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Cressing Temple Farmhouse

Hob Uid: 974856
Location :
Essex
Braintree
Cressing
Grid Ref : TL7991618724
Summary : A Tudor period and later post-medieval farm on the site of a Knights Templars settlement, including a 16th century farmhouse and 18th, 19th and 20th century agricultural buildings and ancilliary buildings. The present farmhouse represents the remains of a "greate house" or Tudor mansion, which also had a walled garden.
More information : (TL 799186) Cressing Temple (NR) (1)

The house of Knights Templars at Cressing was donated by Maud (queen of Stephen) in 1136 (see TL 71 NE 19). It became the Knights Hospitallers in 1312 and was dissolved before 1381. All that now remains are two barns (see TL 71 NE 49,50).

The farm was leased to a private owner in 1515 and the present building is of about 1600, very considerably altered. Grade 1 (for its position and historical importance). There are fragmentary remains of a moat around the site. (2-5)

The present occupiers of the house at TL 79921872 stated that it dates from circa 1300 at its north east gable. There a little old timbering is exposed high up, but generally the house is later, progressing to the southwest front which is 18th century. It is not outstanding, see photograph.

The 'Moat' features ranged to the east and west could not, owing to their different levels have been a continuous feature, but seem to have been part of a chain of ponds forming a perimeter, possibly including a pond beyond the modern road at TL 79831863.

No trace of a boundary feature could be identified to the north.

A barn-like building stands at TL 79921863. This is known as the 'Old Court Room' and is dated 1623. Also timber framed, it at present houses a private museum. See photograph.

Published 1:2500 survey correct. (6)

Excavations by JH Hope between 1978-81 established the presence of a multi-period site at Cressing Temple. The Tudor period is represented by the cellar of the 'Great House', a walled garden, part of a brick-built drainage system, a chain of fish ponds with brick revetments and a court house.

In the Tudor-Jacobean period the cellar was refloored along with other alterations. In the mid 17th century the whole of the longer wing of the 'Great House' was demolished and only the shorter wing (the existing farmhouse), the walled garden and court house were retained. In the late 17th century the whole of the estate south of the walled garden was rigorously landscaped. (7)

Cressing Temple Farmhouse is late 16th century altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. Timber framed, plastered and roughcast, roofed with handmade red tiles. Main range facing SE, crosswing at left end forming a T-plan. Oak panelling of c1600. Bread oven at NE end may be a surviving part of the 'Great House' described in records of 1623 and 1669. Listed Grade II.

Wall enclosing garden, 17th century altered in 18th and 19th centuries. Red brick in English and irregular bond. Included for group value and listed Grade II.

Granary or stables block, converted to court house, late 16th century. Timber framed, plastered and weatherboarded with some exposed imitation framing and 19th century brick nogging. 10 bays aligned NE-SW, 2 storeys. This is the largest granary in Essex, indicating the great productivity of the Cressing Temple estate. Dendrochronological examination of one core indicates construction 'after 1575'. (8)

Cressing Temple, house, outbuilding, barns and moat. There are traces of foundation mounds in the area enclosed by the farm buildings. The moat is fragmentary. Condition of all buildings is good. (9)

Cressing Temple scheduled - Essex 211. (10)

A group of historic buildings at Cressing Temple are being brought into public ownership by Essex County Council. (11)

Additional References (12-14)

This record was originally part of TL 71 NE 19. (15)

