reverted to private ownership.

The island is now an  exclusive private island offering a variety of accommodation, the youngest properties being a mere 100+ years old with other buildings dating back 300 years or more. The interiors are rich in individual character all having been restored in keeping with Osea’s relaxed beach house themes.

More information here

Osea Island, Heybridge, Maldon District, United Kingdom (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: