A Beautiful Georgian Guest House in Colchester's Historic Town Centre
Baye House was originally built in the early 1600's in the Dutch Quarter. Later a Georgian facade was added and at the turn of the century the rear extended to create a wash room and kitchen.
The Dutch Quater was so called because of Flemish refugee families who settled here during the reign of Elizabeth I to escape religious persecution at home. Many were expert clothmakers who on arrival angered the local clothmakers but over time, thanks to their expertise Colchester became one of the countries leading clothmakers. The house took its name from one type of fine quality cloth made during this period, the bay.
Opposite the House is St Martins Church dates back from the 12th century. The tower which is Norman was damaged in the civil war siege of 1648 and was never rebuilt. The massive vaults have been uncovered and can be viewd today. The aisle, transepts and chancel are 14th century. It is now used as a centre for exibitions music and theatre with Anne Von Bouen opening up the doors for the public to view. On the right day be lucky enough to enjoy Anne's homemade cakes and friend's bring and buy produce.
In the southeast corner of the churchyard is the grave of Jacob Ringer a baymaker (clothmaker) who died !680. He survived the siege in 1648 and had to pay a hefty fine inposed on the baymakers by Thomas Fairfax the parlimentarian general which ... the rights of the Magna Carta resided over the king
Colchester Castle.... many beautiful surrounding historic places such as Constable's Dedham, the medieval houses of Lavenham and Long Melford for its antique centres, restaurants and small shops.
A 15 minute drive from Colchester takes you to West Mersea famous for seafood cafes, harbour sunsets and crabbing for the kids then there is the beautiful sandy and craggy beach of East Mersea.
The garden at Baye House