Cart Horse Stables Conservation Skills Centre

In 2018 we are hoping to open a Conservation Skills Centre at the Model Farm buildings in the centre of Coleshill Village.

What is the Cart Horse Stables Conservation Skills Centre all about?

We are currently looking into the feasibility stage of the project, engaging with local traditional building and craft specialists and well as architects, education facilities and National trust staff.

One of our joiners repairing an old gate

Coleshill is part of the West Oxfordshire Estate, where we have our own onsite crafts team who managed the estates maintenance.  With the backlog being quite large we are looking ahead to the next generation.  We want to ensure there are the opportunities for training and development first hand on our working estates alongside the support from existing specialists.

We are currently at the planning stage, working with potential academic partners, sponsors and those who would like to run courses. 

One of our joiners repairing an old gate

What were the Model Farm buildings used for originally?

The Model Farm at Coleshill was at the cutting edge of agricultural practices and technology when built in 1854. The complex was carefully designed for the Earl of Radnor by his land agent, Mr Edward Wells Moore, to improve productivity and included tramways between the buildings to distribute feed and take away manure. The scale of the Model Farm goes some way to show the prosperity and innovation at Coleshill in the 19th century and would have been a backdrop for the Earl to impress local landowners and family friends.

The part of the Model Farm we will be using for the Skills Centre was originally the stables for the cart horses and contained stalls and loose boxes for 12 horses. There were mangers fixed along one wall and a continuous feeding passage down the north side of the building. The tack such as reins and harnesses were also stored in this building and carts for the horses to pull during the harvest or for tasks around the estate were housed in nearby sheds.

Looking towards the Cart Horse stables where the skills centre will be based

Horses were housed in the building until it ceased to be used as a farm and was then converted into a residential flat and workshop.  It has been empty more recently and using it as a Skills Centre would bring the space back to life as the hub of traditional and rural activity.