Cressing Temple Barns (1), Braintree, Essex, England
This site dating from the 12th century consists of a number of buildings including two of the oldest timber-framed barns in Europe and has it's own free car park.
This rear view of the Cart Lodge, just one of the buildings, is the first you'll see when you pass through the Visitor Centre entrance. It was built in the latter half of the 18th century. The Wheelwright's Shop, the Old Forge and the Stables can be accessed near here.
When you emerge from the area partly enclosed by the Visitor Centre this is the view that you will see. Barley Barn to the far left, the early 17th century white farmhouse near the centre, Wheat Barn and the Well House on the right of the house and the wall enclosing the Tudor Garden on the far right.
The farmhouse is now used as offices and is not open to the public.
Built around 1256 'Wheat Barn' is the younger of the two barns but, at 130 feet long 40 feet wide and 35 feet high, it is the larger of the two. Constructed from 472 oaks it was built in the 'Romanesque' style where all the timbers are straight and of square section.
The barn was extensively renovated in the late 16th century, the timber walls replaced with brick panels, as can be seen today, and the whole barn was raised on a brick plinth to prevent the soleplates from rotting.
Built around 1206 'Barley Barn', seen from the doorway of 'Wheat Barn', is the smaller of the two barns at 117 feet long but is the oldest timber-framed barn in the world.
These two barns are the oldest surviving timber-framed medieval barns in Europe and are also the two largest Templar barns in Europe.
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