Cogges to build a Saxon House in 2022

An exciting community engagement project is underway at Cogges Manor Farm to build a replica Saxon House

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery, over the coming months we will be planning and building a replica Saxon House, and you could get involved too! This exciting project will bring together volunteers, contractors and the community to create this fantastic addition to the Cogges historical story. Once built, the Cogges Saxon House will provide a unique learning space for schools and craft activities, and an event venue with a difference. Its educational purpose is to give greater insight into the 1000 years of history at Cogges. Visitors and school children will have the chance to connect with how people have lived on the site through experiencing the structure and participating in Anglo-Saxon activities.

Why a Saxon House?

According to an Archaeological Evaluation completed on behalf of Oxfordshire County Museum, excavations beneath the Manor House discovered a sunken-featured building of early Anglo-Saxon date. Anglo-Saxon pottery has also been found in the orchard and the site of the priory, and the place name Cogges means 'hill' in old English. This evidence suggests the presence of an Anglo-Saxon settlement at some point.

This isn't a stage in our history that we currently have much information on. The purpose of this project is to learn more about our colourful past and to share it with visitors to Cogges and the wider community.

Image: from West Stow Saxon Village

Reference: Thames Valley Archaeological Services

Who are we working with?

Following applications from a number of timber frame building specialists, a company called McCurdy & Co. were selected. Their reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, in London, has established them as leaders in the field of authentic reconstruction of historic timber frame buildings. Using their specialist conservation skills and understanding of historic timber structures, McCurdy & Co. are able to undertake the research, design, fabrication and erection of any form of historic timber framed structure or building. Along with their prestigious reputation, we were particularly keen to work with them due to their willingness and experience of working with volunteers, as this is at the heart of this project.

Take a peak at the initial plans created in order for the project to be put out to tender. Following a period of research from our Cogges volunteer research team, alongside McCurdy & Co, more accurate plans will be drawn up. 

Image: McCurdy & Co at The Globe Theatre, London

How can you get involved?

On Saturday 12th March, we’ll be hosting a fun-filled Saxon Open Day. Come along with all the family and enjoy various Saxon-themed events. We’ll also be joined by McCurdy & Co who will offer some taster sessions in peg making and timber frame construction.

Over the coming months there will be a number of opportunities for volunteer involvement. Many of these will involve working alongside skilled craftsmen and learning traditional building techniques, providing a fantastic opportunity for personal development. Along with the added gratification of working as part of a team to create something that will be part of Cogges for years to come.

If you already have skills that you think would be beneficial, or are keen to get involved and learn new skills, then please register your interest in joining our volunteer team below.

To register your interest, please email volunteering@cogges.org.uk