Simonsbath Festival talk by Bette Baldwin, Friends of Hoar Oak Cottage


Date: 13th Jun 2018 7:30pm
Hoar Oak Cottage: A forgotten piece of Exmoor sheep farming history - An illustrated talk - ‘The simple life, the humble life, is as wonderful, in its way, as any grand life of achievement and public recognition.’ Alexander McCall Smith - Hoar Oak Cottage has been home to shepherds since the 1700s and has been lived in by at least 15 families and the birthplace to more than 20 children. It remained a sheep farm until the 1960s, when the last shepherd family left, and by 2000 the cottage was deserted and derelict. Four of the shepherd families – from the 1870s to 1900 - were Scottish migrants employed by Frederic Knight to introduce Black Faced and Cheviot sheep to Exmoor. Bette Baldwin is descended from one of those shepherd families - James and Sarah Johnstone who left Lanarkshire to live and work at Hoar Oak Cottage in a remote north-western corner of Exmoor on the Somerset-Devon border. Bette Baldwin and another descendent Will Bowden decided to set up the Friends of Hoar Oak Cottage to try and preserve the fabric of the buildings as well as researching and sharing the history of the place and people who lived there. Bette’s talk tells the story of the people, the place and what life was like at Hoar Oak Cottage. Refreshments available and a locally-made pasty, costing £4, may be booked in advance for the interval.

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Simonsbath Festival

This event is brought to you by The Simonsbath Festival.

Location: St Luke's Church, Simonsbath TA24 7SH
Booking: Booking essential
Charge: Advance booking: £10 to reserve the seat of your choice; £5 for unreserved seating (£6 on the door); 14s and under free.
Contact: 01643 831451

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