Salvation Army Developments

The Viaduct, Jetty, Works, and Dump, all of Victorian origin, in use by the Salvation Army (possibly except the dump). The Salvation Army Jetty was used in the early 1900s to load off and on goods, mainly bricks, made at the Salvation Army brickworks located at the bottom of Chapel Lane. The bricks were then taken by train over to the jetty, at the very lower seawall which also exists today, going over the main  railway which is the current one in-use today, by a railway leading south which avoided the main railway by going over a viaduct which also remains today, although its top is now gone, just leaving the two supports either side of the railway in existence. This article on  Hadleigh’s community archive can be read here:

The Jetty

The Salvation Army jetty – still standing 100 years later, although only the wooden stumps and some reddish concrete lumps exist.

The jetty in active use around 1900

In the Victorian era, the land between the train-track and the seawall used to be a Victorian dump. We visited and found hundreds of shards of most-likely Victorian pottery in the churned earth. When walls on Canvey were built up, the Benfleet/Hadleigh ones here were too, and the dump was flattened. This is the first heard of the dump, although confirmed by Martin Lepley (thanks for the information), who went digging there in the 70s with a relative into this field.

Pottery from the dump site – probably Victorian due to the glazing, and red colour of one piece

Not our image – This old map shows the railway going down through the dump to the jetty ^

Below – images from Robert Hallmann of track going down to the jetty uncovered 2015, with locking wheel mechanism and map of site

Another Salvation Army Jetty seen just north of the Occidental Construction Jetty on Canvey Island

The Farm Colony

Wikipedia Explains:

The colony was established in Hadleigh in 1891 by General Booth. He believed every human being should have food and shelter and published a plan to rescue the destitute from the squalor of London. His vision was that the poor would be given board and lodgings in a City Colony in exchange for a day’s work. They could then move to a Farm Colony where they would be trained to work the land and run their own smallholdings. Then finally they could progress to Overseas Colonies, running smallholdings abroad.

The trial City Colony was set up in Whitechapel in 1889 and two years later Booth put down a deposit on land in Hadleigh for his Farm Colony. Starting with 800 acres (3.2 km2) of land, later expanding to 3,200 acres (13 km2), the farm was home to 200 colonists by the end of its first year. Existing farm buildings were renovated and new dormitories, a bathhouse, laundry, reading room, hospital and religious meeting house were built. As well as farming and market gardening, colonists were taught brickmaking, pottery and construction skills. Today the colony operates an employment training centre for people who have special training needs, and accepts referrals from Social Services and the Employment Service. The aim is to create a realistic working environment, with the intention of helping clients gain the skills necessary for work elsewhere. Employment at the training centre – reminiscent of the colony’s origins – includes horticulture, carpentry, catering, office skills and estate management.

I managed to catch a passing glimpse of buildings within the current farm, as well as some the other red brick buildings off of Chapel Lane.

In the South-western section of the Hadleigh Downs I found earthworks often in ‘enclosure’ shapes (difficult to see in the photographs) which are likely to be the sites of Salvation Army constructions.

  1. You mention the Victorian dump on the marshes. Was this a Victorian dump or was it part of William Booth’s scheme. The barges coming to the Farm Colony from London were not simply there to take bricks and produce to the markets. They also brought horse manure and rubbish from the London streets. The manure was used on the farm, whilst the rubbish that could be burnt was used to fire the brick kilns. We still have several earthenware bottles at the farm that are intact from various manufacturers of soft drinks including R Whites lemonade and Wollend and Woflsen gingerbeer.

    • BTP Liam says:

      Thanks a lot for the information Neville. I do not know very much about the dump except for that it is confirmed to exist, and contained Victorian rubbish. The additional information you have given us is very useful. if you are able to take any photographs of the bottles then please do and send them along!


  2. Jonathan cowley says:

    Yes,as a schoolboy in mid 1970s we would dig the viaduct embankment for bottles and toothpaste lids,the embankment must have been made from rubbish from the hadleigh and surrounding areas.

  3. There is more to this than simply a Victorian dump. The Salvation Army brought the rubbish from London on the barges. What rubbish could be burnt was then used to fire the brick-kilns. What rubbish could not be burnt was used as ‘hard core’ for various works including the building of the ramparts either side of the bridge that took the Salvation Army’s railway over the LTSR as well as some of the paths that were laid on the farm for the colonists. Evidence of this was found on the farm as recently as 2012 when works t improve the paths in the Rare Breeds Centre was started and some of the original paths were uncovered. The Salvation Army were well known in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s for organising teams to go round the streets of London collecting various items of used clothing and furniture which would then provide work for those finding shelter in Salvation Army hostels. Further information can be found in Hadleigh Salvation Army Farm: A Vision reborn. Although currently out of print, copies are still available on Amazon, and an updated version which includes information regarding the 2012 Olympics event and legacy, as well as the restoration of Park Farm house is due for release later this year.

    • BTP Liam says:

      You may well be right then Neville. The dump does contain Victorian pottery although I believe it did last up until the 1970s; of course much of the bits still can be found on the farm fields. Perhaps it became more of a general dump after the Victorian era, or was left to lay as one, and as you say it had greater significance prior to this.That book does sound worth getting considering I think a lot more investigation could be done on the part of the Salvation army site which now lays flattened in the downs. I went walking there last Easter and found what looked like enclosure shapes in the earth and that the plants and soil had a different appearance, which suggests it was the site of several constructions. I would assume these would have been part of the colony. I have now attached pictures in the article above. Perhaps Joe and I could visit the centre one day and we could discuss the sites history and archaeology?

      Kind regards,

      • Hi Liam,
        There was a large lake next to the viaduct embankment,looking at recent Google Earth images this appears to have gone now,perhaps rubble from the old dump was used to fill the lake in.

      • BTP Liam says:

        Possibly that’s a good theory. There is still a lake in the trees north of the viaduct on the other side of the railway – perhaps it would’ve continued down originally.


  4. Hi Liam,

    You can contact Graham Cook, on eof the authors of the book, at the Hadleigh and Thundersley Community Archive. He would probably know what those buildings were. They had stables and pigeries over various parts of the site as well as other buildings for accomodation, and of course the brick works.

    What you might be interested in seeing is a map of the colony from the 1930’s and this still shows the site of many of the buildings.

    Please feel free to give me a ring and you’re more than welcome to come down for a chat.

    Kind regards


  5. Yes the lake was filled in so that we could use the land for farming, however, it was not filled in from the ‘dump’ (there was no dump – see earlier replies), but from rubble that was left following the demolition of the original brick works which were situated just the other side of the bridge. It is quite possible that the lake was man made, either as a source of water for the brick works or from one of the clay pits had filled up with water. I’m hoping to be able to send you a picture of the OS mao from the 1930’s as I think that will help people understand what used to be in the area.

    • BTP Liam says:

      Thanks very much, apparently the small lake remaining north of the railway and viaduct was rumored to be a ‘Roman bath’ and it did have signs of concrete reinforcement to the banks, although this appeared to be Victorian/Edwardian.

  6. The Roman remains are further north on the site than this. Much of this area where this lake is was probably marsh area when the Romans were here. Not sure if you are aware that when Hadleigh Castle was built the river came pretty much up to the foot of the Castle, and there is evidence of foundations which is believed to have been a water mill There were several ponds in the area by the bridge which may have been purpose built for the brick works or are where they dug out the clay to make the bricks. The Salvation Army Coloney was commenced in 1891 so your assessment of Victorian/Edwardian would match up to this.

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