Denman College

~Expand your horizons~

Denman offers a wide variety of day and residential courses in cookery, craft and lifestyle. Set in the picturesque village of Marcham, in Oxfordshire, the Georgian mansion and seventeen acres of grounds provide the pitch perfect atmosphere for learning.

Denman Report 2017

Lyn Hand

Denman Ambassador – Lyn Hand

 Click here to read more about the Saving Denman Appeal

Click here to make a donation to the appeal Just Giving

Cheshire Visit to Denman

Cheshire Taster Visit to Denman 22/23 October 2017

Smiling faces, lots of chat with friends old and new and laughter are my memories of Denman 2017.

82 members went to Denman for an overnight stay to sample Denman hospitality and courses.  They arrived in time for afternoon tea and then had time to settle in and to explore the college and grounds before dinner. In the evening several members entertained all with monologues, music and poetry. What a talented lot of ladies we have in Cheshire WI. And we laughed a lot

After breakfast all settled down to work. Dancing Bollywood style had clearly fired the imagination of some to come prepared with stylish outfits. They all enjoyed learning the dance moves and had lots of fun.

The Choir learnt much about technique as well as singing a wide range of songs and having a short performance from their tutor.

The members who opted for Drawing were all very pleased to show off their leaf drawings  by coffee time and by the end had some superb Still Life drawings .

In Family Tree research members experienced the pleasure of finding new relations as well as the frustration of finding they could not go any further. But they left inspired to try new lines of research.

Similarly, those who chose Reflexology are keen to try out what they have learned to help them relax, while Dressing with Style could mean some new and colourful outfits will be seen soon.

And the Patchwork group took home smart colourful cases for their mobile phones. They were surprised to see what they could make in four hours.

As I said at the beginning it was a great weekend full of laughter and friendship.

Lyn Hand

CFWI Denman Ambassador

Photo memories from members of their weekend



dowExclusive Screening and Q&A
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
6.00pm arrival for a 6.30pm start
Tuesday 31 October 2017
Liverpool 1979. A real life movie romance…

We’re delighted to invite you to a special screening of Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool. Based on Peter Turner’s memoir, the film follows the playful but passionate relationship between Turner (Bell) and the eccentric Academy Award®-winning actress Gloria Grahame (Bening). Peter will also be joining us at the screening for a Q&A session at the end of the film.

Liverpool, 1978: What starts as a vibrant affair between a legendary femme fatale and her young lover quickly grows into a deeper relationship, with Turner being the person Gloria turns to for comfort. Their passion and lust for life is tested to the limits by events beyond their control. Gloria Grahame was a Hollywood leading lady at the heart of several hit films from the Golden Age of Hollywood, including The Big Heat, It’s a Wonderful Life, In a Lonely Place, and Oklahoma! She won the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Bad and the Beautiful.

Cast: Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Vanessa Redgrave, Kenneth Cranham, Stephen Graham, Frances Barber, Leanne Best
Directed by: Paul McGuigan
Produced by: Barbara Broccoli and Colin Vaines
Screenplay by: Matt Greenhalgh

Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool is out in UK cinemas on 17th November.

If you are interested in joining us for this free film screening, please download, complete and return the application form (Film_Stars_Application_Form) or send us an email with the relevant information. We kindly request that full contact information is provided for all of those entered on to the application form, including individual email addresses. If you are a Friend of Denman, please advise us as you will be allocated VIP front row seats for you and a guest.

We would like to inform each person who has been allocated a space via email in order to cut down on postage costs. Attendance is free and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Attendees are asked to arrive from 6pm for a 6.30pm start.  Light refreshments will be provided. The event will finish at approximately 9.30pm.

Denman on Tour


Dutch Floral Extravaganza

21-26 April 2018

From £1,110 pp. Single and shared room options available.

Join us for a floral exploration in Holland, as part of Denman’s new courses abroad! You will be visiting the oldest botanical garden dating to 1590, Flora Holland, the largest trading centre for flowers in the world, the Franz Hals Museum and Keukenhof. Your trip will also include a canal cruise and an opportunity to purchase from a major floral sundries wholesaler. Denman tutor and European floral expert David Martin will be with you throughout, and when you return to Denman, you will participate in a final floral workshop using all the knowledge you learned on your trip!


WWI Battlefields with Simon Gregor

22-27 July 2018

M £1,140 NM £1,240. Single rooms only.

