Well known Authors and Artists connected to Burnham and the Dengie Hundred

The character of this area has inspired many artists and authors. Listed below are some of the better known artists and authors connected with this area.


Robert Barnard

Born as Jerry Bauer on 23 November 1936 he grew up in Burnham-on-Crouch before leaving for a University education which launched a glittering career as an author.

As Robert Barnard he is the author of 36 novels featuring the characters Perry Trethowan, Charlie Peach and Oddie.

Samuel Levy Bensusan     

Samuel Been ( b.1873 -d.1958) lived at Asheldham and St Lawrence . He became famous for novels centered on a fictitious village called Maychester which were affectionate portrayals of life in the Essex Marshes.

Click here for details of the Bensusan archive

Barbara Blackburn

Barbara ( Evelyn) Blackburn was born in 1898 at Henley on Thames.

Between 1926 and 1971 she wrote 31 novels and collaborated on a play called 'Poor Mans Castle' with Mundy Whitehouse  which was performed on the West End stage.

She married Claude Leader and had 2 sons.

She lived at Anchor Cottage in Lachingdon when she died on 14 May 1981.

Daniel Defoe

From 1724-1726 Author Daniel Defoe travelled the Country recording his trek in " Tour through the whole island of Great Britain". His remarks on Burnham and the Dengie 100 were limited to ' the strange decay of sex'  with an explanation that many men had numerous wives who they took from the uplands but the wives rarely survived in the fog and damps of the marshland and died within a year or so at which the men just went back to the uplands and got another wife

K M Peyton

Kathleen Wendy Peyton has written 67 books from 1947 to 2008 and have reveived numerous awards.

She is best known for the Flambards triology

Kathleen lived at North Fambridge.

Click here to visit K M Peytons website

Una Silberrad

Una was born at Buckhurst Hill in 1872

Following the success oin 1899 of her first book, The Enchanter, she wrote more than 40 books many of which were best sellers.

She moved to Burnham on Crouch with her sister and became involved in life in the town although her brother Oswald remained at Buckhurst Hill to become one of the most eminent scientests of his day.

She died in 1955 and was buried in the town cemetery.

H G Wells

In his classic book War of the Worlds HG Wells used the area as a setting for his Martian invasion.

" Then far away beyond the Crouch, came another striding over some stunted trees, and then yet another still farther off wading deeply through a shiny mud flat half way up between sea and sky. By midday they passed through Tillingham, which strangely enough seemed silent and deserted, save for a few furtive plunderers hunting for food. Near Tillingham they suddenly came into sight of the sea, and the most amazing crowd of shipping of all sorts that it is possible to imagine."


Mick Cawston   PAINTER

Mick Cawston was born in 1959 at Dagenham, Essex he moved to a farm cottage in Burnham on Crouch in about 1983 and sold his paintings in local markets. By 1987 he became an established artist recognised as the No1 Dog and Horse painter in the country. Mick has had many exhibitions and his works hang in Galleries all over the world.

Sadly Mick died in 2006 at the young age of 47.

Roland Collins PAINTER

Roland Collins was born in 1918 at Kensal Rise, London and quickly an artistic talent was displayed by winning local competitions and gaining entry to an Art School. He earned his living as an illustrator while painting the landscapes of London and the Home Counties that were to make him famous in his long lfe which sadly ended in 2015.

As a keen sailor he moored his yacht at Burnham on Crouch and enjoyed visiting the town which he captured in his paintings.

 Alice Maud Fanner PAINTER

Born 1865 Died 1930

Alice Fanner was a renowned painter specialising in marine landscapes.

She was tutored by Julius Olsson and exhibited paintings at many galleries including the Royal Academy. She lived in St Ives, Cornwall and London but in 1914 she moved to Burnham on Crouch where she painted the landscape and the yachting scene. She ws married to Australian businessman Arhtur Edward Taite.

He paintings include The Seaside, Provenance, In the Luxembourg garden, Bogiaco, Lake Garda and yachts racing

Click here  to view her paintings

 Alfred Hitchcock FILM DIRECTOR

 Born 1899 died 1980 .

Alfred Hitchcock  was born and brought up in the East End . When asked, by the Times Newspaper, the inspiration for his atmospheric films he cited his experience from a Visit to Burnham on Crouch in November.

Would North by North West , Psycho or the Birds have been made without a visit to Burnham?

 Arthur Kitching  ARTIST

Born 1912 Died 1981

A celebrated artist who painted in oil or pen an ink showing people and places around him

He lived in Burnham in the early 1950's with his wife Joyce and painted the area and its people whilst his wife worked locally as a teacher. During his stay in Burnham he painted ' joyce' , 'Continental Sunday' ,' still life with chrysanthemums and Maldon.

 Click here to learn more about Arthur Kitching

Geoffrey Wickham SCULPTOR

Geoffrey was born in Wembley in 1920 and his artistic flair led to his attendance at Willesden School of Art and then the Royal College of Art.

He used these skills to become a lecturer at Westminster University but in his spare time he developed an expertise in both painting and sculpture being responsible for many sculptures in public places.

In 1972 he won the BBS Silver medal for the most distinguished scuplture in London.

He moved to Burnham on Crouch in 1986 and continued with sculptures, often from Terracotta and ink drawings.

Even when registered blind he continued to sculpt and draw with the help of assistants until his death in 2005.