Tag: Wickford Rayleigh Hockley Woodham & Fambridge

By Joe Mander

Runwell Hospital

Today, the site of Runwell Hospital is nothing more than rubble, with over 500 homes on the way, although turn back the clock a few years and it was a fully fledged hospital. Tucked away in the Essex countryside, not far from Chelmsford, Runwell opened in July 1937 as an asylum. For almost 80 years…

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By Joe Mander

Stow Maries Aerodrome

Stow Maries is a village and civil parish in west Essex. In September 1916, during the first World War, an airfield was established at Stow Maries for the Royal Flying Corps. By 1919 the need for airfields lessened and Stow Maries was closed. The site was then considered for development as an airfield during the…

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By Joe Mander

HMP Bullwood Hall

H.M.P. Bullwood Hall was a former women’s prison in Hockley, built in the 1960’s initially as a women’s borstal. The site was opened to house minors, although went on to hold female prisoners of any age. In 2002, six-part series ‘The Real Bad Girls’ aired on ITV. The series was filmed at Bullwood Hall and…

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By Joe Mander

Rawreth HAA & POW Camp

Driving through Rawreth Industrial Estate you wouldn’t have a clue that you were driving past some old Prisoner of War buildings; but they were once known locally as “Rawreth Camp” or “The Gunsite”. According to the Rochford District Community Archive, the site was constructed at the start of the Second World War, in 1940, originally…

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By Liam Heatherson

Rayleigh Mount

What now stands as a strange overgrown mound of earth piling high into the sky, squeezed behind a car park near Rayleigh high street, was once the site of a Norman motte-and-bailey castle. Rayleigh Castle, or Rayleigh Mount as it is sometimes known, was recorded in the Domesday Survey of 1086 and was the only…

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By Liam Heatherson

Morris Farm Salterns

The marshes of Essex have been valued for their salt content through the Prehistoric and Roman eras right up until present day where Maldon sea salt is still a nationwide export. Whilst it is now favoured as a seasoning, its historical value lay in its ability to preserve food prior to the use of ice…

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By Joe Mander

Wickford Pillboxes

Comprised of former farmland, Wick Country Park in Wickford spans 50 acres with over 2km of walking trails. Dotted amongst the site are three pillboxes – only one of which can be accessed inside, the others have been sealed up to prevent any damage. During construction works on the park in 2001, earth excavations discovered…

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By Joe Mander

Woodham Ferrers ROC Post

After looking around the site of Stow Maries Aerodrome, we had a couple of hours free to look around the local area so we planned to visit the Woodham Ferrers ROC post. The only ROC post that we have been to before is the Canvey Island one which has been capped with mud and concrete meaning we…

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By Liam Heatherson

Fambridge Concrete Barge

In the marshy area adjacent to North Fambridge marina lies a ferro-concrete barge partially submerged in a field. Once stranded in the marshland, this barge exists as a peculiar hulk misplaced from its maritime origins and today exists buried into the earth following the reclamation of the area into farmland. This example is in good…

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