The Cowdray Estate hosts corporate entertainment, hospitality events and multi leisure activities events on our 16,500 acre Estate, a large proportion of which is forestry and agricultural land.
The Cowdray Estate is near Midhurst, West Sussex close to the borders of Surrey and Hampshire, just one hour from London. The Cowdray Estate offers leisure activities such as fishing and wildlife experiences – including badger watching.
The Cowdray Estate also offers filming locations, venues for your events, wedding reception venues – please contact the Leisure Office at Cowdray Park Golf Club for more information.
The Cowdray Park Polo Club is now one of the largest in Britain with over 700 non-playing members. The main event of the year is the Gold Cup, which is held in July and has become gradually bigger and better each year.
Cowdray Newsletter – Winter 2014/2015
The second edition of our Cowdray newsletter is available to download here:
SUSSEX LIFE MAGAZINE
Lady Cowdray is pleased to be writing a column for the county magazine Sussex Life. See below the March article and click links to previous editions.
My late father-in-law, John Cowdray, oversaw a rather unique building project to celebrate my husband’s 21st birthday in 1965 by creating Birthday House in the village of Easebourne to provide comfortable retirement homes for his employees. Birthday House is still going strong – in fact we will celebrate its Jubilee in June.
Recently I enjoyed spending an afternoon with the Cowdray pensioners who live at Birthday House. The majority of the residents are married and in several cases both husbands and wives had worked at Cowdray. Some of their children and even one or two grandchildren have kept the family tradition going. There are thirteen couples’ flats and two smaller units for single occupancy so that all residents have their own private homes within a secure environment set in a convenient location.
I met everyone in the communal sitting room in the middle of the complex. With a small kitchen alongside, it’s ideal for getting together. With glazed doors opening onto the lovely gardens, residents can enjoy activities and each other’s company when they wish in winter or summer. I imagine plenty of memories being shared and I’m sure everyone also has opinions about all the new things happening on the Estate as we forge ahead in the modern world!
Whilst enjoying cups of tea and delicious cake from the Farm Shop, the residents reminded me of the roles they had previously played on the Estate. Several men remember the era of horses and carts on the farms; one or two tended the polo fields during the summer and switched to farm work in the winters. A dairymen’s widow recalled her husband being in charge of three herds and butter being made at the beautiful tiled Dairy adjacent to the Cowdray Ruins. Another mentioned the war years when German prisoners of war came to work in the woods department, taking the place of Estate workmen called up to serve overseas. An employee who had worked on Lord Cowdray’s Scottish Estate at Dunecht before the war found on his return from service that his job in Scotland had gone. However, Lord Cowdray offered him a position here and he moved south to become a gardener at Cowdray House, marrying a local girl and eventually enjoying retirement in Birthday House. His twin remained a gardener on the Scottish estate. Several started their working lives as apprentices – carpenters, painters and decorators – becoming skilled craftsmen and eventually senior staff in the Works Department maintaining not just Cowdray House but also the numerous cottages, tenanted farms and properties, and commercial lets.
I chatted to two sisters whose grandfather worked in the Forestry department, their grandmother worked at Cowdray House and their father was an Estate painter and decorator. Both married husbands who worked for the Estate and after a busy working life have settled into enjoyable retirement at Birthday House. Living at opposite ends of the building it’s not far to go for a visit!
We couldn’t be more pleased that my father-in-law’s gift to his eldest son has seen so many people enjoying their later years in such a happy environment.