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Hadleigh, Essex


Hadleigh today is a built up town in southeast Essex along A13 between Basildon and Southend-on-Sea. Historic maps show the layout of the town was a linear settlement to the south of St James’s church with a common area to the north and west. The name Hadleigh was first recorded at the turn of the 11th century as Haethlege to mean ‘heath clearing’ or ‘the clearing where heather grows’.

The remains of the early 13th century castle are situated on the edge of the marshes in the far south of the parish and overlooking Benfleet Creek and the River Thames beyond. The castle although built by Hubert de Burgh as a display of his wealth, he was forced to return his lands to the king after a disagreement and the castle remained in royal hands until it was sold for building materials in the mid-16th century.


Local Information Websites

AGES Archaeological and Historical Association

Hadleigh and Thundersley Community Archive

Hadleigh Town Website

British History Online

Unlocking Essex's Past (SEAX Archaeology)

Heritage Gateway


Projects by Year





Test Pit Pottery Distribution Map 2015-2017


Click here for the summary report of the Hadleigh test pitting results