The Castle - destruction of a pub

The High Street 1998

This is the gradual destruction of the Castle Pub in 1998.

The Castle ‘Hotel’ as it used to be known was an old coaching hotel. Although a  date for the pub is unknown, it is listed in Pigots Trade directory in 1828-29.

It is now the site of Aldi supermarket.




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  • The Castle was advertised to be let in the Ipswich Journal of August 17, 1765. It was described as “A commodious and well accustomed public house, or inn”. It was therefore well established before that year. There was “a very good double stable and a good cellar”.

    Re Harper:
    The accident occurred just before midnight on Friday 7 August 1903 when Daniel Harper was travelling from the Castle at Wickford to Burnham. The car had difficulty in negotiating a hill near Woodham Ferrers so Harper left the car in order to lighten the load. When he climbed back into the car he slipped and caught his foot between the chain and the cogs. The chauffer, Leslie Kingsnorth, drove the car back to Wickford and the Castle Inn. Dr Marshall attended to Harper and decided that his foot needed to be amputated. Marshall was assisted by Drs Carter and Hilliard. At the inquest, which was held at the Castle Inn, it was determined Harper had died of heart failure, arising from tetanus. Before he died, Harper said no one was to blame except himself; he had tried to climb back into the car while it was in motion.
    Source: The Newsman, Saturday August 22, 1903.

    By David C Rayment (27/07/2023)
  • The Castle pub was very popular with all my friends back in 1969, it was our meeting place. I met my future husband there too. I emigrated to Canada in 1987 and was so shocked to hear it had been demolished just for a supermarket to be put there.
    All that history gone forever!

    By Sue Roney (27/07/2023)
  • Greetings from Bunbury, Western Australia!
    My great-grandfather Daniel Harper (08/05/1855-17/08/1903) died here as a result of a freak accident in early August 1903. He was working on a machine at the hotel site and tried to jump off for some reason. In doing so, he got his leg caught in a drive chain while it was still moving. His leg was amputated but blood poisoning had set in and spread throughout his body, causing him to die about a week later on 17 August 1903.

    If anyone could shed more light on this I would be grateful. I have the notes that I typed on my Ancestry tree nearly a year ago, after finding this info on the internet; but I have since lost the original link, and my current searches have been fruitless.

    By Wayne Harper (21/12/2022)
  • I worked at the Castle for a while. I can remember all the cockroaches that were there. There always seemed to be a nice warm fire at the end of the saloon bar.

    By D.J. Westgarth (03/02/2020)
  • I use to drink in the Castle pub. Public bar only. I was a Wickford skinhead back then. None of this racist bollox then. We would NOT have allowed it. It was all about the music and great friendships made. The fights on Bank Holidays at the seaside. I paid the price for being a Wickford skinhead. Magistrates Court in Billericay. Mr Rafbone Danico, always fair, but firm. In 1975 to 1979.
    I am 61 now. Live in Bedford.

    By Mr Shannon Passfield. (28/01/2020)
  • I didn’t think the castle pub was demolished until 1997-8? Only I was only born in 91 and I remember seeing it as a child and have a photo of it when watching the carnival. I’m not sure if small buildings were demolished before then but the main building I remember. 

    Got some great pictures on the site. Really fascinating.

    By Jenny (24/10/2015)
  • A grade 2 listed building, several prominent Wickford people tried to save this beautiful old coaching house, a prominent feature in the centre of Wickford from the earliest days of Wickford’s history. Yet Basildon’s Caring Council that always knows what’s best for Wickford destroyed it in the name of progress.

    By T.A.Williams (28/04/2014)
  • It’s a shame members of the public were not informed it was going to be demolished.

    By JACKIE GRIFFITHS (19/10/2013)

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