August has been quite a busy time: last week, for example I had: three Masses plus two large funerals. So we decided that Friday would be a day away from home and phone. We started by going to Cant’s Roses at Colchester and spent a very enjoyable hour exploring various roses, making notes of those we liked so we can make a choice for delivery in November. The problem is going to be choosing which to have from so many we really liked.
After a brief stop for lunch, we drove to Coggleshall to visit the National Trust Merchants House Paycockes. I was interested to discover that the well-known, one time vicar of Thaxted, known as the Red Vicar The Revd Noel Conrad had been a visitor, related to the tenants and was involved in Patcocke’s restoration. Another famous visitor was Gustav Holst who for a short time was Organist & Choirmaster at Thaxted.
We then drove down the road to Grange Barn, one of the oldest timber-framed buildings, it has a cathedral-like interior and is linked to a local Cistercian abbey. In an adjacent village are the Templars Barns at Cressing where I was Vicar for four years. We were fortunate to find that one of the people on duty was a historian and we were able to talk about the connections between the church at Cressing, the Templars Barns and the Cistercian Abbey.
It was a really fascinating day which we both thoroughly enjoyed.