“A hidden gem in the middle of Essex countryside. Beautifully preserved and maintained.” - From Trip Advisor
Cressing Temple, between Witham and Braintree, is of supreme interest for its unique buildings and gardens. Given to the Knights Templar in 1137, its Grade I-listed Barley and Wheat Barns, built in the 13th century, are among the oldest timber barns and few surviving Templar buildings in England. Displays inside outline the history of the Templars and the site.
Among Cressing Temple’s many gardens, the Walled Garden is faithfully reconstructed as a Tudor pleasure garden - one of few in the country. Cream teas at 'The Barns' Tea Room and picnics in Cressing Temple's gardens are popular, as well as events and weddings.
Admission and parking at Cressing Temple is usually free. There may be admission charges if there’s an event on – please check our future events.
The Grade-I listed Barley and Wheat Barns, built in the 13th century, are among the oldest timber barns and the few surviving Templar buildings in England. Another Grade-I listed timber-framed building, the Granary, built sometime just after 1575, is the largest granary in Essex. These and other farm buildings are open to the public.
Cressing Temple’s Walled Garden is a faithfully reconstructed Tudor pleasure garden, one of few to be found nationally. Painstakingly researched for authenticity, its original Tudor brick wall encloses a knot garden with box hedging, a nosegay garden, arbour, medicinal plants and a vegetable garden. Its centrepiece is a brick fountain with four spouts symbolising the rivers of paradise. Water trickles from the fountain along a rill to a Tudor brick fishpond.
Other gardens on site include:
• Cullen Garden, planted to encourage insect and bird life, where there are several tables and benches for picnics;
• Jubilee Orchard, where mature trees produce an abundant crop of traditional apple varieties, many originating in Essex.
Volunteers, with or without gardening experience, are always welcome in the walled garden and other areas. To volunteer, please contact the Horticulturalist by emailing email@example.com.
With many tables around the site, picnics at Cressing Temple are popular, especially in summer. Picnic tables in the Tea Room garden are for Tea Room customers only.
At our education days, children explore their chosen period of history through all their senses, brought to life by an experienced teacher with over 25 years’ experience. Education days are provided by R & H Services: Hands on History. Find out more about our Tudor and Medieval Education Days.
Dogs are not allowed in the historic site or gardens but may enter the Tea Room gardens and roam the car park field. Assistance dogs are allowed everywhere on site.
Parking at Cressing Temple is free.
Toilets can be found on site and include disabled and baby changing facilities.
Bright and vibrant, The Barns Tea Room serves meals made with fresh and local ingredients. The Barns’ extensive menu includes breakfasts, sandwiches, jacket potatoes, salads, cream teas, cakes, tea and coffee, cold drinks, wine and farmer’s ales. Opening times: Summer Monday to Sunday 9.30am to 5pm Winter Monday to Sunday 10am to 4pm
Imagine your wedding taking place in this idyllic historic setting. Both stunning Templar barns and the Tudor Walled Garden are licensed for civil wedding ceremonies, partnerships and renewal of vows. Find out more about Cressing Temple as a wedding venue.
Our unique surroundings set Cressing Temple apart as a meeting and conference venue. Our main conference room in our modern visitors centre seats up to 50 people. Its high glass ceiling makes it light and bright, and on-site catering is available from The Barns Tea Rooms. There are also two meeting rooms in the farmhouse seating up to 10 people.
You’ll find the main reception area, entrance to tea rooms and conference facilities, leaflets about our events, and toilets in our Visitors Centre.
Many of the modules of this series of one, two and three day hands-on courses are run in the Cressing Temple barns. The courses teach skills in the technical and practical care and repair of historic buildings, and are popular with historic building owners and professionals such as surveyors, architects, building contractors, self-employed tradesmen.