Cogges Manor Farm is a one-time working farm in Cogges near Witney in Oxfordshire, now a heritage centre operated by a charitable trust and open to the public. Its aim is to give visitors an insight into farm life, additionally it provides workshops for school children and adults about food production, local history, horticulture and rural arts and crafts. The grounds and the barns are used for traditional festivals, theatrical performances. Though close to the centre of Witney, the Farm is surrounded by common land and pasture. Though not geographically in the Cotswolds the buildings of the Farm and it lies within the boundary of the ancient Royal Hunting Forest of Wychwood. The original Manor House was a Cotswold stone building dating from the middle of the 13th century and it originally comprised four ranges built around a courtyard. Of these the 13th century kitchen and part of the hall survive from one range, the other two ranges have been lost, but traces or foundations of both of them survive. In the 13th century the Manor had a large fishpond, the manor house was probably built after Walter de Grey, Archbishop of York bought part of the manor of Cogges in AD1241. In 1242 the house was described as the Archbishops Court, by 1245 the Archbishop had given Cogges Manor to his nephew Sir Robert de Grey, with whose heirs the house remained until 1485. More than once in its history the family used the house as a house for the widows of successive Barons Grey of Rotherfield. During the 16th century the manor passed through various owners, one of them altered the mediaeval hall by inserting a first floor and adding a new, higher roof. The Blake family bought the manor in 1667 and added the current second wing to the house, in 1726 Daniel Blake sold Cogges Manor Farm to Simon Harcourt, 1st Viscount Harcourt. The Harcourt family leased out Cogges Manor Farm until 1919, when the then tenants, in 1974 Oxfordshire County Council bought Cogges Manor Farm and converted the house and farmstead into a museum. Cogges Manor Farm then operated as a museum depicting rural life in Oxfordshire during the Victorian era. At the end of the season on 31 August 2009 the council withdrew funding. At the time it was reported that a new charitable trust intended to reopen the museum in April 2010 and it is no longer a Museum in the conventional sense. 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 management team
Cogges Manor Farm – the House
The walled garden is a key attraction. It has been restored, and subsequently maintained, entirely by voluntary effort.
Cogges Manor Farm – display of vegetables grown by volunteers
Cogges Manor Farm – the way to the woodland play space