Toc H leaving Dor Knap after 20 Years

Publication: Evesham Journal, 13 December 1979

Toc H, which has been using Dor Knap at Broadway as a conference centre for the past 20 years, will be moving out next Wednesday to take up residence at the former Bishop’s House at Cuddesdon, near Oxford.

Dor Knap, which belongs to the Batsford Estate, has also been the main Toc H centre for encouraging the arts, music and poetry over the years.

Mr David Currant, who has been warden at Dor Knap since February said this week “We have a general feeling of sadness about leaving Dor Knap.

“We had our last party at the week-end when 11 people from two of the London Toc H houses came to help us to pull up carpets and generally pack up ready for moving.

“We have had a wonderful 20 years at Dor Knap,” he added, “but we are looking forward to moving into a relatively new building.”

Mr Currant, his wife and two sons will be taking up their duties as wardens of Cuddesdon House next week. The house was built in 1962 to replace the former residence which was destroyed by fire.

Cuddesdon House stands in four acres of grounds and is linked by a colonnade to a private chapel. It has been the setting for the residence of the Bishops of Oxford since 1634.

Mr K. Prideaux-Brune, Toc H Director said “When people do voluntary work for the community they develop their talents, learn more about themselves and about society itself.

“Cuddesdon House will be a place where our members, and those of similar organisations, can reflect on their experiences and share them with one another.

“At Cuddesdon House we’re close neighbours of Ripon Theological College and there is a chance we could be working together in some things.”

For the past 18 months Toc H has been searching for a replacement for Dor Knap – a Cotswold farmhouse on the slopes of the hill beneath Broadway Tower and about a mile from the village.

Lieut-Col. N.M. Hughes-Hallett, agent for the estate said this week that he had no comment to make on the future of Dor Knap.

Over the years Dor Knap has provided conference and artistic facilities for many Toc H members. It was also the site of the first Cotswold Festival in September 1971 which attracted nearly 500 members. At this time the Dor Knap amphitheatre was created.

It is hoped that Cuddesdon House will offer as many, of not more, facilities to members.

Toc H’s advisor to the arts, the Rev. J. Hull said “There will be weeks, or just weekends for people to paint or make music together – beginners as well as experts.

“There will also be opportunities for people interested in photography, bird watching, poetry, rambling and so on.

“Over the years we have offered opportunities for getting more out of life and many people have found from this that life has a deeper meaning for them.”