We met up with friends recently in the glorious Oxfordshire countryside.
The meeting point was the Great Barn in the village of Great Coxwell. The barn is the sole surviving part of a thriving 13th-century grange that once provided vital income to Beaulieu Abbey. Built from Cotswold rubble-stone walling, the barn is an impressive reminder of the skills of the Gothic carpenters and the wealth of the great monastic orders.
It was a favourite of William Morris, who would regularly bring his guests to wonder at its structure. Morris called it ‘unapproachable in its dignity‘.
The downside for today’s visitors is that there’s nothing else there, aside from a signposted walk with fantastic views – no café or toilets.
It’s a great place to walk your dog and after that, I suggest hopping back into your car for the few miles to the village of Coleshill for tea, buns and a comfort break.