The Jinney Ring Craft Centre Complex
The Jinney Ring was the brainchild and creation of Jenny and Richard Greatwood who bought "Old House Farm" and gradually transformed it into a beautiful countryside attraction. Richard, who was a keen craftsman himself, loved working in wood and enjoyed building and renovating the barns whilst striving to maintain their character. Jenny developed the Gift Shop and devoted herself to the Artist's Gallery, which was a great love of hers.
The Centre was opened in 1980 and has grown significantly over the years. It has won accolades for remaining a true craft centre which provides a home for crafts people who create and sell their own work.
The "Jinney Ring" name came from Richard's fascination with old farm machinery (of which there is much around the grounds and buildings of the centre). The Jinney Ring, Horse-gin, or Sweep Mill as they were also known, was the earliest form of mechanized power utilized on farms. Until the beginning of the 19th Century, the only forms of power available on farms were horses and water. The invention of the Jinney Ring allowed horse power to be converted to drive the previously manual farm equipment. The horse would walk around a large wheel with cogs, which turned shafts, and then the belts and chains of the farm equipment. This included everything from corn threshers, silo blowers and sugar beat shredders, to pumps and mangles (Mechanical laundry aids). These devices were often housed in buildings known as "Gin-gangs", deriving from the same roots that gave us the word 'engine'.
The picture above shows a Jinney Ring in action. There is also a real Jinney Ring outside of the main Gift Shop door at the Centre.
Old House Farm
The Jinney Ring Craft Centre began its life as a 21-acre property named Old House Farm, as shown above. The Greatwoods purchased the 16th Century farmstead and quickly set about renovating and retrofitting the ancient complex for its new purpose as a craft centre.
The whole complex was competely overhauled in time for its opening day on July 5th 1980.
The Original Jinney Ring Interior
This picture gives you an idea of how much the Jinney Ring has evolved and changed over its nearly forty-year history.
The new Jinney Ring Craft Centre was quickly the recipient of several national awards, including:
1981 British Tourist Authority
Come to Britain Award.
1983 The Henley Award
For the Barn conversions.
1985 the COSIRA Rural
The Farmhouse Restaurant
One of the first expansions made to the young Craft Centre was the Farmhouse Restaurant, as seen under construction here. Work began in 1985 and was completed by 1987.
Installing the Wishing Well
One of the more distinctive symbols of the Jinney Ring Craft Centre, the Wishing Well was installed as the Farmhouse Restaurant neared completion. With it came the crescent-shaped steps that lead down from the car park to the Restaurant.
Richard and Jenny retired in 2005, selling the business to Amanda and Malcolm Sunter. Since they have owned the Centre, Amanda and Malcolm have extended the gardens, introduced a number of regular events such as a sculpture trail, a beer and blues festival, and many other activities. In recent years, the Jinney Ring has become an increasingly popular destination for weddings, hosting a variety of distinctive ceremonies throughout the year. Amanda and Malcolm continue to invest in the old buildings and are committed to the principles of their predecessors.
They now welcome you to the Jinney Ring and hope you enjoy your visit.