Castle Hedingham

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Castle Hedingham
St. James Street, Castle Hedingham, Essex - - 176097.jpg
St. James Street, Castle Hedingham, Essex
Castle Hedingham is located in Essex
Castle Hedingham
Castle Hedingham
Location within Essex
Population1,201 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceTL787357
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townHalstead
Postcode districtCO9
Dialling code01787
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°59′28″N 0°36′14″E / 51.991°N 0.604°E / 51.991; 0.604Coordinates: 51°59′28″N 0°36′14″E / 51.991°N 0.604°E / 51.991; 0.604

Castle Hedingham is a village in northern Essex, England, located four miles west of Halstead and 3 miles southeast of Great Yeldham in the Colne Valley on the ancient road from Colchester, Essex, to Cambridge.

It developed around Hedingham Castle, the ancestral seat of the de Veres, Earls of Oxford. The first earl, Aubrey de Vere III, finished the initial building of the keep and established a Benedictine nunnery, Castle Hedingham Priory, near the castle gates. Hugh de Vere, fourth earl of Oxford, purchased the right to hold a market in the town of the crown in the mid-13th century. He also founded a hospital just outside the gates of the castle around 1250.

The village's main attractions are the well preserved Norman Hedingham Castle, the Colne Valley Railway, Kirby Hall and its many timber-framed medieval buildings.

The church of St. Nicholas is late Norman and Gothic, building having commenced around 1180. The fine double hammerbeam roof is attributed to Thomas Loveday, who was responsible for work on St John's College, Cambridge. Its Romanesque wheel window and cemetery cross are remnants of the Norman church.

Exterior, St Nicholas' Church, Castle Hedingham
Southeast view of St Nicholas' Church, Castle Hedingham, Essex

The village was served by Sible and Castle Hedingham railway station which was opened by Colne Valley & Halstead Railway Company in 1867. The station closed in 1964 and was dismantled and rebuilt in 1974 on a new site to the north west of the village by the Colne Valley Railway Preservation Society.

Castle Hedingham Pottery was an art pottery studio run by Edward Bingham at Castle Hedingham from about 1864 until 1901.

Notable residents[edit]

Sir John Hawkwood, of "The White Company" famous Knight in Florence Italy, as shown in a fresco in the Duomo painted by Paolo Uccello as a memorial to this renowned commander who earlier served under the Black Prince. Born in 1320 at Sible Hedingham died at Florence March 16, 1394-5 and after a magnificent funeral, his body was returned to England by King Richard ll. A monument was placed in St Peter church along with a chapelry in that church and in Castle Hedingham. [ Robert Coe Puritan His Ancestors and Descendants by J.B. Bartlett, pages 15-16]

Interior of St. Nicholas' Church


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Davies, Ann Lorraine [known as Ann Lindsay] (1914–1954), actress and translator | Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/68985. Retrieved 15 April 2019.

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