Cogges Manor Farm
|Cogges Manor Farm|
|Location||Church Lane, Cogges, Witney, Oxfordshire|
|Public transit access||Stagecoach in Oxfordshire bus routes S1,1 S22|
The original Manor House was a Cotswold stone building dating from the middle of the 13th century.3 It originally comprised four ranges built around a courtyard. Of these the 13th century kitchen and part of the hall survive from one range and the dairy incorporates remains of one of the other ranges. The other two ranges have been lost, but traces or foundations of both of them survive.4 In the 13th century the Manor had a large fishpond, but since 1984 part of the site of the pond has been covered by modern houses.4
The manor house was probably built after Walter de Grey, Archbishop of York bought part of the manor of Cogges in AD 1241.4 In 1242 the house was described as the Archbishop's Court.4 By 1245 the Archbishop had given Cogges Manor to his nephew Sir Robert de Grey, with whose heirs the house remained until 1485.5 More than once in its history the family used the house as a dower house5 for the widows of successive Barons Grey of Rotherfield.
During the 16th century the manor passed through various owners.4 One of them altered the mediaeval hall by inserting a first floor and adding a new, higher roof.3 The Blake family bought the manor in 1667 and added the current second wing to the house.5 In 1726 Daniel Blake sold Cogges Manor Farm to Simon Harcourt, 1st Viscount Harcourt.5 The Harcourt family leased out Cogges Manor Farm until 1919, when the then tenants, the Mawle family, bought the freehold.5 In 1974 Oxfordshire County Council bought Cogges Manor Farm and converted the house and farmstead into a museum.5
Cogges Manor Farm then operated as a living museum depicting rural life in Oxfordshire during the Victorian era, subsidised by Oxfordshire County Council.6 At the end of the summer season on 31 August 2009 the council withdrew funding and the museum closed. At the time it was reported that a new charitable trust intended to reopen the museum in April 2010.789
In July 2011 Cogges Manor Farm re-opened, now operated by a charitable trust, the site and buildings being leased from Oxfordshire County Council.10 It is no longer a Museum in the conventional sense. Instead it is being developed as a place where families and individuals can relax, learn, and contribute voluntarily to its operation with the aim of giving visitors a better understanding of food and its production, both historically and today.
The Farm has been changed from a museum to an educational and recreational heritage site. Small farmyard animals such as chickens, ducks, pigs and goats are husbanded using traditional methods and vegetables are grown for food in a classical 'walled garden'. The transition has been accomplished chiefly by the efforts of volunteers under the direction of a minimalist management team.
The concept is that through volunteering and training opportunities, courses and workshops, school learning activities and by seeing the work first-hand, visitors and volunteers are able to appreciate the ups and downs of small scale farming.11
Displays and activities, coupled with conducted tours, explain how the Cogges Manor Farm site has developed since Saxon times, how its past residents made a living and how the farm has continually evolved in response to changing fortunes and opportunities. The hitherto neglected and overgrown medieval moated area has been sensitively cleared by volunteers to prepare for play opportunities and family trails that connect with this theme.
The intention is to develop the venue into a self-funding prime visitor attraction, hosting events such as food markets and a beer festival to supplement the running of the farm.12 UK Prime Minister and local MP David Cameron visited the attraction in January 2011 prior to the re-opening and described the Trust's plans as "enterprising".1314
- Bowen, Jane (1993). Cogges Manor Farm Museum. Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd for Oxfordshire County Council. ISBN 0-9520840-0-7.
- Bowen, Jane; Pope, Clare (2004). Cogges Manor Farm Museum. Sutton Publishing Ltd for West Oxfordshire District Council. ISBN 0-7509-3912-5.
- Crossley, Alan & C.R. Elrington (eds.); A.P. Baggs, W.J. Blair, Eleanor Chance, Christina Colvin, Janet Cooper, C.J. Day, Nesta Selwyn, S.C. Townley (1990). Victoria County History: A History of the County of Oxford, Volume 12: Wootton Hundred (South) including Woodstock. pp. 54–61.
- Sherwood, Jennifer; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1974). The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire. Harmondsworth: Penguin. p. 551. ISBN 0-14-071045-0.
- Steane, John M. (Ed.) (1984). Cogges A guide to the museum and village. (sic). Cogges Agricultural Heritage Museum Association Limited. ISBN 0-901036-06-4.
- Stagecoach in Oxfordshire: route S1
- Stagecoach in Oxfordshire: route S2
- Sherwood & Pevsner, 1974, page 551
- Crossley & Elrington, 1990, pages 54-59
- Crossley & Elrington, 1990, pages 59-61
- "End of an era as Cogges staff leave farm". Oxford Mail. 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
- "New trust to run Cogges". Oxfordshire County Council. 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
- "Cogges Manor Farm Project Board". Oxfordshire County Council. 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
- Jen Rivett (2009-09-01). "Cogges shuts, but it will be back again". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
- "Kids enjoy some animal magic at Cogges (From Oxford Mail)". Oxfordmail.co.uk. 2011-08-13. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
- "A vision for the future". www.cogges.org.uk. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
- "Events". www.cogges.org.uk. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
- "Cogges museum needs volunteers as it gears up to reopen (From Oxford Mail)". Oxfordmail.co.uk. 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
- "David Cameron meets Cogges Manor Farm Trustees | Witney". Witneyconservatives.com. 2011-01-21. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
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