Did you know


·    Cogges Manor Farm is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The 13th century manor house and 17th century farm buildings are Grade 11 Listed.
·    Cogges appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 and the first owner of Cogges was Wadard, who appears as a Norman knight riding a horse on the Bayeux tapestry.
·    The manor house stood originally by the River Windrush. 'Cogges Castle' was defended by a moat and islands, where the timber play fort and zip wire stands today.
·    Cogges manor was once held by kings of England including Henry VII and Henry VIII; the latter gave the land to Thomas Pope, the founder of Trinity College Oxford.
·    Wealthy wool merchant William Blake owned Cogges in the 17th century and became High Sheriff of Oxfordshire. He was linked to the Witney wool trade and funded  the Buttercross in Witney and neighbouring Blake School.
·    Fresh milk from Cogges used to be delivered locally by milkman Fred Turner and the Cook brothers. He still used a hand cart on his rounds in the 1930s.
·    The two 17th century barns are now used for weddings, concerts, theatre and events. Originally they stored harvested crops of wheat and barley for threshing; when both doors of the wheat barn are open, a draught is created which in the past would blow away the chaff from the grain.
·    The manor was lived in and owned by the Mawle family until 1968. Some of their photographs and artwork still hang upstairs in the house today. 

Do you have a story to share about Cogges' past, maybe your family were connected to Cogges or worked here? You can email Marketing and Events Manager Kim with your story marketing@cogges.org.uk

Cogges Castle

With over 1000 years of history, Cogges retains it's 'other wordly' tranquil beauty and tells a fascinating story of the past.


The earliest known owner of Cogges dates back to the Saxon period, Wadard, who was recorded as Lord of the Manor of Cogges in the Domesday Book of 1086. Wadard was shown as a Norman knight  riding a horse on the Bayeux Tapestry, which celebrates the victory of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

The manor next became the property of the Arsic family who probably built the first manor house before 1100 by the River Windrush inside a defensive moat, which can still be seen today. Although there is now no sign of the house above ground, it was still visible in the 17th century when it was described as 'Cogges Castle'. A timber play-fort of the same name stands on the site today.
The Arsic family were still Lords of the manor in 1213 when Robert Arsic established a settlement for Freemen called Newland. This is now part of Witney, but in the early 13th century it was planned as a separate community to rival the recently created market town. The Bishops of Winchester developed Witney around the market place and built a palace next to Church Green, the orginal foundations of which can be seen today. The long term effect of the 13th century development was that the village of Cogges declined instead of growing larger like it's neighbour Witney. Today the remains of the medieval village can be found in the field next to the orchard. 
De Greys
By 1245 Cogges had a new owner. Walter de Grey, Chancellor, Regent of England and Archbishop of York gave the land to his nephew who was also called Walter De Grey. It was at this time that a new manor house was built on higher and drier ground away from the river. The foundations of this house were discovered during archeaologcal excavations. 
Kings of England
The descendants of the De Grey family supported the Yorkist cause during the War of the Roses. After their defeat, Henry VII the new king seized the lands of many opponants, including Cogges - and for many years it was in the hands of absentee landlords.
In the middle of the 16th century Sir Thomas Pope, the founder of Trinity College in Oxford was granted the land by Henry VIII. 
William Blake
By 1667 the estate was sold for £8000 to William Blake, a woolen draper from London who was involved in the Witney blanket trade. Through the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries the house was altered and added to, and new barns and outbuildings built to support farming activities.
In 1725 Daniel Blake sold Cogges Manor Farm to Simon Harcourt, 1st Viscount Harcourt. The Harcourt family leased out the manor which at one point was a school for boys, followed by the Hollis family who lived and farmed there for nearly a hundred years.
Mawle Family
In 1877 Joseph Mawle, a local farmer took over the the tenancy and the Mawle family eventually bought the freehold and continued to live there until 1968. Their photographs still hang in the house today. 
Cogges Museum
In 1974 Oxfordshire County Council bought Cogges Manor Farm and converted the house and farmstead into a museum in 1979. It has been sympathetically preserved by the OCC in recognition of its beauty, uniqueness and importance to the local community and the many visitors.
Cogges Heritage Trust
The Museum closed in 2009 and the newly formed Cogges Heritage Trust secured a lease from the Council and reopened Cogges to visitors in 2011.