History in the making

Proud as we are of our Constable connections, we are equally excited about our involvement in Radical Essex an innovative programme of events celebrating the county’s crucial role in the history of British modernism.

Led by Focal Point Gallery in Southend-on-Sea in collaboration with Visit Essex and Firstsite in Colchester, Radical Essex runs throughout this year and next. Our immediate sights are set on Essex Architecture Weekend on Saturday 10 September and Sunday 11 September, when an ambitious series of tours and events celebrates the county’s pioneering role in twentieth century architecture.

Over 20 individual modernist buildings will be open for public access over the two days including Clockhouse Way estate in Braintree, seen at the time as Britain’s first cautious steps towards Modernism. Bringing architecture right up to date, Essex based HAT Projects will be creating a new architectural commission for the entrance to Silver End Village Hall, available to view over the weekend.

Silver End Village Hall, just 30 minutes from Wivenhoe House, is the main hub for the talks programme over the week. Speakers include artist Rachel Lichtenstein and author Ken Worpole and on the Sunday acclaimed broadcaster and writer Jonathan Meades will be answering audience questions after a screening of his BBC-4 documentary The Joy of Essex.

Of course our neighbours at the University of Essex play an important part in this weekend with guided walking tours available on both days. Designed in the early 1960s by Kenneth Capon, the University’s Colchester Campus is an outstanding example of the then new brutalist style of architecture.

This is an amazing opportunity to spend a fascinating weekend in Essex, seeing first hand some unique examples of twentieth century British architecture and, with tickets going fast, head over to Radical Essex’s website to fine tune your itinerary.


find us, however you travel
By car:

Whether approaching Wivenhoe House from London and the South or Ipswich and the North via the A12, take the exit marked Colchester (A133). Follow the A133 towards Clacton, ignore the entrance to the Knowledge Gateway, continue along the A133 then take the B1028 for Wivenhoe before turning right into Boundary Road, then right again into Park Road. The entrance for Wivenhoe House is shared with the University of Essex but Park Road leads you through Wivenhoe Park and you will be able to see the glorious house from the road.

For Sat Nav please use CO7 9HT and then follow signage to Wivenhoe House. Please note, some Sat Navs may direct you to the wrong side of Wivenhoe Park so please check our PDF Map

Download our PDF Map

By train:

Colchester station, Colchester Town station, Wivenhoe station and Hythe stations are all between 10-15 minutes from Wivenhoe House by car. Trains run between London (Liverpool Street) and Colchester station every 10-20 minutes. The journey takes around an hour. Also connect with Colchester from Norwich, Ipswich, Felixstowe & Harwich. Some trains from London (Liverpool Street) also stop at Wivenhoe Station. When travelling from the Clacton/Walton direction, alight at Wivenhoe or Hythe Stations.

By plane:

Stansted airport is approximately 45 minutes from Wivenhoe House by car. Helicopter pad coordinates are 603200/223900.