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 recorded 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 special events as advertised in the ‘What’s On’ section
On non-event days opening times are as follows:
10.30 am - 4.30pm*
*Except on days booked for a private wedding when the site will be closed to the public.
Please call before visiting to check if there is an event on.
The site is FREE to visitors on non-event days.
12 July 2015 - 11am-4pm
12 April 2015 - 10.00am - 3.30pm
25, 26 August 2015 - 10am-3.30pm
Dogs: No dogs
Green Flag Award: No
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. Fascinating exhibitions can be found in the historic buildings, telling the story of the Knights Templar and the layered history of the site and the garden.
The gardens form an integral part of the site. 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.
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. Of the eight traditional varieties to be found here, six originate from Essex.
The Cullen garden can be found 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 Friends group was set up in 2013 to support the gardens at Cressing Temple. The Friends work with the garden’s horticulturalist providing financial and practical support for plants, materials and specific projects.
Volunteers are always welcome, in the walled herb garden and other garden areas of the site. No previous gardening experience is needed. If you would like to volunteer please contact the site horticulturalist.
Picnics in the grounds are popular, especially during the summer months. There are a number of 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.
Dogs (except assistance dogs) are not allowed in the historic site or gardens
For information and printable guides on public rights of way go to:
Open every day* throughout the year 10:30am – 4:30pm (grounds, barns and garden). 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 recreation of a Tudor garden complete with forecourt, rose arbour; viewing terrace over the medieval knot garden with fountain and fishpool and many other features representative of gardening in the late medieval/ Tudor period.
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.