Skip to Navigation

A House for Essex

Sleeps 4

A House for Essex is designed by FAT Architecture and Grayson Perry. It is both an artwork in itself and the setting for a number of works by Perry exploring the special character and unique qualities of Essex. The building has been designed to evoke the tradition of wayside and pilgrimage chapels. It belongs to a history of follies, whilst also being deeply of its own time.

During Your Stay



If you incur any injuries while on holiday, please let us know.  Please see below for Emergencies, and look under Hospital for details of your nearest Accident and Emergency Unit.


As is stated in our contract with you, we cannot accept more than 4 people (aged 10 years or over) in the house.


The artwork is integral to the design and philosophy of the house and can be enjoyed close up, but please do not touch the artwork or tapestries. The cost to remedy any damage found immediately after your visit will be reclaimed from you.

For the purposes of insurance, all works have been fitted with integrated alarm motion detectors, and are monitored by CCTV. The cameras are recording all the time, but focus only on the specific art objects, rather than people who might be around them. Please don’t worry, your privacy is in no way compromised.

You can read more about the tapestries and artwork in the pamphlet ‘Julie’s House’ which you will you will find in the house.

If you happen to break anything, please leave a note as it assists our Housekeepers to replace items during the limited change-over period.


Our Housekeeping team will come in after your departure (see Departure below) to make the house ready for the next guests and although we don’t expect, nor want, you to clean, it would be hugely appreciated if you could leave the house in a good condition.

If you do need to clean the house during your stay, please only use the products that we have left, as some of the materials used in A House for Essex need very special treatment.

In particular:

There is a dust pan and brush in the entrance cupboard.

The kitchen work surface; if there are stubborn stains, please only use the general cleaner that you will find under the sink.

Please only use water to clean the hob

The wooden floors are sealed but should anything be spilt, please mop it up.


Our contact number:  07734 323464

(Mon–Fri, within office hours, plus emergencies).

If you require a prompt response please telephone this number. Please do not email, text or tweet as these means of communication are not monitored as frequently out of hours.


You probably don’t want to think about the end of your holiday just yet, but on the day of your departure please make sure that you leave the house by 11am. We need time for the housekeeping team to get the house ready for the incoming guests.

On leaving, please ensure that all doors are locked – see Doors for the dining room and porch doors. Please leave the spare key and grille key by this manual, where you found them.

Please ensure that all the windows are closed firmly.

Pull the front door firmly on leaving and lock it via the top and bottom locks. Please place the master key in the key safe where you were advised on arrival and rotate the key safe combination dials.


The nearest doctor’s surgery is: Mr M Coggan, Harewood, Harwich Rd, Great Oakley, Harwich CO12 5AD. Tel: 01255 880341


The red dining room doors and yellow porch doors are locked by turning the handle firmly upwards until it clicks and the mechanism engages, then turn the thumb turn anti-clockwise. Please use the stay on the dining room door to hold it open and avoid it getting blown open and damaging the tiles.

Please ensure that the grille to the outside porch (at the rear of the house) is closed and locked when you are not in the house.


Please do not use drones near the house as they annoy the neighbours and upset livestock in the area.


Please dry any wet outdoor clothes in the basement area or outside if the weather is good. A clothes airer can be found in the utility area downstairs.


Should a fuse blow at any time during your stay, the fuse box can be found in the cupboard in the entrance hall. You will find a wind-up torch in the kitchen cupboards.

In the unlikely event of a power cut, the alarm unit will make a sound. Please ring (see Contacts) so we can guide you through re-setting it.

In the case of power supply disruption to the area, this can be checked on the UK Power Networks. Text POWER CO11 2TP to 80876 for updates.


If you need to call the emergency services, they will require the full postal address:

A House for Essex, Black Boy Lane, Wrabness, Manningtree, Essex, CO11 2TP


There is a fire extinguisher in the hall and a fire blanket can be found on the kitchen wall. However, for anything serious, we would rather you close all the doors (providing it is safe to do so), evacuate the building and contact the fire service.


If a fuse blows, the box can be found in the cupboard in the entrance hall.


