(Above: the interior courtyard that leads to the garden; in many ways the best view of the main part of the ancestral house)

Coughton Court in Warwickshire, fifteen miles from Stratford-on-Avon, is the ancestral home of the Throckmortons, one of the UK’s oldest catholic families and a place of great intrigue during the time of religious persecution. It still possesses some of the best concealed ‘priest holes’ in the country.

It also boasts a beautiful walled garden, worth visiting in its own right…

(One of my favourite views: one of two churches (one catholic, the other Anglican, just beyond the walled garden)

The name Coughton (pronounce “Coat-un”) is believed to mean a settlement or farm known for the hunting of game birds. I’m no fan of the hunting-shooting-fishing brigade but I can separate out the experience of the beautiful gardens from such traditions.

(Above: paths lead off in mysterious directions and you find yourself asking “have I already been here?” the answer is usually negative – there is so many perspectives…)
(Above: the large courtyard at the back of the house leads through to the walled garden)

It is believed that there was a medieval house on the site when John de Throckmorton arrived in 1409 to marry into the de Spiney family. Since that time, Coughton Court has been home to the Throckmortons, one of the UK’s oldest catholic families and a major name in the City of London’s development as one of the world’s most important financial centres.

(Above: the centre of the walled garden has a period water feature)

Coughton Court still has many of its original features including its flamboyant sixteenth-century gate tower. It is one of the last remaining Roman Catholic houses in the country to retain its historic treasures, housing one of the very best collections of portraits and memorabilia of one family from the early Tudor times.

(Above: arches and pergolas – each leading into further enchanting spaces)

Alongside family items on display, there are pieces such as the chemise reputedly worn by Mary Queen of Scots when she was executed and a bishop’s Cope, with intricate needlework, believed to have been worked upon by Catherine of Aragon.

(Above: Bee heaven. An entire bed dedicated to Lavender)

I will do a separate post on the interior of the house. We were so impressed with the gardens, I felt it was worth a photo-tour, if only to show the best of the photos taken on the day.

(Above: The beautiful and historic interior of the house deserves its own post, which will follow)

Coughton Court was gifted to the National Trust in 1946 by the Throckmortons, the family continues to live there, extending a staggering six centuries of unbroken tradition.

©Stephen Tanham 2022

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

2 Comments on “In the gardens of Coughton Court…

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