Radical ESSEX




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The Bell Inn

The Bell Inn, set in the lovely historic village of Horndon on the Hill, is a 15th Century Coaching Inn run by the same family for over 75 years.

The inn had a chequered early history. In 1553 a local landowner, Thomas Higbed, was burnt at the stake on ground to the rear of the Inn for ‘heresy.’  An historical society ‘blue plaque’ fixed to the front of the building commemorates the grizzly event.

Happily it wasn’t long before weary travellers were receiving, if not warmer, then certainly more friendly hospitality. The impressive architecture of the building with its courtyard (awash in summer with magnificent flowers), balcony and archway entrance reveals its prime business in those early days as a ‘coaching inn’ providing sustenance and accommodation for travellers on their way south to ford the River Thames at Highams Causeway. Inside the building, the original king post is still in place carrying roof timbers over a thousand years old.

The two busy bars have the warm, friendly atmosphere of a ‘proper’ pub.  There’s an open fire, numerous ales on hand pump and a top-class wine by the glass list. The menu changes daily, using seasonal and local produce where possible. Upstairs, and in the Georgian properties next door but one, are 27 individually styled bedrooms featuring both modern and period twists that remain sympathetic to the beautiful buildings in which they reside.

The Bell is featured in all the ‘serious’ guides and has won numerous industry awards including being recommended in The Times Cool Hotel Guide  2014 and The Sunday Times Food List as one of the 10 best gastropubs in the UK.

More information here.

High Road, Horndon-On-The-Hill, Essex, SS17 8LD (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: