Now let me get this in early before anyone gets cross. Hadleigh Castle is a ruin overlooking the Thames Estuary that English Heritage kindly let you wander around for free. You can see it from the Southend-Fenchurch Street train line between Leigh and Benfleet stations. It is very atmospheric and the views are stunning but there is not much there. Maybe a good place for a picnic but not enough for a whole day out. However there's lovely walks and it's right next door to the Salvation Army farm where there is a memorial garden to my sister so there's a couple of ideas for extending a visit to the area.
The castle that is the subject of a painting by Constable was built in the 13th century and was used as a royal residence at one time. Here's a picture, invaded by a random family. It reminds me of that scene in Father Ted where Ted is explaining perspective to Dougal with toy cows.
Here's the boy. He's camera shy these days and threatens me with death if I dare post anything on social media. Good job he doesn't look at my blog. Tee hee!
A higher window than the one Louis climbed to. Those graffiti artists must have been agile!
Here's a firepit for smelting lead. I haven't mentioned how the castle came to be a ruin. It wasn't knocked down by cannonballs from hostile ships or anything like that. No, someone bought it in the 16th century to use for building material!
As usual I've enjoyed my little break in Essex. Now off to pack the car and put the bikes on the back as we're heading back to Devon in an hour or so.