About The Friends

The Friends of Hoar Oak Cottage Community Association came about as a consequence of the long standing interest by descendants of some of the Hoar Oak Cottage families in preserving the cottage as well as the stories it had to tell about life in this remote spot.

On the death of Ruth Sedgebeer, the youngest child of the youngest Johnstone child born at Hoar Oak Cottage, an heir hunters-type search took place which resulted in two Hoar Oak Cottage descendants, Bette Baldwin and Will Bowden, meeting and deciding to set up The Friends.  Their aims were simple:

  • to collect, save and share the history of the cottage and the people who once lived and worked in this remote spot
  • to work with and encourage the Exmoor National Park Authority ~ who have owned the cottage and surrounding land since mid-1950s ~ to conserve the building in its landscape.

Will Bowden, Bette Baldwin, Nicky Rowberry, Jim Baldwin and John Shortland – with help from Ben Baldwin for communications and media support – together form the management committee of The Friends of Hoar Oak Cottage.

Thanks go to the many descendants of the Hoar Oak Cottage families – and many others who share a love for the place – who have contributed their knowledge, stories, photos, memories and documents in order to help tell the story of Hoar Oak Cottage.

Thanks also go to many organisations, businesses and donors who have provided The Friends with support and help along the way.

The Friends of Hoar Oak Cottage Heritage Collection comprises material researched, created by or donated to The Friends by many individuals and organisations and is registered with The National Archives Archon Directory – Registration No.3394.  Please feel free to contact us for details about using any materials contained in the archive and on this website.