Paycocke’s House and Garden is a gem. Built around 1500 for Thomas Paycocke, a wealthy cloth merchant, it is now a National Trust property, open from Wednesdays to Sundays 11:00am to 5pm in the high season. It’s definitely worth planning your holiday itinerary to spend a couple of hours there.
The process of restoring and presenting the house and garden is an ongoing process, so repeat visits will always find something new. There are guides on hand to offer interesting tidbits of information, and guided tours.
Paycocke’s was until relatively recently in private hands, but now it is no longer being lived in, the NT have framed several rooms as they were in different periods. There is plenty of carved wood to marvel at! There are staircases, narrow and grand, and the attic has a bookshop with a view over the gardens, which are being lovingly restored.
Several squares of lavender sit amongst flagstones outside the back of the house next to the cafe, and a path leads down to a garden with wide borders full of lots of flowers, and at the very back is a vegetable garden.
More information at the National Trust website. You can visit the nearby Grange Barn – it’s only 10 minutes away on foot, and you’re equally close to Coggeshall centre, with plenty of opportunities for marvelling at the architecture, and also taking on refreshments. On our visit in 2013 we had lunch at The Old Black Boy Bistro, a charming ex-pub who served up some excellent whiting, and calamari on a bed of salad! [2015 Update : The Old Back Boy Bistro is now closed – but we can recommend, having had lunch in there, The Chapel Inn – old building, free wifi, great food and great real ale.]