The Throckmorton Coat: now and then

Magnus Birch, trying on the new Throckmorton Coat © National Trust

Magnus Birch, trying on the new Throckmorton Coat

There is a less serious side to the family also on display for you to enjoy – the Throckmorton coat.

In 1811, Sir John Throckmorton 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. 

Needless to say, he won and visitors can see the very coat in the Saloon. These pieces of history are presented alongside family chattels, books and photographs, which ensure that visitors feel relaxed in this family home.

In 2009, 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 Marcus Birch.

Created by Herefordshire-based textile artists Rebecca Griffiths and Victoria Geary, who run the company 'Pretty Rubbish', the coats 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. 

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.

Both coats are on display in the Saloon.