Cressing Temple, Essex, UK
New Photographs from Pedro Silmon Garden Photography
Steeped in history, the 13th century barns, at Cressing Temple, built by the Knights Templar – warrior monks who farmed for profit and spent their earnings on expeditions to protect pilgrims and fight in the crusades – are reputed to be the finest examples of their type in Europe.
Within the large precinct they occupy and dominate, is a Tudor walled garden, renovated between 1994 and 1995. The present garden is the result of painstaking research and archaeological excavation, with planting based as far as possible, on the types of medicinal plants, herbs, and flowers that would have been grown in the original garden. The reason behind our first visit was to photograph the garden but the barns are so beautiful and compelling, it was impossible to ignore them, besides, the Wheat Barn (39m long, 13.4m wide) though not as old as the Barley Barn is so omnipresent as a backdrop to the garden that it appears, from one angle or another, in almost every view. The 18th century manor house fell into disrepair and was demolished. There remain, however, 9 historical buildings on the site, including an Elizabethan granary, a farmhouse, wheelwright shop, well house and cart lodge.
The winter images above represent only a fraction of the material we produced on numerous visits throughout the the course of 2011.
Images from top:
Green Man Spout, one of four representing the four rivers of paradise, on the brick fountain in the Walled Garden
A section of the Walled Garden, planted with herbs
Herringbone paving in the Walled Garden
A section of the Knot Garden, showing part of the wooden viewing platform
The Wheat Barn
The pond behind the Cart Lodge, right
Berries of Cotoneaster lacteus
The Barley Barn with contemporary planting
The Well House, foreground, Garage and Wheat Barn, rear
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