The Unexpected Café: near Hadleigh Castle

Notes and files from Editors as text and images

The café and the ruined towers
Archive resources
D Hurrell / G Cook
View to North West in 1928
Historic England
1955 OS map

On the left of the picture, we see an unexpected building south of where the Dining Hall was.
The date of the picture is circa 1955.

The viewpoint is quite low to the ground and there is another block of stonework just visible in front of the building;   this might help in working out the exact viewpoint.

In the next picture, some distortion has been removed from the original and the image is now a bit clearer.

The café appears on several aerial pictures and an excerpt of the OS map revised between 1950 and 1955  is shown here and confirms the café was there.

The cafe which used to sit on that spot was destroyed and rubble from the building was still in the field in the 1960s.

The custodian of the castle met people at the gate, supervised the grass cutting and tried to flog visitors a small guide.

He told one of the editors that a refreshment room once stood there.

He was surprised that the farmer at Castle Farm broke his plough on several occasions on the brick and concrete lumps left behind after the café was pulled down.
The rubble, reportedly, had never been removed.

More information on this “Unexpected Café”  would be very welcome.

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  • Hello,
    If the building/cafe was nearly opposite the gate keeper’s hut I remember the place and it was quite but I never knew it as a Cafe. That said the building was lived in by an old boy who wore an old Bowler hat and, if my memory serves me well, at one time he was a barber in the high street. To the left of this building was a large Emplacement; presumably for a large Gun which might explain the concrete rubble.

    By Rob Keen (30/01/2024)

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