Historically the most important – and dimensionally the largest – of the Knights Templar’s Essex landholdings, Cressing Temple is a fascinating medieval moated farmstead boasting the oldest timber-framed barn in the world.
Its Barley Barn and Wheat Barn are amongst the finest examples of Templar barns in Europe.
Visitors can discover an interesting range of rural barns, and admire a Tudor herb garden, all set in glorious countryside between Witham and Braintree.
The site is open for events as advertised in the ‘What’s On’ section
April – October (grounds, garden and barns) 10.30am-4.30pm*
November – March (grounds only) 10.30am-4.30pm*
*Except on days booked for a private wedding
6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21 December 2014 - 11am-3pm (timeslots must be pre booked 0845 6037624)
Dogs: No dogs
Green Flag Award: No
Picnics in the grounds are popular especially during the summer months there are also picnic tables around the site.
Educational days are provided by R & H Services, an experienced educational team. A professionally qualified teacher with over 25 years’ teaching experience really brings the history to life. The children get to experience their chosen period through all their senses.
Opportunities for volunteers are extensive; each park offers a unique experience and widens individual understanding, knowledge and involvement in the local community.
Cressing Temple is dominated by two magnificent medieval barns, the Barley Barn & the Wheat Barn. Step inside & you will be awestruck at their scale and the rare skill of the men who built them.
The gardens form an integral part of the site where stand the famous mediaeval barns built in the 13th century by the Knights Templar. The Walled Garden is a faithful reconstruction of garden history, developed in the early nineties using painstaking research to achieve authenticity. Enclosed by its original Tudor brick wall, its centrepiece is a brick fountain from which trickles water along a rill to a Tudor brick built fishpond. A wooden viewing platform (on the site of the original brick terrace) provides a vantage point from which to survey the garden. Planting is true to what we know of Mediaeval and Tudor gardens and includes a knot garden with box hedging, a nosegay garden, arbour, medicinal plants and a vegetable garden.
Why not learn about the fantastic gardens at Cressing Temple with a guided tour from our Horticulturalists. Tours are free to Friends of Cressing Temple or £2 to the general public. Enjoy a tearoom special on the day and also receive a free garden tour.
The orchard is situated to the left of the car park as you face the Visitor Centre. It was planted in 1993 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne. The trees were planted with the assistance of the pupils of Cressing County Primary School and the species were chosen with advice from Writtle College. They are grown on M25, M26 and MM106 rootstocks. Of the eight traditional varieties to be found here, six originate from Essex.
The Cullen garden is situated to the side of the Farmhouse. It was planted in memory of Frank Cullen, the last owner of Cressing Temple before Essex County Council bought the site in 1987. The garden was designed using the ideas of Percy Cane (1881 – 1976), a well-known horticulturalist and architect who was born and educated in Bocking, Essex.
Dogs (except assistance dogs) are not allowed in the historic site or tea garden
For information and printable guides on public rights of way go to:
Open every day* April to October 10:30am – 4:30pm (grounds, barns and garden). November – March 10:30am – 4:30pm (grounds only). The site is also open for events as advertised in the ‘What’s On’ section.
*Except on days booked for a private wedding.
The tranquil atmosphere forms a peaceful backdrop to celebrate the life of your special friend or relative. Hiring the Templars’ Tearoom or visitor centre conference room presents the opportunity to greet all of your guests in a generous yet intimate space. A buffet or light refreshments can be served in either space according to your needs.
Guests can enjoy the pleasure of exploring the relaxed scenic grounds. Our Tudor Walled Garden features a reconstructed Elizabethan knot garden and forecourt; an arbour; viewing terrace over the medieval knot garden with fountain and fishpool centrepieces.
Cressing Temple offers a range of conference facilities and our unique surroundings set us apart from other conference providers.
Looking for the perfect 13th Century Medieval Barn to host your wedding? Then look no further. Imagine your wedding taking place in this idyllic historic setting of Cressing Temple in Essex. You and your guests will be able to enjoy, relax and celebrate in our beautiful estate.
Please note: Catering is currently only available for those attending pre-booked events, meetings and conferences.
The programme responds to the ongoing shortage of traditional building skills, and aims to provide a greater access to craftspeople through re-training, as well as giving home owners the skills to repair their properties.
Toilets can be found on site and include disabled and baby changing facilities.