Did You Know?
With hundreds of years of history Coughton has many interesting facts, read on to discover just some of them.
Where did you get that hat?
The hats in the entrance hall have been collected by Mrs McLaren Throckmorton on her travels around the world with her late husband, and then more recently by her butler Karl. The most recent addition is a fez from Egypt.
Head over heels in love
Bess Throckmorton was the daughter of Anne Carew and Sir Nicholas Throckmorton. She secretly married Sir Walter Raleigh in 1591 – much to the fury of Queen Elizabeth I, whose maid of honour she was. When Raleigh was executed in 1618 Bess was rumoured to carry his embalmed head around with her in a sack.
Katherine Vaux who married Sir George Throckmorton in the early 16th century was the aunt of Katherine Parr, the 6th and final wife of Henry VIII. She had no fewer than 19 children and 112 grandchildren.
Water, water everywhere
Coughton used to have a moat. It was filled in during changes and improvements made to the house in the 18th century by Sir Robert Throckmorton, 4th Baronet. The house was surrounded by water again in 2007 when Coughton Court flooded for the second time in 10 years.
This double Chippendale chair can also be converted into library steps. Beautiful and useful.
Lords and ladies
The Baronetcy title was created in 1642. It continued in the family for 352 years until the twelfth baronet, Sir Anthony, died without an heir in 1994. Sir Anthony was born in 1916 and lived in America, where he was a Catholic priest. He was granted a papal dispensation to marry Violet Anderson.
Risky hide and seek
Coughton’s 16th century priest hole was only rediscovered in the Tower Room in 1858. When it was fully opened up in 1910 still inside were a rope ladder, a small tapestry, bedding and a folding leather altar. The double hide meant that if anyone chanced upon the first empty compartment, it was unlikely that they would have found the second compartment below, where the priest would have been hiding.
An ancient forest
Like neighbouring properties Baddesley Clinton and Packwood House, Coughton was set in the once great Forest of Arden. There is a medieval stone cross in the corner of the front park at Coughton and according to local tradition, travellers prayed here for safe passage through the forest.
The big gamble
The 1,000 guinea bet laid down by Sir John Throckmorton for the making of the Throckmorton Coat equates to around £36,000 today.
Come and visit Coughton to find out even more interesting facts and see the priest hole, the Throckmorton Coat, the Chippendale chair and more for yourself.