If you need access to turn off the water, it is in the basement plant room – please contact us on the number above for access details

See Hospitals section for medical emergencies.

See Contacts for other emergencies


A House for Essex sits in a rural location and as livestock are often in the surrounding fields, fireworks are not permitted. In addition, Chinese lanterns are not allowed as the wires and bamboo supports can be eaten by cattle and horses, causing injury.


Please only use the self-burning logs provided or seasoned logs. Both should be burnt on a bedding of ash. The stove is double-sided, but can only be opened from the dining area. 


A simple first aid kit is located in the cupboard in the hall. Please leave it out if you had occasion to use it.


We aim to provide gardens at our houses that reflect the local area. At A House for Essex, we have cut a few pathways within the wilderness meadow.


A House for Essex is heated through an underfloor system, with radiators to boost the heat.

To control the heat, use the valve found on each radiator.

In the sitting room, you will find white thermostats at the end of the yellow seating nearest the kitchen on both sides.

The woodburner provides additional heat in the sitting room


The nearest hospital is: Colchester General Hospital, Turner Road, Colchester CO4 5JL. Tel: 01206 747474


Hot water is produced by the use of a heat pump taking warmth from coils buried deep in the ground, in combination with an efficient immersion heater to boost the water temperature at times when the heat pump alone cannot produce enough hot water – night-time and winter for example.

This means that there should be a readily available source of hot water, provided that not everyone takes a bath, fills the sinks, or takes a shower at precisely the same time.


We have included below information on how to use the simplest functions of the electrical appliances, but should you need the detailed instructions, they can be found in the sitting room cupboards.


You will have found a spare front door key and the key for the grille on this manual when you arrived.

On final departure, please place the master key in the key safe. The spare key and grille key should be left inside the house on the kitchen island next to this manual, where you found them.


Please try not to leave anything behind when you leave the house. If you do, unfortunately Living Architecture cannot accept liability. Lost property will normally be disposed of if it is not collected within 6 months.

Living Architecture may charge a reasonable administration fee to cover the costs of storage, handling and postage for lost property.


A House for Essex is situated in a rural environment surrounded by agricultural land. At certain times of the year the house can be subject to the sort of conditions that come with its rural location. This might include insects, flies and the odd field mouse, especially when the crops in the area are cut or harvested.

Please respect the countryside and local residents at all times.


A parking area for A House for Essex has been created in front of the house. We ask that you close the gate at all times.


Sadly no pets are permitted to stay or visit A House for Essex. Please make sure that you and any guests to the house respect this. 

Due to their locations, we are able to accept a dog at Shingle House in Kent, Dune House and Balancing Barn in Suffolk, Long House in Norfolk and Life House in Wales.


In order to meet the requirements of the local authority, please sort rubbish using the bins in the kitchen according to:

Dry recyclable waste
(Tin, paper, card and plastic)

Glass waste (Clean glass)

General waste

When the bins in the kitchen are full, please transfer to the labelled wheelie bins found in the bin store adjacent to the entrance of the property.


Each time you leave the house during your stay, please ensure that all the doors and the porch grille are locked and the windows are shut. The shutters on the porch doors in the living room should be shut and the bolts secured.

For the purposes of insurance, all works have been fitted with integrated alarm motion detectors, and are monitored by CCTV.

The cameras are recording all the time, but focus only on the specific art objects, rather than people who might be around them. Please don’t worry, your privacy is in no way compromised.

We stress the importance of locking all doors before leaving the house for any length of time, to both safeguard your own possessions and the contents of the house.

If you have any concerns regarding security during your stay, please contact us, as above.


A non-slip shower mat can be found on the shelf in the upstairs bathroom.


Most mobile providers operate in this area; however, service can be limited in the house itself.


You will find a set of towels for each person that the house accommodates (but please do not use these outside or as
beach towels).


Your contract with us is bound by the terms and conditions to which you have agreed.

These can be found at

To help preserve the high standard of our houses and for insurance purposes, we want to remind you not to allow anyone into the house except for those guests who are actually sleeping in it – so please do not allow extra visitors (unless you have made a prior arrangement with Living Architecture).


