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explore centuries of history
Tucked away in a quiet corner, surrounded by tall trees and built of local limestone, Cogges Manor farm is in many ways a typical West Oxfordshire country house. Except that it isn’t. Most houses as beautiful and atmospheric as Cogges are private homes and we will never walk in the gardens or see inside. But Cogges is open to everyone to explore and enjoy. Everywhere you look you will see traces of more than 1,000 years of history and barely a sign of the 21st century.
You are welcome to explore the Manor House at your leisure as part of your farm ticket entry. There is a new guide book available to steer you through this incredible timespan and introduce you to some of the many families that have lived at Cogges Manor Farm.
Cogges is also the perfect location for a group visit. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to book a group tour.
As you approach the main entrance to the Manor House, take a look at the front porch. It was added to the house in the 19th century and is typical of Victorian times in that it looks a bit medieval! ‘Gothic’ design was all the rage in the 19th century.
One of the most notable features of the parlour is the green panelling, which probably dates from the 17th century. Panelling was a popular way of decorating a room with the added benefit of insulating cold, damp stone walls.
This room was originally a formal dining room. As in the parlour, there is panelling on every wall but here it’s heavier and more imposing. This is a room designed to give the impression that the owner is a country gent whose family has lived here since medieval times.
In the kitchen, the oldest part of the Manor House, you will find many traces of Cogges’ medieval and Tudor history as well as more recent times when the kitchen (and back kitchen beyond) formed the working end of the house.
On the first floor you can visit some of the former family bedrooms. This part of the house was remodelled in the 1680s by the Blake family. Today we use the rooms to give visitors a glimpse of life at Cogges at different times from the 17th to the 19th century, including a period of time from the 1740s – 1760s when Cogges became a boys’ boarding school.
Such a unique location lends itself perfectly to being used as a location for TV and the big screen, most notably Downton Abbey, Arthur & George and Colette. The Manor House and grounds were used extensively in series 4 to 6 of Downton Abbey. Yew Tree Farm is home to the Drewe family, where Lady Edith’s child is brought up, and later home to Mr Mason.
Really enjoyed our visit today. This is a well-kept attraction which engages with just the right amount of historical information. It had a lovely relaxed feel about the place as we wandered around the grounds and Manor House. Highly recommended.