The Farmhouse was examined in 1995, and dates principally from the early 17th century, with the front (south) wing being slightly younger than the core of the north wing. The north wing was probably built as a granary but was soon converted other uses by the addition of the south wing and a cross passage. Both parts have had substantial additions and alterations made in every century since then.
The estate was sold to a Dutch merchant, Herman Olmius. Either Davies or Olmius could have ordered the demolition of the manor house, although the evidence favours the latter, in that Olmius and his descendants let the farm to tenants for most of the 18th and 19th centuries. Certainly the present farmhouse was enlarged during this period, indicating that it had become the main dwelling on the farm, and the 1794 estate map shows it as such.
The phasing for the farmhouse is based on observed architectural evidence and a plan of the house dating to 1914. Seven phases of building can be observed:-
1) The south wing, from the east end comprises 3 bays each 3.5m long with the main floor beams at half-bay intervals, extending west 10.5m or1.75m into the Oak Room. This phase is pre-1600.
2) Building of the cellar against the house west wall, then demolition of the end half-bay and the building of 2 new bays, 1 standard 3.5 bay and one short 2.5m bay to the end of the cellar. c.1600.
3) Building of the north wing, 3 bays of 3.5m, separated by a 1.3m gap from the Phase 1and 2 build. The gap is just wide enough to accomodate the steps leading up from the cellar. Seventeenth century.
4) Addition of a further bay on to the the north end of Phase 3 build. This was a single 4m bay, 2 floors. Seventeenth/eighteenth century.
5) The two buildings were linked, the hall put in and probably at the same time the western outshot added with rooms downstairs and cupboards upstairs. The south and east facades of the building were updated. c.1800.
6) Addition of Bakehouse and Brewhouse (coalshed) to north end of the house, this maybe contemporary with the changes in Phase 5, but the style and approach is different. The date on the Bakehouse roof reads 1805 (?). Early nineteenth century.
7) Alterations by Cullen, especially the insertion of two gables to house the stairs and the bathrooms. In addition the 1914 plan shows that the back passage (closed off 1990) did not exist downstairs but was present upstairs, that the present kitchen in the North Wing was ooriginally store-rooms and the present lounge was the original kitchen. Early twentieth century. (16)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1960
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Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
Source details : 1971
Page(s) : 292-,300-3
Figs. :
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Source Number : 11
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : CA Hewett, The Development of Carpentry 1200-1700; an Essex study,
Page(s) : 158,184...
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Source Number : 12
Source : Vernacular architecture
Source details : 1985 (Fletcher et al)
Page(s) : 41
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Plates :
Vol(s) : 16
Source Number : 13
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Essex Archaeology Society Newsletter 1979
Page(s) : 09-Nov
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 66
Source Number : 14
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : KMF 15-JUN-1995 RCHME Recording
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Source Number : 15
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Essex County Council. 2008. Cressing Temple. http://www.cressingtemple.org.uk/ [Accessed 04-MAR-2009]
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Source Number : 16
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Information supplied by Essex County Council HER. OCT-2010
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Source Number : 3
Source : The Buildings of England
Source details : Essex, 1954 (N Pevsner)
Page(s) : 153
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Source Number : 4
Source : Essex Archaeological Society transactions
Source details : 1923 (RC Fowler)
Page(s) : 110
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Vol(s) : 16
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 BHS 06-MAY-1976
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Source Number : 6
Source : Essex journal: a review of archaeology and local history
Source details : 1986 (JH Hope)
Page(s) : 67-71
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Vol(s) : 22.3
Source Number : 7
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) District of Braintree, 1988
Page(s) : 40-42
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Source Number : 8
Source : An inventory of the historical monuments in Essex. Volume III [north-east]
Source details :
Page(s) : 79
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Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : English Heritage SAMs Essex 1987
Page(s) : 4
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Source Number : 10
Source : Essex Archaeology and History News
Source details :
Page(s) : 22
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1987

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Circa 1600 additions/alterations
Monument End Date : 1600
Monument Start Date : 1600
Monument Type : Farmhouse
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : North wing built C17
Monument End Date : 1700
Monument Start Date : 1601
Monument Type : Farmhouse
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : C17-18 bay added
Monument End Date : 1800
Monument Start Date : 1601
Monument Type : Farmhouse
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Buildings linked circa 1800
Monument End Date : 1800
Monument Start Date : 1800
Monument Type : Farmhouse
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Tudor
Display Date : South wing of Farmhouse
Monument End Date : 1600
Monument Start Date : 1501
Monument Type : Farm, Farmhouse, Farm Building
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Georgian
Display Date : Bakehouse and Brewhouse added
Monument End Date : 1805
Monument Start Date : 1805
Monument Type : Farmhouse, Bakehouse, Brewhouse
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Early 20th Century
Display Date : Additions/alterations
Monument End Date : 1932
Monument Start Date : 1914
Monument Type : Farmhouse, Farm, Garage
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Essex)
External Cross Reference Number : 29995
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 116395
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 71 NE 51
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 381068
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 974862
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 974799
Relationship type : Is referred to by
Associated Monuments : 974839
Relationship type : Is referred to by
Associated Monuments : 1526965
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1527169
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 378522
Relationship type : Is referred to by

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, CRESSING TEMPLE FARM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1947-01-01
End Date : 1947-12-31