It’s not easy driving in Colchester. Even with very concise instructions as to how to reach the Landmark Trust’s Peake’s House we managed to take wrong turnings and narrowly missed driving in a bus lane. It was a big relief to reverse the car into the parking space provided and leave it there for the rest of our stay.
East Stockwell Street, Colchester. Peake’s House is the timbered building on the left.
Here’s what the Trust say about it :
“Originally three cottages at the centre of Colchester’s cloth trade, the long mullioned windows were designed to give light to the weavers at their looms. It is a snug retreat from which you can explore the historic town surrounding you.
Peake’s House stands in the Dutch Quarter, north of the High Street, which has retained its old layout as well as many of its older houses, making its atmospheric streets a delight to wander. Here Flemish weavers settled in the 1570s, driven into exile by religious persecution.
The satisfying, late-Elizabethan interiors of this merchant’s house provide a particularly atmospheric existence within its walls. Workmanly, evenly set wall timbers inside and out give the house its character. The interiors of Peake’s House have barely changed since those weavers made themselves a prosperous new life.”
Mr Peake had been the last owner before he generously gave it to the Borough Council in 1946, specifying that it was to be used for social and cultural purposes only. The Landmark Trust secured a 99 year lease on the house in 1995. A detailed history can be read on the Trust’s website.
Here is a brief tour of this wonderful old house:
Sitting Room with Large Inglenook Fireplace [source]
Log Book Fire
The Landmark Library (rather dimly lit)
Welcoming, fully equipped kitchen
The Clock was a great point of interest
Clock in the Log Book
Clock Winding Instructions from the Log Book
The Twin Bedroom
The Double Bedroom (all 3 pictures above)
The specially printed curtain fabric. Lady Smith, wife of the Landmark Trust founder John Smith, designed and hand printed the curtain fabric for each individual property.
Could the design for Peake’s House curtains have come from the wall painting in nearby St Martin’s Church? Not quite, but very similar.
Photograph on the Church Display Board
Lovely Effective Curtains