Cotswold Community 1967 - 2011

Cotswold Community 1967 - 2011


As far as i can remember i was there from 1971-73 i remember it well, i have in the past couple of years met again with John Whitwell and Barry Rogers, Barry now just turned 90, it was worth the travelling to see them all, amazing.
Hi there all.

Just came across this page and so sad to see some photos online on how the place looks like now.

i was there from the mid 80s till early 90s and stayed in 3 of the houses during my time there.

Does anyone remember a staff member called Graham? i think he came from Carlisle.

i remember the times we use to walk out pass the staff houses to the gravel pits at night and also the lake next to the farm.

anyone who was there when i was there please drop me a pm.
dont know if this was the place harold the gardener maybe looks right dave gilbert was a teacher there anyone know if im on right track i lived ina house on the drive two knocked through into one think there was a woman called maggie a derek nimo bob groizard if thats how to spell it i had a motorcycle accident while there i was working in a garage in cricklade got in touch with dave gilbert after many years looking sadly i think he has passed on gave me a great big sculpture which i still have dont know what years i was there
It’s been closed 9 years, so why is the Secruity so high by the main house? What’s being protected/hidden? Seems very strange.
i was in sprinfield and norhstead, staff I remember are Dave who was from swindon, gordon, mike, alice, maureen. I was with Neil McCarthy, Justin Plaskett, Craig, Nicholas, Paul just to name a few.
does anyone want to chip in for a solicitor to research the legality of the closing and the new place these kids went to closing.
could start a petition to ensure safe gaurd on the property these schools exist at.
on the brink of brexit our land we used for kids now been sold for minerals and new build projects.
how do we know these minerals dug in this country are not being sent over sea.
every way you look at this case it stinks
I recently went back to the community for a visit, the place was gated and locked but was allowed to pass through the grounds via a public footpath which you are not allowed to stray from but luckily I met a lovely lady who looks after the grounds and she was kind enough to show me around the buildings but I was saddened to see how the place has fallen into disrepair and has been neglected by the new owners!
As far as I can gather there is some kind of wrangle going on between the owners and their development plans and the body that controls listed buildings.
Here are a few photos I took 6 years ago at the final reunion and a few from recently.

The Redevelopment of The Cotswold Community. Follow the progress of whats happening to our old home and help to keep all those memories alive so they are never forgotten.

This page is for anyone who attended this very special place wether you worked ther The Cotswold Community was located in the heart of the Cotswold Water Park near the Village of Ashton Keynes. It was a therapeutic Community and run by John Whitwell, Richard Balbernie and Mrs Dockar Drysdale. The residents at the Cotswold Community lived in different houses around the site which were, Larkrise, Cottage, Longbarn and Spring Field...

Operating as usual


Got this.

Got this.

Abandoned Village - Bruderhof the secret community 02/10/2020

Abandoned Village - Bruderhof the secret community

Abandoned Village - Bruderhof the secret community In the early 1900's, a group of German Christians came to England to escape their increases persecution by the Nazi's. The Bruderhof, as the group called the...

[08/30/20]   Hey all I’m near the community next week. Well I’ll be in Swindon if any one is near.

[08/16/20]   My Dearest Cotswold Community,

I Was at The Cotswold Community school Between 5th September 1977 until 14th May 1982.

I Have Very Happy Memory's of Being At The Cotswold Community.

When I First Moved To The Cotswold Community my First Home Within The School Was ( Springfield) I Remember a Lady That First Looked After me Caller Kathy Standfield I Really Miss Her Even to This Very day! Other Adult Workers who Looked after The Boys Were Zachary Allen,Paul Thomson, Colin Hardy, Mazz The Lovely Lady That Cooked for Us Boys! Not Forgetting John Piltson Who Run The Springfields School,who Used to Live in Nailsworth, Nr Stound.

I Than Went onto Larkrise Home Within The Cotswold Community! I Remember Nick Benfield who Run Larkrise and Peter Miller Who Run The School For The Boys Including Myself! I Have Great Memories From Springfield and In Larkrise! I Would love to be in Contact with Any Of The Adults and The Boys Who Were in The Cotswold Community schools of Springfield and Larkrise!

I Live in Lincoln City in Lincolnshire.

(LASZLO AGOSTON) 13/08/2020

BBC One - Inside the Bruderhof

BBC1 right Now - Inside the Bruderhof The story of an unusual village in Sussex where there’s no crime, debt or homelessness.


The Cotswold Community Ashton Keynes.
(3rd August Kevin Tate)


If your going to run away to Kemble anytime soon. It might be easier to follow the signs...

[08/02/20]   ANOUNCEMENT. Yes were going back... for 1 night only. We are heading back to the community for a little look around and see how much its changed. Hopefully going to be camping in one of the fields nearby. Videos and pictures will follow...

[08/02/20]   Destination. The Cotswold Community Ashton Keynes. ETA around 8pm Tonight.

[07/26/19]   Just wondering if we all want this page to remain LIVE. Its just Kevin our editor has too much going on and has not enough time to keep the page updated.

Any suggestions welcome. 23/07/2019

'Just don't call it a cult': the strangely alluring world of the Bruderhof

'Just don't call it a cult': the strangely alluring world of the Bruderhof In the radical religious community, no one owns or earns anything, everyone sings constantly and the booze flows freely. Where are the drawbacks?


Found this photo of Harold today.

[03/13/19]   If anyone has any friends here on facebook who used to at the community. Please Tag them into this post. You never know. You could help to unite some long lost friends...☎📮

[03/11/19]   If anyones got any photos to post please do or you can message them to us and we will create an album for when they were taken.



More Pictures of the Cotswold Community 10/03/2019

Pictures from July 2011.


