The Throckmorton coat of Coughton Court

The Throckmorton coat laid out on a table
Discover the story behind the Throckmorton coat National Trust / Claire Blackburn

There is a less serious side to the family also on display for you to enjoy. In 1811, Sir John Throckmorton, 5th Baronet, entered a bet to prove that a coat could be made in just one day: from sunrise when the wool was on the backs of two sheep, to sunset when the brown tailored coat rested on his shoulders.

A sure bet

He laid down a 1,000 guinea bet - it equates to around £64,000 today. Needless to say, Sir John won and wore it to dinner that night. You can see the very coat on display in the Saloon along with a portrait of him wearing it. These pieces of history are presented alongside family chattels, books and photographs, which ensure that visitors feel relaxed in this family home.

Recreating history

During the 600th year anniversary of the Throckmorton family at Coughton, a 21st-century version was created and presented to Mrs MacLaren-Throckmorton’s grandson Magnus Birch.

Inspired by the collection

Created by Herefordshire-based textile artists Rebecca Griffiths and Victoria Geary, who run the company 'Pretty Rubbish', the coat was made from a variety of fabrics and recycled material, taking inspiration from the intricate family history and visual information gathered from Coughton Court.
Every design on the new coat comes from an idea, design or image found in the house including lace detail found in family portraits, patterns found on books and wallpaper as well as designs from the dole gate and the family crest.  

Keeping the Throckmorton identity

They used the traditional tailcoat idea and incorporated ideas like 'hidden pockets' and encased buttons. These details reflect the Thockmorton family’s commitment to Catholicism as demonstrated in the house by the numerous priest holes.