Cressing Temple

If you have a couple of hours spare one day this month why not visit Cressing Temple, between Witham and Braintree?

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.

For the children this month there are magical elf-led tours through interactive rooms, plus take up your invite to sit on Santa’s full size sleigh for a photo as it’s prepared to take off on the big day!

Your elf guide will lead you around before going on to meet Father Christmas himself in his Grotto, complete with magical fireplace and real Christmas trees. Booking for these tours is essential.
The manor of Cressing was granted to the Knights Templar in 1136. The Preceptory of Cressing was one of the very earliest Templar estates in England and was placed first in a detailed list of Templar holdings in 1185, it was the largest estate in Essex.

The Barns
The oldest of the two cathedral like major barns is Barley Barn. Tree-ring dating suggests that it was constructed between 1205-1235. One intriguing theory is that the barn was not built where it now stands, but was brought here from elsewhere on the Cressing site after the riots of 1381.

Built about 50 years after Barley Barn, Wheat Barn was created with trees felled between 1257 and 1280. The walls were originally faced with boards, but in the 16th century the boards were replaced with bricks. By this time the original soleplates (the timbers that the whole structure rested on) were rotting away, so the barn was raised up on a brick plinth.

The Walled Garden

Since the Tudor mansion was taken down in the 18th Century all that remains from that period is a brick built Walled Garden. It was once used as a pleasure garden and in later years as a kitchen garden. Most recently the gardens were redesigned by John Hunter and Martin Wakelin, who restored them to their former glory by meticulously only using plants and features of the Tudor.

‘The Barns’ Tea Room offers delicious refreshments, entrance is generally free and there is ample free parking.


Cressing Temple is around 50 minutes by car from Royston
Witham Road, Braintree CM77 8PD