History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: One of the finest Tudor merchant's houses in England. Superb woodwork.
The Paycocke Ermine
You can also carvings of the ermine tail emblem adopted by the Paycockes as their symbol. This emblem would have been stamped on cloth bales as a brand mark. Since the ermine was reputed to be a very clean animal, Paycocke was making a statement about the quality and purity of his cloth! It is interesting that the family did not use the peacock for their emblem, as the family name is from the old English for peacock.
The Paycockes were woollen cloth merchants, and there is a wide gateway facing onto West Street where wagons laden with wool delivered the raw material that would be worked on the premises and turned into cloth for sale. The Paycocke family owned the house until the last male of the family, John Paycocke, died in 1584. It was sold to the Buxton family who already owned property in Coggeshall, and the Buxton's owned the house until 1746. It was then divided up into three smaller cottages and fell into a terrible state of disrepair.
The interior of Paycockes is a symphony of beautifully carved wooden beams and linenfold wall panelling, reflecting the wealth generated by the medieval wool trade. Now that sounds all very fine, but it is only when you actually walk into the house and look up at the amazing wooden beams above your head that it hits home just how beautiful the carvings are. If ever Tudor woodwork could be descibed as a work of art it is here at Paycockes.
On display in the interior are examples of Coggeshall lace. Behind the house is a lovely cottage garden which has been planted in the style of the 16th century.
This is one of the most impressive Tudor houses I've had the pleasure of visiting. The rooms at the front of the house are truly impressive, with wonderful carved beams and panelling. The garden is an absolute delight, especially on a sunny day. And while you're visiting Cogeshall don't forget to drop in at the wonderful medieval tithe barn, also owned by the National Trust. Its a fair walk between the properties, but worth it. There is good parking at the barn, and not much near Paycockes, so I recommend parking at the barn and strolling down to Paycockes from there. You won't regret it!
Address: 25 West Street, Coggeshall, Colchester, Essex, England, CO6 1NS
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Location: 5½ miles E of Braintree, off the A120. On West Street. Good parking at Coggeshall barn, then a 10 minute walk to the house.
Phone: 01376 561 305
National Trust - see also: National Trust memberships (official website link)
OS: TL847 225
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Coggeshall Museum - 0.2 miles (Museum)
Coggeshall, St Peter ad Vincula Church - 0.3 miles (Historic Church)
Coggeshall Grange Barn - 0.3 miles (Historic Building)
Coggeshall Abbey - 0.5 miles (Abbey)
Marks Hall Arboretum and Garden - 1.9 miles (Garden)
Cressing Temple Barns and Gardens - 3.8 miles (Historic Building)
Copford, St Michael and All Angels Church - 5.4 miles (Historic Church)
Halstead, Holy Trinity Church - 5.5 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Paycockes: