"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Friday, 7 October 2011

A Visit to an Elizabethan House - full of "intrigue and secrets"

I had a day out yesterday with a friend and we decided to visit Coughton Court - an Elizabethan house. It has been home to one of England's oldest Catholic families - The Throckmortons - since 1409 and there are close connections to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

We went a walk around the gardens and grounds first.

Lime Avenue looking towards one of the sunken gardens

Sunken Garden

Gate Tower and Courtyard - it was very busy there yesterday - no chance of a photo minus people!

Again not sure if this photo works but I have added a bit more contrast as kindly suggested by Pete from Quacks of Life

Looking towards St Peter's church from the Orchard

Unfortunately, the Walled Garden was closed yesterday but here is a sneaky peek through a gate

St Peter's Church (one of 2 churches in the grounds unfortunately we didn't get time to visit the other church

The church tower is mainly of Perpendicular Style of c. 1450
The main structure dates to c. 1500 and the church was completed in the Renaissance Period c. 1560 - 1590

Only a few photos from inside the church as I wasn't sure if flash photography was allowed

Tomb (with marble effigies) of Sir John Throckmorton (d1580) and his wife Marjorie

Coughton Court

We had lunch J had parsnip soup and I had a tasty granary roll of lettuce, cream cheese, celery and apple. Trying to be healthy we somehow managed to ignore the scrumptious looking cakes!

In the afternoon we did a tour of the house. Photography without flash was allowed but the camera struggled with the low light so the photos below are just record shots to show you some of the historic interest of the house and the secrets it holds.

Front Hall

Some of the hats collected, I seem to remember, by a current member of the family who still live at the House

The 12 fan vaulted ceiling dates back to the early sixteenth century

Painting of Coughton Court as it appeared in the early 18th century

Sir Robert Throckmorton (died 1586)

The Tower Room - it is believed that the room was used for Mass during the late 16th and early 17th century when attempts were in progress to eradicate the "Old Faith". To the right of the fireplace you can peer down into what was used as a Priest's Hole by catholic priests in hiding.

In the Drawing room roundels and and shields of heraldic glass commemorate family marriages

The Little Drawing Room contained fine displays of plates on the walls including these Coalport plates showing the counties of England

The Dining Room

The old dole gate from the Convent of Denny which includes the name Elizabeth Throckmorton the last Abbess when the community was dissolved in 1539.

This chair is believed to have been made from the wood of the bed on which King Richard III spent the night before the Battle of Bosworth

It was a lovely day out in great company and I shall return again as there were several walks in the grounds we didn't have to chance to explore plus we missed the walled garden and one of the churches.


Pete said...

thanks for sharing happy memories of my trip last April

Ragged Robin said...

Glad it brought back happy memories, Pete. I found the house really interesting.

I'll check out your post from last April :D