Situated 5 miles to the East of Braintree on the A120 a medieval hamlet formerly a cloth and lace town.
Although this village is celebrated for it’s seed-growing and hand-made lace, it’s pride is in Paycock’s House (owned by the National Trust). A Tudor wool merchant’s home, with a wealth of brick-nogging and carved timbers.
Nearby is Little Coggeshall, fragments of the Cistyercian abbey have been built into a private house and it’s little chapel of St Nicholas has been restored. The brick and weather-boarded Abbey Mill was in regular use until the 1950s.
The Coggeshall Heritage Centre in Stoneham Street, displays items of local interest and includes changing exhibitions on the history of the area. In addition to Paycocke’s House the National Trust also owns Coggeshall Grange Barn, dating from around 1140 it is the oldest surving timber-framed barn in Europe. Built for the monks at the nearby Cistercian Abbey.
The Victorian clock tower in the town centre is worth seeing, it looks like it would be more at home on the coast as it resembles an east coast lighthouse. If you feel the buildings are familiar it is probably because much of the BBC tv series “Lovejoy” was filmed here as well as Long Melford.