Share our history when staying at Coxwold Cottages
- 4 June 2019 -
The property at Coxwold Cottages has a fascinating history. Probably dating from the 1500s, The Forge and the adjacent Forge Cottage are amongst the oldest surviving properties in the picture-postcard village of Coxwold. They feature on Francis Mason’s detailed 1605 map for the Newburgh Priory estate as a building with two cottages – one now being our charming Forge Cottage holiday accommodation. Share our Coxwold history when you stay with us.
For a century from the 1850s until the 1950s, four generations of the Burnett family were the village farriers and blacksmiths, the property then being known then as Ivy Lea. Jack Burnett was the last of the line. As well as being the village blacksmith, the family also had a smallholding with a dairy herd and pigs. Life must have been hard with everything done manually – milking, butter making, mucking out, shoeing horses and the like. They also ran the village dairy.
To bring in additional income, the family even took in paying guests, meeting them at Coxwold Railway Station with a horse and trap. We can’t offer a horse and trap today (or indeed a railway station in the village!) although our guests can be assured that Forge Cottage contains all the luxuries needed for a romantic weekend or self-catering holiday – a far cry from the facilities back then! During their time at Coxwold, Jack Burnett and his wife Annie had three children – John (Les), Robert and Mary. Jack died in 1961 and in 1972 Annie moved to Linton-on-Ouse to live near her daughter, Mary. We were delighted to meet Mary, still sprightly in her 90s, at the recent Coxwold Local History Society exhibition.
Externally, The Forge and Forge Cottage are little changed as can be seen when comparing the properties today with those shown on period postcards and old photographs. Internally, however, the properties today would be unrecognisable to the Burnetts as, although some period details such as the forge itself (now featuring a wood burning stove) and an antique door (reputedly dating from the properties earliest days) have been retained, both The Forge and Forge Cottage have been completely gutted and sympathetically restored with every modern convenience.
The photographs show part of the 1605 map with The Forge at the centre and The Forge in the early 1900s. Stay at Forge Cottage or in the lovely Shepherd’s Hut in the grounds to soak up the history of Coxwold inside the North York Moors national park. Heritage is all around us in Coxwold with Shandy Hall, Newburgh Priory and Byland Abbey all within Coxwold’s environs, not forgetting Coxwold’s unique church – one of the oldest and most fascinating in Yorkshire.
Thank you to the many people and the online resources I have raided for all this information. Much appreciated.