The Foulness Heritage Centre

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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. 

The various web links that follow were found on a web trawl in April 2012. They cover the Heritage Centre, Foulness Island and the nearby area.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Foulness Heritage Centre' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Foulness Heritage Centre' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Foulness Heritage Centre' page

Foulness Heritage Centre

QinetiQ – information about the Heritage Centre on the MOD contractor's site. Also pages there about Conservation and Archaeology on the Island

Foulness Heritage Society leaflet, in pdf format

Local web sites

Wakering and District Heritage – a local general web site, by Richard Kirton, based at Wakering which includes material on Foulness

Barling and Wakering Villages – an earlier local web site based at Barling which includes material on Foulness - click its "Heriage Site" tab for Richard Kirton's more recent site

Multimedia

YouTube - John Dobson video about the Island (this and other videos are shown in a rolling programme at the Foulness Visitor Centre)

General articles about Foulness

Wikipedia – a substantial article on the history and geography of the Island

Patrick Arnold, Hon Sec. Friends of Foulness – a general article about Foulness on a web archive (it takes a little while for the page to appear)

History House – a Friends of Foulness page on this site with quite a few useful links

Creek Sailor - article by a recent (2012) nautical visitor to the island

Rochford Council – a short general article about Foulness

St. Osyths – a church to the North of Foulness, where the BANGS arrived !

Visit Essex - Foulness Island article

Vision of Britain - Foulness

Old Towns – Foulness as described in 1837

Conservation

Rochford Council - Foulness Churchend Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan. This is a 2006 report about the conservation area on the Island

JNCC – Joint National Conservation Committee link about the Foulness Special Protection Area

British Listed Buildings – listed buildings on Foulness, most entries without any photographic support

St Mary's Church

Essex Churches – information and a few photos of St Mary's

Wikipedia - article about St Mary's

The marketing of St Mary's

Other

UK Genealogy Archives – one of the portals for seeking out ancestors

The Mormon's website - follow the link "search for this page title" to access Foulness information

Francis Frith Books - books and photos

Peter Owen - postcards of Southend and surrounding areas, including Foulness

Dark Places – a fringe site investigating secret places from an artistic viewpoint, although the group seems to have been involved to some extent with the New Scientist magazine acting as an observer

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Foulness Heritage Centre' page
This page was added by Robert Stephen on 06/05/2012.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

Seems so Jane. If you want to make absolutely sure suggest you ring number below.

For further information about visiting the Heritage Centre, telephone 01702 217836.

I have taken this from the Qinetic link further down the list of comments.

By Bob Stephen
On 30/09/2017

I know it says its open up till October  would that be that obviously mean the 1st of October as well?

By Jane Cramer
On 30/09/2017

Interesting Suzanne. The Qinetiq website has no information but it does say there that a 15 year lease was granted to the FCAS in 2001 and that the Centre was opened in 2003. So 2018 will be the 15th anniversary of its opening.

If anyone reading this can enlighten please post something.

By Bob Stephen
On 13/09/2017

Is this being stopped by the MOD next year 2018? Please advise.

By Suzanne Hayward
On 13/09/2017

Hello James,

You can visit the Heritage Centre on first Sunday of month between April and Oct inclusive. Opening of HC is from 12 to 4 and you can arrive at the Landwick gate from 11:45.

The link below has a telephone number but I'm not sure to where in Qinetic and whether it would be active on the day !

Qinetic

https://shoeburyness.qinetiq.com/conservation/foulness-heritage-centre.aspx

Regards, Bob Stephen (RDCA-Admin)

By Bob Stephen
On 18/07/2017

Hi, I hope you can help me. I've been meaning to visit Foulness again for years but on the occasions I visited in the past, could not get beyond the main gate.  I didn't realise there was a museum on the site so I'm therefore planning to visit this coming August on Sunday 6th. The issue I have is - I don't want to travel there all the way from Redbridge area, only to find it is closed. Does any of the readers have a contact number for Quinetic or the Museum, so I can call on the day to ensure its open - Thanks, James

By James Burke
On 16/07/2017

Hi Alan, have a look down at the comments below. You will need to get to the Landwick gate to the island near Gt Wakering. Then you will need some transportation to get you from there to the Heritage Centre at Churchend. I reckon a bicycle or motorbike would qualify (a car obviously) but possibly not on foot (can't be certain about this however). Maybe someone else can comment.

By Bob Stephen
On 14/06/2017

I live in Rochford, how do I get there?

By alan robinson
On 14/06/2017

Why can't we have a public open day on Saturdays when there is a bus service? Among other things this would help keep the bus going.

By Simon Norton
On 24/03/2017

Oh dear!  Centre may well have been open yesterday but the gate at Wakering/Landwick obviously was not. This is manned by QinetiQ, a MOD contractor.

"Centre opens every first Sunday of the month from April to October between midday and 4pm."

Apologies to all. I'll make sure I check the opening conditions for the remaining events (gate and centre) and post the result here.

By Bob Stephen
On 02/05/2016

Tried to visit today, but no one on the main gate!

By Mike
On 02/05/2016

Thanks Beverley ... I've just come back from a short holiday so have only been able to post your request this morning. As far as I know the Centre is open today!

By Bob Stephen
On 01/05/2016

Hi,

Is the centre open for visitors on 1st May? I wasn't sure if the bank holiday affected the opening times?

Many thanks,

By Beverley
On 01/05/2016

Hi Stephen, as far as I know the Sunday opening of the Heritage Centre is along these lines:

  • Centre opens 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 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.
  • refreshments are available at the Centre
  • booking for the Tractor Tour should be done on arrival at the Centre - I don't think you can book in advance. The Tour will run, weather permitting, from outside the Centre, at 2:30.
By Bob Stephen
On 07/07/2014

Are there special events on the 3rd August, do we need to book?  Thanks. Stephen Beckett

By Stephen Beckett
On 07/07/2014

Supplementary site info here - George and Dragon. This is the now closed pub at Churchend. Have a look at the article and comments section where the last landlord of the pub, Fred Farenden, has left valuable information. (RDCA-Admin).

By Bob Stephen
On 26/04/2014

Will visit this summer.

By Alan Chapman
On 26/04/2014
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