Rayleigh Mount (also known as Rayleigh Castle) is effectively the location where the castle once stood. All that is left are the grounds of the mount that once housed this (presumably) once great castle. There is no picture offered as to what it looked like or even supposed to look like which while a bit disappointing is actually commendably honest of the National Trust. They could easily batter you with made up pictures to try and romance this up a bit. So if there's no castle it begs the question what is there? Well the natural surroundings leading up to the summit are actually very agreeable, you are confronted with a winding path (actually 2 paths) that circle the mount taking you first past a small tranquil stream not unlike something you would expect to see Yoda perched next to in "Empire". The path takes you to a quite lofty summit some 15 -20 metres overlooking the town and offered some quite impressive views of Essex; this actually makes you realise how green-belt Essex is but that's unfortunately as good as it gets. That's a bit of a shame as the areas local history is a significant one as this was one of only 48 castles mentioned in the original doomsday book of 1086.
It's no more than 20 mins drive from Grays and for a diverting afternoon out its worth a look but is best seen in conjunction with another trip somewhere. There are some very nice pubs in the town of Rayleigh so maybe an afternoon lunch is the perfect compliment.
Postcode: SS6 7ED (100 yards from High Street, next to Mill Hall car park)
More information: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/rayleigh-mount/