As there is strong interest in A House for Essex, we have noticed that a number of people have been turning up asking to look round the house. In the interest of your own privacy and security, we urge you not to do this.

We recommend that you keep the gates closed throughout your stay and if you do encounter people in the grounds, please remind them that it is private property.

If you have any concerns regarding security during your stay, please contact us as above


A House for Essex has a water softener, as water in this area of Essex is very hard. The water in the bathroom sinks is fine to use to brush your teeth, but drinking water should be drawn from the tap in the kitchen.

Wi Fi

A House for Essex is set up with Wi Fi. However please note that due to its location – and for reasons beyond our control – internet access can at times be intermittent.


Our policy is to clean the windows periodically, but, due to the elements, it is not always possible to keep them clean between these times.

Some of the windows on the first floor are fitted with restrictors to prevent accidents.



An electric SMEG freestanding cooker is provided.

The controls are found on the front panels – one each for the plates on the hob, oven function and oven temperature controls.

The oven has a number of functions depicted by symbols on the function control:

Two semi-circles: static heating, from the top and bottom of the oven

Two semi-circles with a fan in the centre: fan assisted cooking

One semi-circle with a fan above: fan assisted cooking, from the bottom of the oven

Solid circle with fan inside: hot air circulation allowing uniform distribution of heat

Two semi-circles around a solid circle containing a fan: turbo cooking

Dotted semi-circle: grill

Dotted semi-circle with fan below: fan assisted grill


The timer must be set for the oven to work.

Additional shelves can be found in the drawer beneath the cooker.

The oven and grill will not work with the door open

For full instructions, please see the instruction manual.


There is a hood above the cooker with a light and fan speed control.


A few dishwasher tablets have been left for your use in the kitchen.

To programme the unit, press the on/off button, keep it depressed until the function operates.

Select the programme you wish to use by depressing the function button on the left hand side until the light appears by the symbol of the programme you wish to select. The wash duration appears in the display.

Please do not put the glasses in the dishwasher.


There is an integrated fridge freezer housed in the cupboard in the kitchen/ dining area.


Can be found on the kitchen counter.


Miele W3164 WSS Edition 111

The washing machine is situated in the utility area in the basement.

Switch on the machine and press the door button to open the drum door.

Select a programme using the programme selector dial.

You can make further selections using the additional options and spin speed controls.

Additional options: each press of the top button selects the additional options in the following order: Short, Pre-wash, Soak, Water-plus.

Press the flashing Start button.

The estimated programme duration will show in the display. During the first 10 minutes the washing machine measures how much water is being absorbed by the laundry. The programme duration may be longer or shorter depending on this absorbency rate.


Miele T8812C Edition 111

The tumble drier is situated in the utility area in the basement.

Switch the dryer on and turn the programme selector to the required programme.

For drying particularly sensitive fabrics,
e.g. acrylics, turn the programme selector to
the low temperature position.

Because the heater rating is reduced for the Low temperature setting, clothes dry more slowly, thus lengthening drying times.

Press the Start button.

The indicator lamp for the Start button will then change from flashing to being on constantly.

Depending on the programme selected, the drying stage reached is shown by the sequence indicator lamps on the right hand side of the control panel.

Before the end of a programme the cooling down phase takes place so that the garments are not too hot to handle.

The Cool air indicator lamp will come on and the programme is not finished until the cooling down phase is complete.

The Woollens hand care and Smoothing programmes do not include a cooling down phase.

At the end of a programme the Finish/Anti-crease indicator lamp comes on. The drum will continue to rotate at intervals to prevent laundry creasing, if you do not wish to remove it immediately.

The anti-crease phase lasts for an hour. There is no anti-crease phase on the Woollens hand care programme.

Press the door button to open.

Information correct as of February 2019

Back to House DetailsContact Us

Top of Page



We use a small number of cookies on our site to enable functionality including Google Analytics. By continuing use of our website you consent to their use. No cookies contain any personal information but they are necessary for the use of our site. See our Privacy Policy for more information about what cookies are used.