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[Page last updated Mon 25 Jan 2010]
Hadleigh Castle
Photo: The drum tower situated at the southern end of the east curtain wall at Hadleigh Castle. The castle was built around 1231 but this tower was built around 1363 when Edward III carried out major remodelling.

Hadleigh & Thundersley Community Archive
Following a bid by Essex Record Office and Essex Libraries, the Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded 48,700 to the South East Essex Community Archive Network (SEECAN). The grant is to be used to establish community archive websites for Benfleet, Billericay, Hadleigh, Laindon, Rochford & Rayleigh, and Wickford. The websites will follow the model already created for Canvey Island - see

The websites will be used to record people's memories of the local area and to display digital images of photos and documents of historic interest. (Any photographs or documents submitted to the archive will be scanned and returned.)

Meetings have been held over recent months for local residents interested in a community archive website for Hadleigh. At a meeting on 19 January 2010, it was agreed that the Hadleigh Community Archive should be extended to include Thundersley, including Daws Heath.

Nick Turner from Hadleigh has agreed to represent the Hadleigh & Thundersley Community Archive at SEECAN meetings.

Hadleigh history

The name 'Hadleigh' comes from the Saxon name 'Haedlege' which means 'a clearing in the wood' or 'heath clearing'.

There have been people living in the area from at least the Iron Age but Hadleigh remained relatively small until the late 19th century and the establishment of the Salvation Army Colony in 1891. The population grew from 525 to 1,300 some ten years later.

As Hadleigh grew in the 20th century more woodland was cleared for houses. However, Hadleigh and the surrounding area is fortunate in retaining some extensive woodlands such as West Wood, Pound Wood and Hadleigh Great Wood.

The population now stands at around 9,000.

For more information about Hadleigh and particularly Hadleigh Castle visit:

Buildings of interest

Sadly, many of the old High Street buildings have been lost or altered and many halls and farmhouses have been destroyed.


There are three statutorily listed buildings in Hadleigh:

Hadleigh Castle - Grade I
St. James the Less Church - Grade I
Milestone, London Road (near Meadow Road) - Grade II

Useful websites:

- Hadleigh Castle
The SEAX site is good source of information and contains many photos. Go to:

- St. James The Less Church
The church's own website (under development) has a link to a mainly textual tour of the building. Go to then click on "THE CHURCH" and then "History".


Castle Point Borough Council maintains a Local List of Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest. (The list appears in Appendix 11 of the Local Plan). It is intended to protect the character and setting of these buildings as far as possible, both for their individual merit and for their contribution to the special character of the Borough.

Policy EC37 of the Local Plan states:

The Local List contains the following buildings in Hadleigh and Daws Heath (Thundersley):

The Castle Public House, High Street, Hadleigh
Reason: Locally of historic value - there has been an inn or 'pub' on this site since circa 1664. The present building probably dates back to 1725 in parts. The building was extended in 1924.

The Crown Public House, High Street, Hadleigh
Reason: A good example of "railway" architecture, originally constructed circa 1769, but much extended in 1872. Renovated in 1985.

Nos. 12 and 14, High Street, Hadleigh
Reason: Originally known as 'Ebenezer' and 'Green' cottages. Visually attractive, semi-detached pair of timber clad cottages, dating to the 19th Century.

Nos. 31-33 Rectory Road, Hadleigh
Reason: An attractive pair of late 19th Century timber clad cottages similar in appearance to Nos. 12 and 14 High Street.

Nos. 1-24 Florence Gardens, Hadleigh
Reason: The group represents one of architectural unity with the retention of many of the original timber features. Visually attractive.

Park Farm House, Park Chase, Hadleigh
Reason: A large, early Victorian farmhouse dating from approximately 1861. Interest lies in the fact that a dwelling has existed on, or adjacent to this site since circa 1234 when this site formed part of the royal park attached to Hadleigh Castle.

Seaview Terrace, Hadleigh
Reason: An attractive frontage of Victorian dwellings displaying architectural unity and harmony. Despite the replacement of original windows with windows of modern materials, the pleasing proportions of the units have been maintained.

Sayers Farmhouse, Chapel Lane, Hadleigh
Reason: Replacement timber-clad farmhouse, built circa 1870 on the site of former dwellings, believed to have been built on the site since the 15th Century. During the early part of this century, the farm was the main dairy serving the Salvation Army Colony.

Gas Lamp, St. James Church, Hadleigh
Reason: Located to the south of the Porch , the lamp represents an example of a largely unaltered victorian gas lamp which are rare within the Borough. (Does anyone know where this is currently stored?)

War Memorial, London Road, Hadleigh
Reason: Monument - erected 1922, located in a public garden at the junction of London Road and Chapel Lane.

Harold House, London Road, Hadleigh
Reason: An attractive red brick house with (chalk) quoins.
Note: Demolished Sep 2007. (So much for Local Plan Policy EC37!)

No. 185, Daws Heath Road, Daws Heath
Reason: Former chapel of the Banyards (peculiar people) - a religious sect who appeared in this area circa 1852. This is the third chapel to be erected in the Daws Heath area, the two earlier chapels being demolished for redevelopment.

No. 137 Daws Heath Road, Daws Heath
Reason: An attractive pair of farm labourer cottages, now occupied as one dwelling.

Sandpit Hill, Hadleigh - World War II Heavy Anti- Aircraft gun site (6th AA Division)
Reason: Around 30 structures can still be identified on the site including a rare Operations Room /Generator Block. The site had both 4.5" and 5.25" gun emplacements, the latter of which are very rare in the county. Four emplacements were provided on the site.
(For more information and photos visit:

Junction of St. Michael's Road and Bramble Road, Daws Heath - Street sign
Reason: Metal name sign, probably 1940's. A rare example of this type of sign in the Borough.

No. 209, Bramble Road , Daws Heath
Reason: Buildings originally constructed circa 1910 for use as a Church Hall and house. Later used as a Sunday School. Finally converted to a dwelling in 1925.


Other buildings of interest, not on the Local List include:

14 High Street, Hadleigh
Old cottage in front of St. Thomas More Church.

136 High Street, Hadleigh.
18th/19th century house, former lodge for Hadleigh Hall, which stood behind the parade of shops to the east. (Currently occupied by Paul Newman Interiors.)

Solby's House - John Burrows Recreation Ground, Rectory Road, Hadleigh.
Late 18th century house named after its original owner, William Solby.

Nos 78-80 New Road, Hadleigh.
Pair of timber-clad cottages.

Fire Station, London Road, Hadleigh.
Constructed in 1931.

363 London Road, Hadleigh.
Constructed in 1912 as the Public Hall, Hadleigh's first general social meeting place. Also used as an ice-skating rink, cinema and licensed social club for billiards and darts. Used for commercial purposes after WW2. (Currently occupied by Essex Carpets.)

Methodist Church, Chapel Lane, Hadleigh.
Constructed 1929. (Recommended for inclusion on Local List by CPBC Environment Committee on 14 Mar 2006 by adoption of Florence Gardens Conservation Area Management Plan.)

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