Foulness is surely one of the most curious places in England – it’s been inhabited for millennia, but has been a centre for Hi-Tech weapons research. You need a pass , and a reason, to visit. There’s a slight Doctor Who or Quatermass feel to the place.
The Rochford District Community Archive explains one way to visit:
There is a very interesting and active Heritage Centre on the island of Foulness which is located in the old Foulness School buildings at Churchend. The centre is run by volunteers from the Foulness Conservation and Archaeological Society.
The Heritage Centre is a vibrant and fascinating place containing artifacts dating back to prehistoric times found on the island. There is also an extensive contributed collection of photographs, documents and memorabilia.
After many years of preparatory work the centre was opened in 2003 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the East coast floods. Since then many visitors from the mainland have enjoyed the friendly atmosphere. Islanders past and present also come regularly to share the community spirit found in these familiar buildings.
The centre is only open every first Sunday of the month from April to October between midday and 4pm. The entry gate is at Landwick. To get there, take the road from beside Great Wakering church. On arrival at the QinetiQ gatehouse you must obtain a vehicle day pass and drive from there directly to the Heritage Centre car park. There is no public transport between the gate and the centre and the distance is several miles.
Weather permitting, a one hour tractor tour of the far end of the island starts at 2:30pm outside the centre.
Sadly the pub at Churchend is closed down, but you can get a cup of tea and a cake at the centre. The post office beside the pub is worth looking at. It won’t be open on Sundays, but you can peep through the window! St Mary’s church is also now boarded up and in a dangerous state but still looks lovely in the Spring sunshine, witness the photo at the bottom of this page taken in April 2012.
Find out more about St Mary’s church here.
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