I went to Rainham. I’ve been before. It still has vestiges of the remote Essex village it once was, before Dagenham made it all industrial.

The hall is sweet, a doll’s house dated 1729 for a sea captain, slightly later than I thought with no vestige of Palladianism:-

Then, we bicycled across the marsh, slightly surreal, alongside vast lorries going to the land fill, with the A13 on a viaduct in the distance, half no-man’s land, half nature reserve, to the RSPB building at Thurrock where you can have an all-day breakfast:-


3 thoughts on “Rainham

  1. joan says:

    If you are heading that way again, and can get access, I would recommend a visit to the UCL PEARL facility (it stands for Person Environment Activity Research Laboratory) in Dagenham. We went when it was open for Open House, partly out of sentimentality – one of my aunts worked at the May and Baker factory whose former site it part occupies (the May and Baker canteen is listed) – and it turned out to be fascinating. Designed by Penoyre and Prasad it houses all sorts of interesting experiments about how we interact with the world. We were on the delayed hard hat tour of the new UCL buildings in the Olympic Park a couple of weeks ago and one of the UCL staff was saying how thrilled people are with the set-up at PEARL. https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/buildings/penoyre-prasads-pearl-research-facility

  2. Tony Valsamidis says:

    Marvellous photos as always, Charles. You’ve really captured the essence of the marsh (though not the smell of the landfill.) I was astonished at the enormous extent of the marsh. Two ravens were reported that day at the reserve – I wonder if they were the birds we saw on the boundary posts?

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