When I opened the curtains on the last day of our recent trip down to England I could hardly believe what I saw – blue sky and sunshine, and the forecast had been for yet more rain, not that I’m complaining that they got it wrong!
Anyway, after journeying across to Wales it was now time to visit the more local places, so Coughton Court, just a mile or so from where we were staying in Alcester was our destination. So we used our National Trust membership cards yet again. It’s a Tudor house/mansion which has been in the hands of the Throckmorton family for centuries. The Throckmortons were a very high status Catholic family who must have had a great survival instinct as they managed to avoid the grim destinies which so many Catholic (and Protestant) families endured due to the politics of the Tudor/Elizabethan times.
This is a view of the front of the house.
And the house from the back.
This is a bit of the formal gardens.
The house and gardens are lovely and it was such a plus that it was a lovely warm sunny day, perfect for wandering around the gardens. Inside the house there are all sorts of interesting things to see like a chemise which supposedly belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots, apparently the one which she was wearing when she got the chop. It’s suspiciously clean, no bloodstains, so I have my doubts about that but I suppose it is possible. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s garter is on display too, they were obviously keen on obtaining things belonging to prominent Catholics.
The house was used as a meeting place by the Gunpowder Plotters who had rented it, the owner had the sense not to be there when they were so he couldn’t be implicated.
There are lovely tapestries but no photography was allowed as they’re 450 years old and would be damaged by the light from flashes. There’s a priest’s hole which you can peek down into and a wonderful view from the top of the tower. Despite the fact that the place is so ancient the rooms do have quite a homely atmosphere. There’s a Mrs Throckmorton still residing in the house and although the house has beeen handed over to the National Trust the family has been given permission to live there for the next three hundred years.
This is a view from the top of the tower, I have no idea what the house in the distance is but they have a very good view of Coughton Court.
It isn’t all absolutely ancient stuff and some of the rooms are as they were in more recent times with a wind-up gramophone featuring in a sitting-room. If you want to see and read more about Coughton Court have a look here. Follow the instructions and you can go on a virtual tour.