Hadleigh Castle Country Park Houses
Off Chapel Lane, Hadleigh
The park gets its name from the nearby Hadleigh Castle; an impressive ruin of a fortress built over 700 years ago. Views of Kent, Canvey Island, Southend Pier, Canary Wharf and Dartford Bridge.
- Bird hide on Two Tree Island
Once considered a strategically important fortress for protecting the approach to London via the Thames estuary, Hadleigh Castle was extensively repaired and rebuilt under Edward III in the 1360s. Today the extremely ruinous remains overlooking the marshes are a haunting reminder of the splendid castle that was given to successive Queens of England as part of their dower.
Hubert de Burgh, Justiciar of England and Earl of Kent, had owned lands at Hadleigh from his time as a revered minister of King John, but a royal licence to crenellate (or to build a castle) was not granted until 1230. At this time de Burgh was enjoying his position as one of the most influential barons, but his fortunes changed drastically within the next few years. Soon after work had begun on his castle, he was imprisoned under some false claim by his enemies, and Hadleigh Castle was seized by King Henry III. Although there is little documented evidence to support fact, it seems reasonable to assume that the King, recognising even then the important position of the castle, allowed the building work to continue.
AddressOff Chapel Lane, Hadleigh, Benfleet, Essex, SS7 2PP
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