Paycocke House

 

This fine 16th century timber-framed house in West Street is one of the jewels among the many interesting buildings in Coggeshall and is a legacy from the town's prosperous "Wool Age". It is now in the keeping of the National Trust. It was built in the very early 1500s by the youngest son Thomas as a home for his bride, Margaret Harrold and their initials, along with the Paycocke merchant mark are carved both inside and out. It is highly likely that the making of cloth actually took place on the premises and that wagons carrying the wool passed through the great carved oak gateway. 

The house remained in the Paycocke family until 1584 when, at the death of John, the great-nephew of Thomas and the last male of his line, the house was sold to the Buxton family who had owned property in Coggeshall since 1537 and was related to the Paycocke family by marriage.

In 1746 the Buxtons sold the house and little is known about it until about 1880, save that it was converted into three cottages and had fallen into a sad state of dereliction. It was saved from demolition by the efforts of G. F. Beaumont, a well-respected historian, and was bought in 1904 by Lord Noel Buxton, a descendant of the original Buxton family. The house was extensively restored by a local wood carver, Mr E.W. Beckwith, whose grandson, Andrew, until recently still carried on the art of wood carving in Coggeshall. The inside is wonderfully panelled and the ceiling beams are richly carved and there is a fine collection of Coggeshall tambour lace that can be viewed on request.

The garden is planted in keeping with the age of the house and is open to visitors. It is a very popular subject for painters who are permitted to sit in the garden to paint.

Paycocke House is open in the afternoon (from 2 pm) on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from the end of March to mid-October. A combined ticket for Paycockes and Grange Barn can be purchased at the house.

 

Paycockes merchant mark

 

The back of Paycocke House and the garden

 

Some pictures of Paycockes in the past

   

 
This was taken in about 1900 when the house was still divided into 3 cottages. There are no oriel windows and the brickwork is covered by plaster.   This dining room has very fine carved 'linen-fold ' panels and the bressumer over the fire place bears the Paycocke merchant mark.

The hall has a remarkable carved ceiling as well as this magnificent fireplace. Neither this hall nor the dining room are very different today.

This was taken about 1920 and shows the back of the house. Below the diamond pane windows the Paycocke merchant's mark has been worked into the plaster. The garden is still planted with many plants that the Paycocke family would have used and recognised.

 

   

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