Awards and Grants

We have been able to complete a number of projects to enhance and develop the gardens, thanks to the generous support of our funding partners. These funders have included:

  • Essex Heritage Trust
  • Big Lottery
  • Braintree District Council
  • National Lottery Heritage Fund (see below for details of our 2018-19 project which they supported)
  • Essex Gardens Trust
  • National Lottery Heritage Emergency Fund

In the Spring of 2018 we were awarded £63,900 from The Heritage Lottery Fund for our project ‘Celebrating the History of Cressing Temple Gardens’. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focused on replacing the arbour in the Tudor Walled Garden and creating new interpretation, displays and learning materials. The project aimed to replace the old arbour using traditional methods and give visitors of all ages a realistic insight into typical features of a Tudor Walled Garden. Volunteers, who are central to the garden’s success, benefited from further training and played a key role in consulting with visitors and the local community to assist in developing the displays. Talks, displays and filming took place over the year to bring the garden’s history to life.

Arbour Renewal

For those interested in the technical aspects of the Arbour build, Joe Bispham, Historic Buildings Adviser, explains here how he constructed the new Arbour.

Autumn 2017 – Many of the joints in the arbour were in a poor state of repair.

June 2018 – the first job was to renew the pointing beneath the arbour. This was a laborious task, mostly done on hands and knees! Many thanks to everyone who helped with this job.

August 2018 – work on renewing the arbour itself started. Many volunteers and visitors spoke to our contractor, Joe, to find out more about the traditional techniques being used in the construction process.

December 2018 – the final piece goes onto the arbour!

The finished arbour, providing support for the beautiful wild roses.

June 2019 – Celebrating the opening of the new Arbor and the completion of the various projects with a garden party. The new arbour was officially opened by HM Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst.


Oral History Project

In 1987, Essex County Council acquired Cressing Temple Barns, a farmstead situated in the heart of Essex. Aided by a Heritage Fund grant awarded to the Friends of Cressing Temple Gardens, we have been able to undertake a number of interviews with those who were either directly or indirectly involved with Cressing Temple. From Council officials, archaeologists and farmers, to those who have a passion for the site, this film is a result of those interviews.

Bringing together their recollections, the film goes into detail about the design, planning and construction of the Tudor Walled Garden. Furthermore it explains the history of this unique and fascinating site and features those individuals who used their determination and forward thinking to prevent this historic site being lost forever.

The DVD of the history of the gardens is available to purchase. Please contact us for details
Steven Morant, designer of the bronze sculptures around the fountain, being interviewed about his work at Cressing Temple.
David Andrews, historic conservation consultant, being interviewed in the Barley Barn

If you have any memories of the garden which you would like to share with us, please do get in touch.

Below is a preview of the finished film. The full version is available as a DVD from Cressing Temple Barns at a cost of £5.00.


Viewing Platform

The platform had to be roped off in the winter of 2017, for safety reasons. Volunteers then began the process of removing the old decking boards. In the spring of 2018 Joe Bispham began to lay lovely new oak decking boards.

Summer 2018 -Volunteers, Friends members and Essex County Council staff posing on the new platform!