Join us for a powerful and emotional exploration of the WWI battlefields of Ypres, Somme and Arras with historian, photographer and expert tutor Simon Gregor. You will learn about a range of subjects including the role of women in the Great War, the 1914 battles, the development of trench warfare and the causes of WWII. You will visit sites along the way including Menin Gate, the Memorial Museum in Passchendaele, Talbot House, Ulster Tower and more. The final morning at Denman will give you the opportunity to reflect on the trip, to consider other sources to learn more about the Great War, and to discuss any photographs you have taken.


European Patchwork & Textile Tour

12-17 September 2018

Prices and an itinerary will be made available from September 2017, please contact us to be added to a list.

Call us today on 01865 391 991 to book your place on any of these tours/courses

New Brochure

Click on this link to download the new brochure New Brochure

Bursaries for 2017-18

Details of the Denman Bursaries which are available for the 2017/18 programme year.  The bursaries are to be used on open residential courses taking place before 30 September 2018.  This information will be included in
the Denman brochure which will be distributed at the beginning of June and will also be added to the Denman website.
Please circulate the information to WI's within your federation and highlight the closing date for applications for these bursaries which is Friday 14 July 2017.
Bursary applications should be sent to Karen Hodge at Denman, Marcham, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX13 6NW or emailed to

Denman Bursaries for 2017-18 (click here for further details)

Forthcoming Events at Denman

Denman events

Cheshire Federation visit to Denman 2017


Cheshire Federation visit to Denman on  22, 23 and 24 July

55 members from 33 WI’s enjoyed a wonderful weekend at Denman. 18 members had not been to Denman before and 9 were using a bursary from their WI- thank you to those WI’s for supporting their members and of course supporting Denman too.

Those learning to play the ukulele were delighted to realise that by lunchtime on Saturday they had advanced beyond the course objectives and on Sunday morning they were able to entertain us all at coffee. They obviously enjoyed the course as gales of laughter could be heard coming from their room.

The ladies marbling silk were fascinated by the range of colours and patterns they could make but had to wait patiently for results to appear from their brush flicks and swirls, which were beautiful and they took home lovely scarves

Those making silver clay jewellery started on playdough but soon advanced to silver clay to make lovely jewellery some of which was worn to dinner on Saturday evening. By Sunday they had all a box of delightful pieces to take home.

The final group working in college made a range of Mediterranean dishes, which they enjoyed for lunch on Saturday, and then had everyone drooling over the delicious smells from their cool bags on the way home on Sunday.

Those who went to Oxford to learn about Town and Gown were thrilled by the beauty of the colleges, loved the tales and amusing presentation of history from tutor Ann and had pizza in a male brothel!

The other outdoor group walked in summer meadows and saw a very rare orchid in flower, which tutor Pam was as excited about as the members. All said they had an excellent walk and learnt so much about the local wildlife from two enthusiastic tutors.

We all enjoyed the peace of the gardens, the delicious food, comfortable rooms and the friendly staff for whom nothing was too much trouble.  Finally, we had entertainment provided by several members on Saturday evening which rounded off a very busy day.

Thank you to all members on the visit for making it such a happy weekend; thank you to those who helped out when needed and to the Board for their support.

Lyn Hand

Denman Ambassador


Denman is our college in Oxfordshire. Courses vary in length from one to four days and cover many subjects. As well as taking part in an excellent course you will meet WI members from around the country, enjoy good food and accommodation and the beautiful gardens of Denman.

As you can see from the photograph of the main house it is a fine Georgian Mansion. It has been modernised and several blocks of bedrooms have been built in the grounds as well as teaching rooms with specialised facilities for cookery, crafts and physical activities.


Courses at Denman are advertised on the Denman website (link), in their brochure, which comes out three times a year and there is a Denman item in each edition of WI Life. Your WI Secretary receives a copy of the Denman Brochure so ask her for it. There are courses on a wide range of topics: cookery, crafts, music, art, history, sciences, rambling, literature personal development and if you have an idea for a course let Denman know.

To help with the cost of the courses bursaries are offered by Denman and many individual WI’s offer bursaries too. Denman also sell gift vouchers so you can save up for that course you have chosen. And if you keep an eye on the Denman website you will find that about twice a year they offer discounts on some courses.

Your CFWI Denman Ambassador is Lyn Hand and she is very happy to come to your WI to give a talk with slides about Denman. Contact her through WI House.

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