Lancashire Federation of Women's Institutes
Denman is the college of the WI, named after Lady Denman, the first Chairman of NFWI. Denman is not just for members and can be used by family and friends. It is situated in the Village of Marcham, near Abingdon in Oxfordshire. If you travel by coach or train, Denman will arrange to collect you from the train/bus station if pre-booked.
Education has been at the heart of the WI since its very beginnings. In 1960 Denman offered 159 different courses and in 2017 it offered over 600. The courses are fitted into three main themes of cookery, craft and lifstyle. There really is something for everyone, from more advanced sewing courses to beginners' baking to historical lecures.
If you attend a residential course at Denman, you will have a room to yourself with your own en-suite bathroom, although there are also rooms in the main house that you can share with family or friends if you prefer. All courses are fully inclusive with a wonderful choice of food and a well stocked bar if you wish to purchase a drink. Rooms are equipped to a high standard with everything you could possibly need for a comfortable stay.
The main house is Grade II listed, built between 1799 and 1805. It was privately owned until 1947 when the WI purchased the house and 100 acres of land.
Federations have one or two bedroom that they look after, furnish and keep up to date. This custom dates back to the time the house was purchased when post-war tradesman were in short supply. In true WI spirit the ladies of the day rolled up their sleeves and painted and furnished their own rooms.
Lancashire Federation has a room on the first floor of Willow Cottage which was refurbished in 2018 with a double bed and new bedside tables. The curtains and cushions were made by Shirley Thornton, Federation Chairman 2014-2018. An appliqued patchwork runner for the bed was made by Karen Robinson of Croson WI and the lamp shades were made by Jane Phythian also of Croston WI.
If you are going to Denman for the first time, but not as an organised Federation Trip, you are entitled to a travel grant from the Agnes Salter Fund. This fund is given to Federations who are more than 100 miles from Denman on a two year basis. Currently each first timer is given £30 which is awarded once a course has been booked and confirmed by Denman. Email LFWI Office to advise that you are attending.