Cogges open daily 9.30am-4pm (last entry 3.30pm)
Free community Saxon open day in the sunshine
The sun came out along with over 1600 visitors for our free open day, as people of all ages enjoyed a fun-filled celebration of Saxon times at the Farm.
Oxfordshire Anglo-Saxon re-enactors Hwitmearum set up a camp near the sheep field, and engaged visitors with a range of activities from trying on garments to wheel construction, tapestry and writing with a quill; the troupe even found time to cook up a tasty vegetable stew on the fire for their lunch, which looked and smelled delicious!
Wychwood Warriors - re-enactors from the University of Oxford - made an eye-catching change from our usual croquet on the Manor House lawn, as families tried out armour and wielded swords and shields - some rather enthusiastically!
Children's crafts included making a coil pot or a runestone using air drying modelling clay, or Saxon-themed colouring in. Other activities included wooden spoon carving with Cogges’ regular, David Knight, and weaving, ancient knitting and drop spindle techniques with local crafts people. The 'Curious About Cogges' volunteer group was on-hand with a display of Saxon found-objects and talked to the public about this relatively little-known era of the site and wider region. Visitors could drop by for a chat with Toby Swift and the Wychwood Project to find out more about their heritage workshops and projects, and Witney Radio FM broadcast live from the farmyard all day!
Visitors had the chance to meet some of the experts from McCurdy & Co, the team behind Shakespeare's Globe — a reconstruction of the Elizabethan playhouse in London for which William Shakespeare wrote his plays — and other bespoke projects. All ages had a go at wood work, carpentry and traditional peg-making.
Kieran Wheeler, (pictured top and right), from McCurdy & Co, was busy demonstrating traditional tools and methods used to build a timber-frame roof. He said, "We're really excited to be here today, it's fantastic to see even the kids get stuck-in. Who needs a TV?!"
Michael Smith, Head of Operation at Cogges, said:
"Wow! What a great weekend it was! The weather warmed up and 1,685 visitors came out and had fun finding out about all aspects of Anglo-Saxon life, trying their hands at traditional crafts. It was a great feeling to once again be able to host a large gathering at Cogges for our local community, after several years where such an event has not been possible."
“It was a great day – fascinating for the grown-ups as well as the kids”
“It was a brilliant day, thank you!”