Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Cressing Temple...

One of my brothers is reading about the Knights Templar and asked if I knew Cressing Temple, which is mentioned in the book. I didn't, but since Sunday was a beautiful day we decided to go and have a look. The fact that it was hosting a craft fair was a bit of a draw too, but in the end we enjoyed looking at the ancient craft of barn-building much more than the modern day stuff, although there were demonstrations of crafts which have been around as long as the barns have been standing.

It looks like a little hamlet on approach, but it's only when you get into the space that the enormous size of the barley and wheat barns can be appreciated.

Dating from 1200 and 1250 respectively, the two main barns are vast cathedral like spaces, and they simply dwarf everything inside and out.

A figure perched on one of the beams gives a sense of scale...and gave me the heebie jeebies.
There are also various outbuildings which once housed the forge, the wheelwright, the granary, and farm equipment. Floors dip and rise, leaving you feeling a little giddy, and the timbers are worn and stippled with woodworm holes.

Pig-weighing machinery.

The equipment inside, long since abandoned, might not be as ancient as the barns, but suggests what has gone on here for many centuries.

Then out into the walled garden - its colour somewhat muted now, at the end of summer. It's filled with apple trees, hazelnuts, medlars and grape vines, and scented plants which just have to be touched and sniffed, and their names were duly noted down for our own garden, like these two - the curry plant and cotton lavender, which I'd like to add to my growing collection of silver-leafed plants.

I also discovered this year that we have Sweet Woodruff in our own garden, so I plan to save and dry some of the sweetly-scented flowers next year to put in with our clothes. 

This covered seating area, built in just a day using the same skills as for building barns, was a recent addition to the garden - the cross beam reads 'Grow Beauty In The Garden Of Your Mind'. Hear, hear.


No comments: