New project: ‘Reconnect 2020’

Our theme for next year, ‘Reconnect 2020’, is about ecology, land use and climate change. We are curating a programme of talks, walks, workshops, events, displays, cross curricular educational activities and volunteer opportunities, which embed positive messages about low carbon lifestyles, protecting biodiversity and small scale farming, exploring issues around food and growing, and providing access to high quality produce, key to the well-being and future of people and the soil We…

Continue ReadingNew project: ‘Reconnect 2020’

Back to school

One line in a letter from a Victorian schoolboy catches the attention. John Marmaduke Marriott (aged just fifteen) writes home from Winchester College to his Papa in Cotesbach with, amongst other news connected with his return to school, the fact that “I am having claret every day here.” Despite Samuel Johnson’s famous assertion that “Claret is the liquor for boys”, it seems that by this era such was no longer generally the case.…

Continue ReadingBack to school

A piece of detective work inspired by a mysterious note from 1892!

A summer Sunday in 1892 and two young men are sitting on a gate in the sunshine. Alfred Shortland (19) and Abraham Jennings (17) are spending what little leisure time they have in the countryside, having taken a walk from Lutterworth along the footpath to Cotesbach. What could be more idyllic? The scene cannot be as innocent as it appears, however, or why were the youngsters’ names recorded and a log of…

Continue ReadingA piece of detective work inspired by a mysterious note from 1892!

Springtime in the Georgian garden.

This document is one of the earliest records of the Marriott family in Cotesbach. The ‘Mr Marriott’ to whom the bill was addressed was Robert, who had (at the age of 20 in 1763) recently graduated  from Oxford and taken up residence at the Hall. His gardener (one John Crow, as we know from his bills, also preserved in Cotesbach Archive) had been working hard to prepare the garden for the new…

Continue ReadingSpringtime in the Georgian garden.