About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Tuesday 30 April 2013

Coggeshall Grange Barn

The other must-visit building in Coggeshall is Coggeshall Grange Barn, if only to give thanks for it still being there at all.  As late as the 1970s, after decades of neglect and, latterly, wanton destruction at the hands of its owner who deemed it unsuitable for modern day farming practices, the barn was in a ruinous state and on the brink of being demolished.

Which, when you consider that it had stood on ground formerly belonging to Coggeshall Abbey since possibly the 12th century, and certainly the 13th, is nothing less than disrespectful.  

Enter local concern, who, affronted by the potential loss of such an important local building, formed the Grange Barn Trust.  Subsequently the barn was compulsorily purchased by the local council and the two-year restoration began.  As many of the original timbers as possible were used, and where new were needed, they are clearly visible.


The Barn was transferred to the National Trust in 1989, thus securing its future in perpetuity. 

It's a bit of a cliché to describe these ancient mediaeval barns as cathedrals, but they are stunning in much the same way as soaring Norman naves can be.  However, Coggeshall Grange Barn has its picturesque moments also.

The only slight disappointment for me was the decision to weatherboard and tile it, as originally it would have had a wattle and daub infill and a thatched roof.  I'm not sure of the reasons why this was done - financial, perhaps?  Anyhow, clapboard is very much in the local vernacular, so I shouldn't really complain.  (Could have been breeze blocks ... )

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