Hadleigh Castle

Hadleigh Castle

Military Structure
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Hadleigh Castle

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Hadleigh Castle in the English county of Essex overlooks the Thames estuary from a ridge to the south of the town of Hadleigh. Built after 1215 during the reign of Henry III by Hubert de Burgh, the castle was surrounded by parkland and had an important economic, as well as defensive role. Hadleigh was significantly expanded by Edward III, who turned it into a grander property, designed to defend against potential French attack as well as provide the king with a convenient private residence close to London. Built on a geologically unstable hill of London clay, the castle has often been subject to subsidence; this, combined with the sale of its stonework in the 16th century has led to it now being ruined. The castle is now preserved by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building and scheduled monument.


13th century

Hadleigh Castle was first built by Hubert de Burgh, the 1st Earl of Kent, who was a key supporter of King John. De Burgh was given the honour of Rayleigh by John in 1215 as a reward for his services, but chose not to develop the existing caput of Rayleigh Castle, instead building a new fortification south of the town of Hadleigh. The exact date of construction is uncertain, but it is now believed the work was conducted early in de Burgh's tenure of the site, permission being retrospectively officially confirmed through a license to crenellate in 1230 under......
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