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Barley Barn

Hob Uid: 974799
Location :
Essex
Braintree
Cressing
Grid Ref : TL7989218770
Summary : The Barley Barn at Cressing Temple, approximately 40 metres west of Cressing Temple Farmhouse. The only Templar buildings to survive at Cressing Temple are the two great barns: the Barley Barn and the Wheat Barn. These barns are of importance not only because of their size and age, but also because they were first among the structures studied by Cecil Hewett when he began his pioneering reassessment of the history of timber-framing techniques. Hewett argued that the original carpentry on the barns indicated construction dates in the 13th century. The Barley Barn was subsequently radiocarbon dated to circa AD 1200, a date confirmed by tree-ring dating to AD 1205-35. However, there is no archaeological evidence to show that the barn was on the site at this time as the floors have been sealed in concrete and excavations were not successful in identifying its origins. It has been suggested that the Barley Barn may have been brought to the site from one of the other Templar Barn Field's after the Poll Tax riots of 1381, and the moats redug to accommodate it.The barn is constructed of close-studded timber-framing, plastered and weatherboarded, with later brick infill, and a relatively modern roof of handmade red plain tiles. It has seven bays aligned north-east/south-west, with two aisles. It measures 38 metres long, 14 metres wide, and 15 metres high. The south-east and north-west elevations have great doors. In a major alteration in first half of the 16th century, the north-east bay was reduced to a half-bay with hip, the walls were rebuilt, and a crown post structure was added to the existing roof. There have been repairs and piecemeal replacements from the 18th to 20th centuries. An unusual feature is a pattern of auger holes high on the arcade-posts and arcade-braces, having no structural function, probably used for attachment of staging during the original construction. Few other timber-framed buildings are so high as to be beyond the reach of ladders.
More information : (TL 799 186) Cressing Temple (NR) (1)

The house of Knights Templar at Cressing was donated by Maud (Matilda) (queen of Stephen) in 1136, all that now remains are two barns. Barley Barn is possibly not later than 1130 and Wheat Barn is late 13th century (see TL 71 NE). (2-5)

The farm was leased to a private owner in 1515. Barley Barn is listed Grade I. (4)

Recognisable extant remains of the Templars establishment are confined to the barns. Barley Barn stands at TL 79891877 and is basically of close studded timber framing with later brick infill, and relatively modern timber roofs. Both Barley Barn and Wheat Barn are outstanding examples of early barns and the former is regarded as the oldest in the country. See photographs.

Published 1:2500 survey correct. (6)

Barley Barn. Early 13th century, altered in the early 16th century and 17th century. Timber framed, plastered and weatherboarded, roofed with handmade red plain tiles, plinth of red brick in irregular bond. 7 bays aligned NE-SW with 2 aisles and midstrey to SE. The SE elevation has great doors. Dated by radiocarbon to c1200, dendrochronological analysis of one core indicated construction soon after 1220. Major early 16th century alteration to reduce the NE bay to a half-bay with hip. Small lean-to extension at north corner demolished 1986. (7)

TL 799187 Cressing Temple scheduled - Essex 211. (8)

The Barley Barn is among a group of historic buildings at Cressing Temple which are being brought into public ownership by Essex County Council with the help of substantial grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and English Heritage. (9)

Additional References. (10-13)

This record was originally part of TL 71 NE 19. (14)

Recorded by NRIM. (15)

Archaeological investigations and documentary research undertaken by Essex County Council HER. (16)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1960
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
Source details : 1971 edition
Page(s) : 292-, 300-3
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : CA Hewett, The Development of Carpentry 1200-1700, an Essex Study, 1969
Page(s) : 22-32,55-8
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 12
Source : Vernacular architecture
Source details : 1985
Page(s) : 41
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 16
Source Number : 13
Source : Essex journal: a review of archaeology and local history
Source details : (plan of Cressing Temple complex)
Page(s) : 67-71
Figs. : Y
Plates : Y
Vol(s) : 22.3
Source Number : 14
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : KMF 15-JUN-1995 RCHME Recording
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 15
Source : National Record of Industrial Monuments
Source details : Recorded by JB Lucy, Jul-1973, Record No. EX44
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 16
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Information provided by Essex County Council HER. OCT-2010.
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 3
Source : Essex
Source details :
Page(s) : 153
Figs. :
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Source Number : 4
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) Braintree RD April 1976
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 5
Source : Essex Archaeological Society transactions
Source details : 1923 (RC Fowler)
Page(s) : 110
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 16
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 BHS 06-MAY-76
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 7
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Braintree, 29-JUL-1988
Page(s) : 41
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1248
Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : English Heritage SAMs Essex 1987
Page(s) : 4
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Essex Archaeology Society Newsletter 1987
Page(s) : 22
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 100
Source Number : 10
Source : An inventory of the historical monuments in Essex. Volume III [north-east]
Source details :
Page(s) : 79
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Possible phase circa 1130
Monument End Date : 1140
Monument Start Date : 1120
Monument Type : Aisled Barn
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built early C13
Monument End Date : 1235
Monument Start Date : 1205
Monument Type : Barn
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Altered early C16
Monument End Date : 1532
Monument Start Date : 1500
Monument Type : Barn
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Altered C17
Monument End Date : 1700
Monument Start Date : 1601
Monument Type : Barn
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : C18th-C20th alterations
Monument End Date : 2000
Monument Start Date : 1701
Monument Type : Barn
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : EX 211
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 85067
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 116396
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Essex)
External Cross Reference Number : 29996
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : NRI01
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1123865
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 71 NE 49
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 974856
Relationship type : Is referred to by
Associated Monuments : 1526965
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, NATIONAL RECORD OF INDUSTRIAL MONUMENTS
Activity type : DESK BASED ASSESSMENT
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1975-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CRESSING TEMPLAR BARNS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31