Epping Things to Do
Copped Hall is an 18th century Palladian mansion that had become derelict and which is now being saved by the efforts of a charitable trust and a team of volunteers. After a fire in 1917, the family decided not to rebuild and repair the house, but moved to another property on the estate and the gardens were maintained. But in the 1950s after the owners died, it was sold and the new owners stripped the building of anything of value that remained, including the staircases, leaving just a shell. In the 1980s, the M25 London Orbital motorway was built across the estate, and the estate land and the house became a prime development site.
After battles to save Copped Hall, the estate land was purchased by the Corporation of London in 1992. The Copped Hall Charitable Trust was formed and purchased the House and Gardens in 1995.
Work to restore the house continues. Events such as concerts and study days are used to raise funds, as are monthly guided tours, on the third Sunday of the month.
It is an absolutely fascinating place. The main rooms are now weather tight, and one or two have been plastered, but most are bare brick. The secondary staircase, made of wood, has been replaced and provides access to the upper floor. The grand stone main staircase has only half a dozen or so steps as they are raising funds for the next flight. Because the house is used for events, training days and school visits, and because people donate things (whether the Trust want them or not), some of the rooms are partly furnished, with tables, and even china.
The gardens are being restored at the same time. There is a rock garden, on the site of the foundations of the old Elizabethan house, and the four-acre walled garden is a beautiful and well kept mix of herbaceous borders and fruit and vegetables (produce of the latter is sold to raise funds).
I suspect it will be a long time before the restoration is complete, but it is a truly fascinating place to visit.
See their website for details of Open Days, events and how to donate.Related to:
- Historical Travel
High Road, Thornwood, Epping, CM16, Epping, CM16 6LX, United Kingdom
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High Road, Bell Common, Epping, CM16 4DG, United Kingdom
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A414 Tylers Road, Epping, ES CM16
Good for: Families
The Clocktower is an attractive restaurant serving a good range of food from a fixed menu, and specials which change daily. There’s some variety for vegetarians, and they seem to have a lot of different types of fish and meat to try. Service is friendly, if perhaps a little over-attentive. The wine list is good. Always busy, so could be worth booking.
Favorite Dish: The tomato and basil pasta is a fine simple meal, done well, and large enough to fill, while the antipasti is appropriately good as a starter.
I’ve only ever been to the Euro Café for breakfast, usually while hungover. Perhaps as a result, it has been good every time. The menu isn’t vast, but what they do, they do very well. The staff are very friendly. The décor is nothing special, but then it doesn’t need to be. If you're in the area, or passing by at breakfast time, you should go.
Favorite Dish: Breakfast. Simple, but always good.
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