Welcome to the Cotswold Community 1967 - 2011 page. Over the last week we have been busy updating everything on the page and moving stuff around. This Page has now been renamed to Cotswold Community 1967 - 2011 and is for anyone who was at the #community during those years.

Another thing we have done is create a seperate group thats linked to this page. The Group is focusing on the Gravel Extraction & New Re Development of the community. It's here where you will find all the information that relates to the Current Re Development Project. Click the Groups Tab or visit to keep updated on the development.

Some Old Photos of The Cotswold Community Keeping the Memories Alive and Never Forgotten. 10/03/2019

Photos Taken Today (Sunday 10th March 2019)
Photo Credit #ScottDavis (aka #JamieDavis & #GarySaunders
#Longbarn #Larkrise #Springfield #Cottage.

[03/10/19]   Morning Folks. Facebook will allow us to rename this Community Page today and wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to what we should call our page. When Kevin our editor was there it was The Cotswold Therapeutic Community AKA The Cotswold Community. (Please Note) The name we choose has to reflect what the community was called back in 1988-1993. This will help those who were there at that time find our page on FB. PLEASE COMMENT BELOW.

The Cotswold Community MARCH 2019 09/03/2019

Some Old Photos of The Cotswold Community Keeping the Memories Alive and Never Forgotten.

Some Old Photos of The Cotswold Community Keeping the Memories Alive and Never Forgotten.


Cotswold Community 1967 - 2011


Cotswold Community 1967 - 2011's cover photo


Sharda. Bob. Sally Angus. Graham. Andy

Some Old Photos of The Cotswold Community Keeping the Memories Alive and Never Forgotten. 07/03/2019

Photos from Cotswold Community 1967 - 2011's post

[03/07/19]   Today im going to do a little bit of investigation work. THE MISSION. I am going down to South Kensington to try and track a company down. You might of heard of them (Amita Business Ltd) these are the people who own all the land now. If they agree to speak to me. I just wanted to find out if anyones got any questions that they want answers for. Apparently this Amita Company is really hard to track down Virtually NON Existant. Something does not feel right so I think its time to find out what they are up too.


Cotswold Community 1967 - 2011's cover photo

All the approved plans that have been submitted to Wiltshire Parish Council.

Gravel/Mineral Extraction Plans
Redevelopment Plans 03/03/2019

Photos from Cotswold Community 1967 - 2011's post


Gravel Extraction Plan. (Amita Business LTD). This shows where the actual Gravel Extraction will take place. We understand the work will be in two phases. With the first phase starting between Lake 32 and The Cotswold Community football field. The works will not affect the community at this stage of work. (Amita Business LTD) are hoping to start work within the next 8 weeks but subject to various factors. Work is on hold at the moment due to archaeological investigations.


Cotswold Community 1967 - 2011's cover photo


Margaret Long Barn

[01/30/14]   Plans for a new village for the Wiltshire and Gloucestershire border near Ashton Keynes and Someford Keynes

A NEW village could take shape in the Wiltshire/Gloucestershire border over the next ten years as developers draft plans to build 180 houses with community facilities on the site of a former school.

The Cotswold Community is a substantial area of land between the villages of Ashton Keynes and Somerford Keynes.

Before the Second World War the site was home to a closed religious community but was most recently a school for boys with challenging behaviour, set up by charity Action for Children.

Action for Children left the site in March 2013 and the future of the unused 250 acres has caused speculation throughout the surrounding villages since until it was sold to developers Amita.

The developers have now approached Ashton Keynes Parish Council with plans to turn Cotswold Community into a village of 100 or more new houses as well as redeveloping or refurbishing the 35 existing units.

The development would include affordable housing offered to residents of adjoining villages.

The new owners also plan to extract gravel from parts of the site as it is one of seven strategic sites identified in the Wiltshire Minerals Core Strategy.

Amita are currently discussing the plans with Wiltshire Council.

Ashton Keynes parish council chairman Dave Wingrove said the council was looking out for the best outcome for residents.

"We have a vested interest in what happens and we will engage with the developers," he said. "We aim to get the best outcome for the village."

The plans are in the early stages and Amita has held several meetings with Ashton Keynes Parish Council.

The developers say they are keen to work with the local community to help shape their ideas for the future development.


Cotswold Community 1967 - 2011's cover photo


One of the listed buildings in Main Square

The Creation of the Cotswold Community

The Cotswold Community closed in July 2011, ending more than 70 years of looking after, “training” and “treating”, troubled and troublesome boys on a 350 acre farm near Ashton Keynes. I lived and worked there with my family from 1972 until 1999, for the last 14 years I was the principal, succeeding Richard Balbernie, principal from 1968 to 1985.

Balbernie was the founder of the Community as a therapeutic programme, leading the transformation, perhaps more accurately described as a revolution, from its former incarnation as an approved school. The change was vividly described in Spare the Child by David Wills, published in 1971. This brought fame to the Community as the book was widely available. It is still a good read. It convinced me that this was where I wanted to work to deepen my knowledge of therapeutic residential work.

The Community’s therapeutic work was to help emotionally unintegrated boys achieve emotional integration, a stage in development which would be normally achieved before the age of three. The fact that this reparative work was taking place with boys in the age range 9 to 16, whose age appropriate needs also had to be addressed, meant that this was complex therapeutic work. Dockar-Drysdale’s consultancy was to the staff teams of the group-living households and the education area. The therapeutic model was that the residential workers would be trained and supported to provide therapeutic child care. This was a very different model to residential child care where the child might see a therapist once a week. Emotionally unintegrated children need therapeutic management 24-hours a day. Staff had to be trained to take full advantage of the moments in a day when a child might drop their defences and be receptive to being cared for. It was this daily process over many months that basic trust was achieved, the cornerstone for ongoing therapeutic work.





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