Caring for Coughton Court

Conserving a painting with a soft hair brush

At Coughton Court in 2017 we are undertaking the final part of a £1m five phase project to completely rewire the house. During the project, we are showcasing a handful of the craftsmen and workers, and their modern counterparts, who have helped to protect Coughton for the past 600 years.

 Although techniques and advances in technology may have changed their roles, the love of Coughton and a commitment to its conservation has remained throughout.

Gardening at Coughton Court

Records in the estate ledgers show that in 1910 the family hired someone for three days to cut the formal lawn. Today it takes one day for a Throckmorton gardener to mow all of the lawns on the property.

We talk about how much things cost now
Wheelbarrow at Coughton Court, Warwickshire

This year we have taken the opportunity to recreate historic photographs of previous staff, a project that has really brought these people to life. Jamie Vickers and his team are photographed here in the same pose as 1910s gardener John Parker.

John Parker worked as Head Gardener at Coughton Court between 1901 and 1914. We have records in the estate ledgers of the amounts he made in sales of produce from the gardens. 
He enlisted in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1914, leaving behind his wife Dora and his daughter Evelyn Daisy. He served at Gallipoli, Egypt and Basra, before falling victim to the conditions of the war. John died on July 10th 1917 from heat stroke, exacerbated by the unhealthy conditions. He was 34 years old.
 

The gardeners from 1910 and present day stood in the grounds
A picture of the gardeners from 1910 and from today

Jamie has been working at Coughton Court for the past eight and a half years. He had no horticultural background when he started and worked selling plants from the gardens. After six months he was taken on to the gardening team as he worked so well with them. He has gone on to complete several horticultural qualifications and developed a passion for roses. He has been Head Gardener for the last six months.

I enjoy coming to work - Jamie Vickers
Watering can at Coughton Court, Warwickshire

Caring for the house

Miss Thompson and Rebecca Farr are photographed on the doorstep of the cottage they have both occupied

" I do believe that we’re all put into the world for something, and I think my job was Coughton."
- Housekeeper and resident of Coughton for 56 years, Miss Thompson
Rebecca Farr and Miss Thompson outside of the cottage they have both lived in
Rebecca Farr and Miss Thompson outside of their cottage
" I walk in the footsteps of people who cared as much as I do, and one day I will pass the baton on to someone else to continue the never-ending job of caring for Coughton. "
- Conservation and Engagement Manager in 2017, Rebecca Farr

Visitors to Coughton this year will discover the stories of these craftsmen and staff by discovering the tools of their trades around the property. They will have the opportunity to rummage through toolboxes, wheelbarrows and sewing tins to find out more about how we have been, and continue to, care for Coughton.