History and stories at Cressing Temple Barns
Explore some of our history and stories
The Barley Barn
The oldest of the two barns, the Barley Barn, was constructed in the 1200s. The timber structure stretches a total of 118 feet and is 45 feet wide. In the 16th century, the barn was altered to fit the common crown-post model of the era. When you visit our site, you will notice the Barley Barn’s roof structure is distinctively different to our Wheat Barn’s roof as it includes several curved bracing timbers.
The Wheat Barn
Our Wheat Barn retains the most authentic barn structure closest to its original 13th century construction. It is considered to be a masterpiece of Romanesque carpentry, with soaring timbers that give the barn an astonishing, cathedral-like quality.
Built in the 1600s, our Farmhouse, at the centre of our grounds, encompasses all the common features of a typical Essex farmhouse. From its elegant fireplaces to Georgian-style drawing rooms, the Farmhouse is available to hire for corporate meetings and community weddings. Visitors of the Farmhouse may also spot remnants of the ‘Great House’ built by William Smyth in 1623, which was later destroyed in a fire.
Tudor Walled Garden
The original Walled Garden was built c. 1550-1600 as a formal pleasure garden situated to the rear of the Great House. When the Great House was demolished, the garden was retained to serve as a kitchen garden for the Farmhouse. The present garden, laid out and planted in 1994-95, is entirely modern but based on historical principles. It contains elements that can be seen in representations of gardens to be found in 15th and 16th century illuminated manuscripts and early printed books. It’s a serene and picturesque area of the site that we take great pride in keeping lovely all year round.