Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Made In Essex


I lived in Essex for a time 20-odd years ago and I hated it.  There are all sorts of reasons for this, but the fact that it was in Romford and I didn't have a car probably contributed to my antipathy.  Anyhow, further north towards the Suffolk border, it's actually very nice.  










On Sunday I happened to find myself in Coggeshall, which is just east of Colchester.  One of my colleagues who is from those parts told me that the phrase 'a Coggeshall job' means any poor or pointless bit of work, after the reputed stupidity of the villagers.  This seems a bit harsh. 


One of the things I like most about it is the vernacular style of building, so different from anywhere you will find in the South West. Clapboarding, for example.  We just don't do this. 



Another style they employ and we, for the most part, don't is pargeting, of which Coggeshall has some modest but very pleasing examples.















The 15th century Woolpack Inn (see, over the window?) was bought by the Rev T Lowrey after he was ejected from the Church of England following the Restoration, and was subsequently licensed as a place of worship for some years.     

Finally, there were some splendid crumbling brick walls, which could have been anywhere, I suppose, but I did like them.





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