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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Coughton Court

Coughton Court is an English Grade 1 Tudor building just outside Alcester in Warwickshire which is cared for by the National Trust. The Coughton Estate has been home to the Thockmorton family for over 600 years and has a lot  of history attached to it. The land in which Coughton stands is thought to have had a medieval site there when the first Throckmorton came there. John de Throckmorton came to Coughton in 1409 with his wife.

Coughton Court was gifted to the National Trust in 1946 but with a 300 year lease so that the Throckmorton family could still live there. Which they still do. Like Coombe Abbey, Coughton Court also has a connection with the Gunpowder plot. It is said the explosives were hidden here. If you would like to know a little more about this, follow the links..  

My favourite time at Coughton has to be in late Spring, especially in May. This year was better than before, not only were there bluebells in the wood but there was an added surprise. As you followed the path by the water and over the bridge, there in front of you was a beautiful field full of Tulips in all the colours you could imagine. It really was something to see! My photos do not show their true beauty, you really had to be there to see them. I hope they do the same again next year, I would definitely go back to see them.

Coughton is one of those houses that looks totally different from the back than the front. On my first visit it took me by surprise, the back looks very much like it was built in the Tudor times and like a large home but the front...well I could say it looks like it was built earlier and it reminds me of a little Castle.

The pictures below show you the front and the back of Coughton Court

As with many places I visit, I have favourite times of the year to go but also favourite bits of the estates depending on the season. One thing that does not change is my favourite part of the house and that has to be the entrance which I believe was where the coaches stopped to drop their passengers off . I guess at one time this part of the house would have been open and not sealed off as it is today. The thing I like most about this room is the ceiling, it is really beautiful and reminds me very much of a section of Peterborough Cathedral but on a smaller scale. I will add a photo of both so that you can see what I mean. One is made of plaster and one made of stone but both beautiful.

                 Coughton court

Peterbourough Cathedral which I will write more about in future as it is a beautiful building and has so much history.

If you go to Coughton Court, one place you will have to go is to the top of the house to see the view from there. It is well worth the climb of the spiral stone staircase and you can have a break half way while you see a room which holds a lot of history and also has another priest hole.It is not a very pleasant one either as it was part of the old toilet system but don't worry, nothing horrible like that to see today. 

The Priest hole

The stone steps to the top of the house.

The view from the top of the house.

The same view in Autumn

The land is quite flat here so you can see for quite a distance and if you were a Priest and an enemy was approaching, you would have a good chance of seeing them before they did you and be able to hide.

If you look to the left while facing the same way as the front of the house, you will see both Churches, the Catholic and the Church of England very close together. The Throckmorton family were very strong Catholics but had to be seen to be doing the right thing for the times. 
The two Churches are below, I was a little disappointed not to be able to go in the older Church but it is in need of repair and they are in the process of trying to raise money for it.

A few other pictures from around the Coughton Court Estate from the this year starting with a little look inside the house.

 The lounge which is transformed into Santa's Grotto at Christmas time.

The same room only decorated for Christmas

I was going to add Coughton Court's Winter Festival to this page but after visiting today, taking far too many photos as usual and seeing all the hard work they have put in to make it look so beautiful. I decided it had earned a blog of it's own. I will add a few more photos of the grounds from earlier in the year to this blog and then get started on the Winter Festival.

Apologies to make as I did start this blog before the Christmas one but ended up putting this on hold and then forgot I had wrote it. It's not very Christmassy but something to look forward to in the coming year maybe.

Here is the link to Coughton Court's Winter Festival