Cogges Manor Farm Museum

The original Manor House was a Cotswold stone building dating from the middle of the 13th century. 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. 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. The manor house was probably built after Walter de Grey, Archbishop of York bought part of the manor of Cogges in AD 1241. In 1242 the house was described as the Archbishop's 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 dower 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, the Mawle family, bought the freehold. In 1974 Oxfordshire County Council bought Coges Manor Farm and converted the house and farmstead into a museum. There is a display of the history of the Manor House on the first floor. A modern single-storey brick-built shop and café has been built on one side of the farmyard.

Cogges Manor Farm is a living museum depicting Oxfordshire rural life in the Victorian era. The house has an activities room in which children can try on Victorian clothes and play with replica toys and games of the period. The farm buildings house historic farm implements and machinery and traditional breeds of farm animals. There are demonstrations of farm work such as hand-milking and butter-making and the work of the housemaids in the Manor House. Visitors can speak with the traditionally-dressed dairy maids, farm staff and house staff as they re-enact the daily work of that era. The museum provides daily activities for children and families in the school holidays, themed weekends, and summer evening performances. The museum was subsidised by Oxfordshire County Council. At the end of the summer season on 31 August 2009 the council withdrew funding and the museum closed. A new charitable trust intends to reopen the museum in April 2010.

  • 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.