The Castle Ruins

Other Pitches

The Castle

Hadleigh Castle, Essex

Less than 5 miles from the Stadium of Fingers you can find the romantic ruins of a royal castle overlooking the Essex marshes.

Hadleigh Castle was begun in about 1215 and but extensively refortified during the Hundred Years War, becoming a favourite residence of the ageing king.

The barbican and two striking drum towers – one later used by Georgian revenue men looking out for smugglers – are part of the substantial building works of the 1360s.

Plan of the site

Digging through the historical archives, you might be surprised to find there is plenty of evidence that both the sport of football and the pastime of Olde Subbuteo featured strongly in the life of the castle! ?

The plan shows how everything was set up back then, from the apartments that housed the heavyweights, lightweights, flats and walkers, to the various terraces. There is also a dateline of the building phases, from Kenneth de Bailey to the little known reign of Ken III...

So it became an obvious project to recreate this previously unmapped piece of history in Olde Subbuteo-style... ?

Ye Olde Ruins

Olde foundations

The first task wast to findeth enow olde ruins to surroundeth ye olde pitch.

Then a few fusty episodes of Blue Pet'r did need to beest wath'd to rememb'r how to maketh pap'r mache. This wast did need f'r uneven and hillside effect.

Then a searcheth f'r suitable grass and shrubs wast und'rtaken, and these w're duly did stick on top of the pap'r mache moulds.

Gadzooks yonder effect wast valorous to beholdeth!

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle… This blessed plot, these castle ruins.
Two heavyweights from Watf'rd checketh out ye olde scene
The ruins art putteth side by side as ye olde pitch is did lay
An int'resting effect is madeth with the ruins pictur'd togeth'r
Ye olde heavyweights behold at rubble yond hast fallen

Ye Olde Pitch

Ye Olde cotton pitch is laid

The pitch is did lay and did mark out with chalk from fusty quarries of Dov'r.

The lines art remarkably straight consid'ring the uneven hillside and with many jowls. This is what is known and did accept widely as poetic licenseth!

Ye olde pitch is anon eft f'r ye many olde spectat'rs yond shall cometh from both near and far.

The w'rd gets out to the peasants and to the olde seige army, returning from Dov'r aft'r the most wondrous siege of 1216.

A view from the c'rn'r with a ruin'd mure in the f'reground
Watf'rd heavyweights testeth ye olde cotton pitch
A view through the olde stone arches
A moment in timeth - bef're a ball wast did kick on ye olde pitch
Deep in conv'rsation, the oldes speak of team selection
Rebuilding ye olde goals - as't wouldst has't been centuries ago

Trying out ye olde pitch...

A sh'rt clipeth yond views the figures checking out the rolleth of the ball on ye olde cotton pitch.

'Tis mildly surprising yond a cam'ra wast hath found to rec'rd this backeth in the 13th century, howev'r as wast mention'd bef're, this is the beauty yond is poetic licenseth!

A nice dram moveth is nearly did finish off by Watf'rd centre f'rward Luth'ran Blisseteth! ?

Ye Siege Army

Rumour wast yond w'rd hath reached the seige army aft'r capturing Dov'r castle, th're wast a game of football at Hadleigh castle. Sacking, pillaging, burning, rape, and murd'r w're f'rgone at the prospect of a valorous olde game of association football. The soldi'rs did travel n'rth through kent, stopping briefly to payeth their respects to the soon-to-be birthplace of ye olde game of subbuteo at tunbridge wells.

Those gents did travel to greenhithe, but w're disappoint'd the QE2 bridge at Dartf'rd crossing hadst not yet been hath built. "Bugg'r!" many w're hath heard to exclaim, as those gents div'rt'd to Olde London Town to crosseth the riv'r. T'wast all w'rth 't though as anon those gents w're watching a most wondrous game of footie!

F'rtunately those gents hast bann'rs did prepare in advance
Yon memb'r of the seige army looks liketh a linesman!
Is this a ball-boy we seeth bef're us?
Yon subbuteo spectat'r hadst donn'd his armour
Siege army olde c'rp'rate boxeth
Siege Aarrmy!
Siege Aarrmy!
Siege army ultras enjoyeth
Yon cam'raman? (ref c104)
Nay rape 'r pillage - joyous days! ?

Ye Peasant Army

Peasants w're the po'rest people in the medieval 'ra and hath lived primarily in the state 'r bawbling villages.

Serfs w're the po'rest of the peasant class, and in exchange f'r a lodging to liveth, s'rfs w'rk'd ye landeth to groweth crops f'r themselves and yonder Lord. In addition, s'rfs w're did expect to w'rk the farms f'r ye Lord and payeth did rend.

Howev'r, Lord Ken of Hadleigh wast kind and gen'rous!

That gent did lay on a big feast f'r the peasants of Essex, and did invite those folk to gaze the first ev'r game of association football to beest did play at the castle. The peasants cameth one and all! ?

The peasants did cameth one and all! ?
The peasant wives did knit olde homemade bann'rs!
A p'rfect spoteth to gaze the matcheth
Ye olde programme selleth'r
Pie and bovril wast the staple medieval diet! ?
Wives and girlfriends in ye c'rp'rate boxeth
Haply this is the lodging f'r us to gaze the olde matcheth
These gents has't did crack ope a few tinnies! ?
The peasant army in full floweth!

The Castle Ruins Pitch...

The first game on the castle ruins - oddly Benevento of Italy v Everton...
We run entirely on grants & donations. Support future events for bringing people together.
Donate now