On 20 November 1230 Earl Hubert Burgh of Kent was granted ceremonial permission to construct a castle at Hadleigh in Essex.  The castle then passed in and out of his hands until 1239 when he resigned it to the Crown.  It was in this period that he probably refortied White Castle in Gwent.  In 1274 an extent was made of the castle which found it to have been badly built with the consequence that its houses were much ruined.  The state of the poor workmanship may have been overstated, for no repairs were carried out until the end of the 1280's and then only some £41 was needed to patch the fortress up.  The castle then paid host to the king on two occasions in 1293 and 1305.  This hardly made it a royal favourite.  Despite this the castle was much used by King Edward II and surveys of the time mention two towers, a main gate and barbican as well as a postern.   Hadleigh was later massively rebuilt between 1360 and 1370 with two great round towers (to the left and rear on Buck's print) being added to the older castle which appears to have had rectangular towers like those found at Dover castle.  In total over £2,000 was spent on these late fourteenth century works.  The large round tower by the gate and two square towers (to the right on Buck's print) may have been part of the original design of Hubert Burgh.


Copyright©2010 Paul Martin Remfry