New visitor entrance for Cogges

May 2017

Cogges Manor Farm: Ox Byre Project

The new visitor entrance and shop at Cogges opened its doors at the end of March in the 18th century thatched Ox Byre. The building, which had been unused for a number of years, was originally designed for cattle rather than people!  It had been rethatched following a fire in 2001, and the original cattle troughs had been replaced.

The previous entry to (and exit from) Cogges was through the milking parlour, shared with the café and shop. As visitor numbers increased it became more and more of a bottleneck, with arriving tour groups squeezing past exiting school parties in the small reception area.  Improving first impressions, expanding shop space and enabling use of a second till on busy days became a priority, and the Ox Byre has risen to the challenge.

With architectural plans in hand, and Listed Building and Scheduled Monument Consents in place, a skilled team of Cogges volunteers started work on the building in January. Apart from electrical, data and alarm works, these volunteers have done everything – laying a new timber floor, building a small office space, creating welcome desks and till points, and adapting cattle troughs to create new retail display fixtures. They worked tirelessly to get the Ox Byre ready for the new season, and so far the new entrance is a huge hit with volunteers and visitors alike.