Radical ESSEX




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Dial House

This 16th century cottage on the outskirts of Epping Forest was taken over as a commune by Crass founders, Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher, in 1967. An anarcho-pacifist community, there are no rules, and the house has always had an open door policy – doors are never locked, and people may stay as long as they please, with any visitors asked to contribute to the running of the house through gardening, cleaning or other chores.

After threats of eviction and looming development plans in recent years, the developers eventually abandoned ambitions for Dial House and other land and properties nearby, and put the site up for auction, at which point Vaucher and Rimbaud successfully made a successful bid to buy the property and thereby secured its future, despite their reservations and reluctance to become involved in property ownership.

More information here

Dial House, North Weald Bassett, Essex (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: