Essex Castles and Forts

Hedingham Castle
Hedingham Castle

Essex once had at least 26 castles and forts, however, a majority are now just earthworks, such as Mount Bures and Rayleigh Mount. There are still a few great castles that you can visit though. Essex has several impressive castles that are open to the public all year round.

Here are the best castles to visit in Essex. Always contact the castle before leaving home as opening times and dates can vary.

Hedingham Castle

  • Bayley Street, Castle Hedingham, Halstead, CO9 3DJ
  • Tel: 01787 461174
  • Web:
  • Norman Keep built in 1140. Frequently visited by kings and queens, including Henry VII, Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. Hosts the largest single piece of medieval wooden arch in Europe.

Mountfitchet Castle

  • Mountfitchet Castle, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex CM24 8SP
  • Mountfitchet Castle is located in Stansted Mountfitchet, off the B1345.
  • The site is owned by Mr Alan Goldsmith and is open daily from 8th March to 6th November 10:00-5:00pm, and from 8th November to 15th November 10:00-4:00pm
  • Tel: (0) 1279 813237
  • Web: – provides admission rates and special events

Hadleigh Castle

  • Hadleigh, Essex
  • Tel: 0870 3331181
  • Web:
  • Hadleigh Castle is an impressive ruined castle that was built 700 years ago. The barbican and 2 towers remain.

Harwich Redoubt Fort

  • Behind 29 Main Road, Harwich, Essex, CO12 3LT
  • Tel: 01255 503429
  • Web:
  • Circular fort built in 1808 to defend the port of Harwich against a Napoleonic invasion.

Colchester Castle

  • 14 Ryegate Road, Colchester, Essex CO1 1YG
  • Website:
  • Tel: 01206 282 937
  • Colchester Castle is surrounded by a small park that is a pleasant place to walk. Inside it hosts a museum to Essex life over the centuries.

Rayleigh Mount

  • Castle Park, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1TJ
  • Tel: 01206 282939
  • Web:
  • This is an 11th-century earthwork. The original castle was built by Sweyn of Essex, and dates from the period following the Norman invasion of 1066. This motte and bailey mound is what remains of the castle. It is an impressive earthwork and display boards provide information on the key features.

Tilbury Fort

  • Tilbury, Essex, RM18 7NR
  • Tel: 01375  858489
  • Web:
  • Originally built in the 16th century to protect London’s seaward approach. It was still used as a military defence during World War II.

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