Cressing Temple Reviews
Cressing Temple Barns May 17, 2009
Cressing Temple Barns were constructed over several hundred years, initially by the Templar Knights. No, not like in Dan Brown books. The real ones. The buildings continued to be added to until about the 18th Century. It is now owned and run by the considerably less mysterious Essex County COuncil.
The barns themselves are fascinating - building a barn well enough to stay up this long is pretty cool in its own right. There are information boards, but they are of the oldfashioned non interactive kind, so don't go thinking that there will be buttons to press. There aren't any markings to tell you things like where the chapel used to be, which I think is a bit of a missed opportunity.
To be honest, I would strongly recommend going to Cressing on an event weekend rather than just dropping by. There isn't all that much to entertain you for more than an hour, on a regular day, and admisison is about £4. On event days, however, the same admission (or less - last time I went to a food fair it was only £3.50) and there is far more going on. The council holds food fairs, antique car fairs, jousting matches and so on throughout the year. That way, you get to learn about how the Knights Templar farmed and lived, and also, you get to go to the event.
There is some mud, and the barns were not built with disabled access in mind. I think you could still have a nice time if you were mobility impaired, but there might be bits you would have to skip. Children can run around so they're fine, and the council allows dogs everywhere except the cafe and the herb garden, which is perfectly reasonable.
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