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Historic England Research Records

Cressing Temple Walled Garden

Hob Uid: 1527169
Location :
Essex
Braintree
Cressing
Grid Ref : TL7990018700
Summary : The Walled Garden associated with the 'Greate House' at Cressing Temple. By the 16th century, the manor was owned by the Smyth family and they probably built the Tudor manor house (now demolished), the granary, and the walled garden. Excavations have revealed that the southern area of the garden was originally part of the chapel burial ground, bounded to the north by a path. The brick wall enclosed an area between the chapel and the barn and has three doorways; a fourth may once have existed in the east wall, which was substantially rebuilt in the 20th century. The garden was rectangular except at the south end, where the chapel and Tudor cellar formed two sides of a courtyard adjoining the main garden. The angle of the south-east wall and the orientation of the whole garden may have been dictated by earlier buildings. The area just inside the walls was levelled and a brick pavement laid along the south and west sides of the garden. A substantial brick wall running along the eastern side of the garden supported a raised terrace. This suggests that the garden was formally laid out as a pleasure garden with a typically Tudor formal design, perhaps including a parterre or knot garden. Towards the end of the 17th century the house was demolished along with the chapel and Tudor cellar; the brick pavement, by then much repaired, was covered with gravel and then served as a path. By the mid-18th century, the formal garden had become a kitchen garden. The surface level was raised and the path covered up. In the southern half of the garden planting trenches and possible fruit trees or vines were introduced. The terrace appears to have survived although its upper surfaces may have been removed. A new wall was erected across the south-west corner to complete the enclosure of the garden once again. The surface was sloped to cover the levelled terrace, and gravel paths were laid down. These paths divided the garden into rectangles and formed the basis for the modern layout.
More information : The Walled Garden associated with the 'Greate House' at Cressing Temple. By the 16th century, the manor was in the possession of the Smyth family and they probably built the 'Greate House' (a Tudor manor house, now demolished), the granary, and the walled garden - the only element of this phase to survive relatively intact. The garden was excavated surviving early soils and features were identified in the south-western corner of the garden.
Although little of the original layout survived, excavations have revealed that, prior to its construction, the southern end of the garden was part of the chapel burial ground, bounded to the north by a path. The brick wall enclosed an area between the chapel and the barn and today has three doorways; a fourth may once have existed in the east wall, which was substantially rebuilt in the 20th century. The garden was rectangular except at the south end, where the chapel and Tudor cellar formed two sides of a courtyard adjoining the main garden. The angle of the south-east wall and the orientation of the whole garden may have been dictated by earlier buildings. The area just inside the walls was levelled and a brick pavement laid along the south and west sides of the garden. The base of a substantial brick wall running the entire length of the eastern side of the garden supported a raised terrace along which probably ran a continuation of the pavement. The terrace and pavement suggest that the garden was formally laid out as a pleasure garden with a typically Tudor formal design, perhaps including a parterre or knot garden.
Towards the end of the 17th century the 'Greate House' was demolished along with the chapel and Tudor cellar. At about the same time the brick pavement, by then much repaired, was covered with gravel which then served as a path. By the mid-18th century, the formal garden had become a kitchen garden. The surface level was raised and the path covered up. In the southern half of the garden planting trenches and possible fruit trees or vines were introduced. The terrace appears to have survived although its upper surfaces may have been removed. A new wall was erected across the south-west corner to complete the enclosure of the garden once again. The surface was sloped to cover the now levelled terrace, and a number of gravel paths laid down. These paths divided the garden into rectangles and formed the basis for the modern layout. The earliest plan of the garden dates from 1875 and shows the paths and an orchard.
The garden has been recreated and the surviving buildings are open to the public. (1)

Scheduled. (2)

Listed. Wall enclosing walled garden approximately 15 metres east of Cressing Temple Farmhouse. A 17th century wall, altered in the 18th/19th centuries. Built of red brick in English and irregular bond. It encloses the garden 25 metres from N-S, and 17 metres from W-E. The SE corner is rounded. A 20-metre length in the middle of the E side has been rebuilt in the 18th century. The oblique length to the SW is 19th century. The W and S sides each have a doorway with 3-centred arched head, with ovolo-moulded arch and jambs. The N side has a similar doorway but with chamfered arch and jambs. Chamfered plinth on both sides. 4 buttresses on the outside of the W wall near the N end. Part of the W wall had a dogtooth course below an overhanging top course. It survives to a height of 2-3 metres.
(3)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Information provided by Essex County Council HER. OCT-2010.
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Source Number : 2
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Scheduled.
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Source Number : 3
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Braintree, 03-APR-1986.
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Kitchen garden by mid C18th
Monument End Date : 1766
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Kitchen Garden, Walled Garden, Orchard, Path
Evidence :
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Partially rebuilt in C18th/19th
Monument End Date : 1900
Monument Start Date : 1701
Monument Type : Garden Wall
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : Tudor
Display Date : Built early C16th
Monument End Date : 1532
Monument Start Date : 1501
Monument Type : Formal Garden, Walled Garden, Knot Garden, Parterre, Path, Terrace, Pavement
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Structure
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : East wall rebuilt
Monument End Date : 2000
Monument Start Date : 1901
Monument Type : Garden Wall
Evidence : Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : EX211
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 116398
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Essex)
External Cross Reference Number : 19941
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Essex)
External Cross Reference Number : 29998
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 71 NE 59
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 974856
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1526965
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 378522
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :