The Cowshed …..a little history
This lovely space that is now a cafe/tearooms was once at the heart of a traditional Warwickshire farm. The warm red bricks & exposed timbers are typical of the area. The lantern roof is the remaining part of a louvered cupola which once ran the entire length of the roofline, ventilating the building which was used to stall & over-winter livestock.
Both the farm & the village have an ancient pastoral history, being within the Patlau (Pathlow) Hundred recorded in Doomsday. Although it became part of the larger Barlichway Hundred, it retained it’s own court, the Liberty of Pathlow. Amongst the settlements that owed suit to the court were Luddington, Loxely & Olde Stratford in the south, Ullenhall & Henley in Arden to the north. The Bishopric of Worcester held lordship of the Hundred for centuries, but it was passed by the Crown to Dudley Earl of Warwick in 1549. However, in 1590 James I gifted Lordship to Sir Charles Smyth of Wootton Wawen.
Although little survives of the ancient Forest of Arden, the farm is situated in what are known as the wooded estate lands of Southern Arden – a landscape of rolling arable fields and hilltop plantation woodlands. There are a number of trails & walking routes through this beautiful countryside, Monarch’s Way passes a few hundred metres away from the Cowshed. The long-distance trail roughly follows the escape route of a fugitive King Charles II as he fled defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
Completed in 1816, the Stratford upon Avon Canal passes within sight of the Cowshed, the towpath provides excellent walks & mountain bike routes: travelling south over the spectacular Edstone Aquaduct and on to Wilmcote & Stratford, or northeast skirting Yarningale Common & on to join the Grand Union Canal at Lapworth.