What Cogges Means to You

A series of exhibitions from the Witney Remembers oral history project, sharing stories showing the importance of Cogges in the local community over the last 70 years. From children to farm workers, staff to volunteers, everyone has a story to tell. Come and share your own #MyCogges stories on our memory tree, or on social media #whatcoggesmeanstome.

Download the Witney Remembers Guide here.

The barn was open when they had the threshing… and all the chaff that came, it was lovely for the chickens and we were allowed to bag it up and take it home 

Ken Smith (KP)
Witney Remembers

Witney Remembers is a Cogges Oral History Project, funded by the National Lottery. Volunteers at Cogges Manor Farm interviewed around 20 people who have a connection with Cogges from the 1950s to the present day. The recorded interviews create a collective memory of Cogges past.

Mawle family

As the last family to live and work at Cogges Manor Farm, the Mawle family has left the strongest stamp on the house and farmyard. In 1877 Joseph Mawle, a local farmer, took over the tenancy and the Mawle family eventually bought the freehold and continued to live there until 1975. Joseph and his wife Elizabeth had a total of seven children – Joseph, John Francis (known as Frank), Edward, Harry, Eliza, Margaret and Ralph. 

We have been fortunate enough to interview Eileen Mawle, daughter-in-law of Ted (son of Frank).

Eileen first visited Cogges around 1968 when she met her husband, John Mawle. John was Cyril Mawle’s nephew, and Cyril owned Cogges Manor Farm. On Cyril’s death, Eileen and John moved into Cogges Manor Farm. She recalled that the farmhouse is virtually unchanged from when she lived there. She brought up her family at Cogges.

I remember there was a beautiful Galloway, belted Galloway that was really quite old. She only ever stayed in one field, the big field you look out now if you go through the main field gates. It’s all built on now of course... she was just as fat as a little pig. It was 32 acres of the most wonderful grass that you never had to do anything to

Eileen Mawle
Moments through time

We have also captured moments through time since 1974 when Oxfordshire County Council bought Cogges Manor Farm and converted the house and farmstead into a museum. It was sympathetically preserved by OCC for 30 years before Cogges Heritage Trust took over the management of Cogges as a charity and reopened Cogges Manor Farm to visitors in 2011.

Our thanks to everyone we interviewed:
Hazel Adams, Jo Alder, Carol Anderson, Roy Bicker, Valerie Brooks, Davina Chapman (main exhibition photo), Gabrielle Conway-Morris, Laura Dean, Stuart Harrison, Dave Hill, Maureen Hopkins, Lorraine Horne, Christiane Jeuckens, Eileen Mawle, Margherita Pierini, Ben Potter, Derick Smith, Ken Smith, Sally Stradling,

And to the Oral History Project volunteers:
David Bates, Margaret Biddlecombe, Beryl Chatt, Pat Chirwin, Lucy Chesher, Laura Dean, Cereta Drewett, Val Fisher, Mary Franklin, Michael Green, Heather Horner, Christine Keable, Jan Le Fevre, Gill Munday. The volunteers were trained by Julia Letts, Oral History Society.