Hadleigh Castle from the West, c. 1936
Unframed (ref: 3761)
Signed and inscribed with title on reverse
Oil on panel
14 x 18 1/4 in. (35.5 x 46.3 cm)
Tags: Alan Sorrell architecture landscape painted en plein air
Provenance: The artist's son, Richard Sorrell
Sorrell painted Hadleigh castle, near to his Essex home, many times. These on the spot paintings would often become the starting point for the reconstruction drawings for which Sorrell was renowned., many of which were commissioned by The Ministry of Works and published in numerous books, amongst them British Castles, 1974.
Sorrell's reconstruction drawings brought him into close working relationships with many of the foremost archaeologists of his day, including Sir Cyril and Aileen Fox, Sir Mortimer Wheeler, Leonard Woolley, Kathleen Kenyon, Ian Richmond, Richard Atkinson, Stuart Piggott, V E Nash-Williams, Stuart Rigold and many others.
Hadleigh Castle in the English county of Essex overlooks the Thames estuary from a ridge to the south of the town of Hadleigh. Built after 1215 during the reign of Henry III by Hubert de Burgh, the castle was surrounded by parkland and had an important economic, as well as defensive role. Hadleigh was significantly expanded and remodelled by Edward III, who turned it into a grander property, designed to defend against potential French attack as well as provide the King with a convenient private residence close to London. Built on a geologically unstable hill of London clay, the castle has often been subject to subsidence; this, combined with the sale of its stonework in the 16th century, has led to it now being ruined.