Win an original watercolour painting of Hadleigh Castle

Hadleigh Castle

Hadleigh Castle - Credit: James Merriott

Artist James Merriott captures the windmills and castles of south Essex 

I have three pencil drawings of Hadleigh Castle completed from life, dated February 1994. I used two of these when doing the watercolours for this feature. It brought it home to me that I have been visiting the castle for more than 30 years to paint and sketch. 

Rayleigh is only a few miles from Hadleigh, so it was an opportunity for me to visit both and make it a joint feature. I am inspired by the castle at Hadleigh and windmill at Rayleigh, and both are places I relish painting. 

More than anything else, these watercolours (together with a very large collection of other work) represent my home county where I have lived my entire life, with the exception of growing up in nearby London’s East End. 

It is here in Essex where I feel so privileged to live. Perhaps it is because I adore the simple things. No awe-inspiring views, but the simplicity of a windmill or a castle ruin, and there are countless other such things in Essex. May they always remain. 

Hadleigh Park

Hadleigh Park - Credit: James Merriott


Became famous in 2012 when the undulating hillsides adjoining the park were used as the Olympic Mountain Bike course. 

Hadleigh Castle

Hadleigh Castle - Credit: James Merriott


The castle has been painted by countless artists, including the great John Constable (1776-1837). 

Holy Trinity Church Rayleigh

Holy Trinity church, Rayleigh - Credit: James Merriott

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In a beautiful position, looking down onto the High Street from its highpoint at the north end of the town. 

St James the Less church, Rayleigh

St James the Less church, Rayleigh - Credit: James Merriott


This church deserves to be in a more conspicuous position, with much of its beauty hidden by the churchyard trees in the centre of the busy A13 road. 

Hadleigh Park

A walk in the park - Credit: James Merriott


Look out among the wildlife for the beautiful marbled white butterfly that flys late-June to mid-August. 

Rayleigh Windmill

Rayleigh Windmill - Credit: James Merriott


One of twenty or so windmills in the county. Credit to the town planners for its preservation within the busy car park in the town centre. 


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You can contact James at Cottage Corner Art, 9 Byron Road, Hutton, Brentwood, CM13 2RU. Call 01277 210 728 to make an appointment.