ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2008-06 > 1214700804
From: "La Greenall" <>
Subject: [Ess] Coggeshall
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2008 01:53:24 +0100
Sorry this isn't directly genealogical, but it is Essex!
Yesterday, I took a party of WAHS members to Coggeshall for a day out,
and thought it might be worth recommending to anyone with Cogg roots, or
just thinking of trying a visit within Essex for a change. One couple in
our group did have Cogg roots, and had a good natter to some locals, and
even discovered a framed photo of their ancestral home displayed in the
museum! (We also found someone there with roots from our neck of the
The town's museum curator, Shirley Ratcliffe, gave us a wonderful tour
of the museum, followed by a guided walk of the town centre. There are
over 200 listed buildings here, including many 16th century
timber-framed wool-merchants' homes. We then visited Paycocke's House, a
merchants' home that is now run by the National Trust.
After lunch (in a 16th century inn next door to Paycocke's) we moved on
to Grange Barn, a 12th century monastic barn that has parallels with
Cressing Temple, then to what is known as St. Nicholas' Chapel, once the
gatehouse chapel of Coggeshall Abbey. From there we moved on to the
remains of Cogg Abbey itself, which are now incorporated into the
outbuildings and farmhouse of a private working farm.
What made the day special, is that on every stage, someone was on hand
and more than eager to tell us all about the sites. If you have any
ancestors from this town then you must get a small party together and
go! There were 17 of us, and for this sort of number everyone was
willing to open their doors especially for us, on a Saturday when they
are normally closed. I must say that it was nice being given the
personal touch! Shirley did very well in making all the local
arrangements for us.
Lastly, I would heartily recommend a tour of the abbey farm, which is
only available by contacting the farmer owner, Roger, who conducts you
round personally, round both the outside and the inside of all the abbey
remains. One of the main attractions is its brickwork, made onsite for
the abbey's construction, and considered to be probably the earliest
post-Roman bricks made in this country. When arranging the day I very
nearly balked at the fee for the abbey farm tour - £8.50 a head (which
almost doubled our members' ticket price) - but on asking everyone on
the way home if it was worth it, the response was rapturous with no
dissentions at all! (I think it must have something to do with the
enormous pots of tea and home-made shortbread provided by Jill, the
I will certainly say that a tour of this farm is more than worth every
penny, and it really did finish off our day with a flourish.
if anyone wants contact details, just ask.