Explore the house here at Coughton
The doors to the house here at Coughton are now open (last entrance 4pm) The dust sheets have come off the furniture and our volunteers are excited to be welcoming you back. Things are a little different in the house, but we're thrilled to be able to tell you centuries old stories and share with you this beautiful house.
The coronavirus crisis has meant we have had to change things a little in the house. Whilst not as many rooms are open, our team are on hand to welcome you and share with you Coughton's stories in a safe environment.
Like many great houses, Coughton was built and rebuilt, embellished and enlarged throughout its ownership by the Catholic Throckmorton's, with each generation making its mark and creating the house we see today.
What you can expect from your visit
The house is open on open days from 11am - 4.30pm (last admission to the house at 4pm). Entry will be via the front door in the Front Hall and visitors will have the chance to view the Front Hall, Staircase, Blue Drawing Room, Panelled Dining Room, Tapestry Bedroom, Ante Room, Tribune and Saloon. The Tower and Tower Roof will remain closed.
Visitors will be asked to queue up outside the Front Hall door in a clearly marked queue and will be admitted to the house by a volunteer when it is safe to do so. Hand sanitiser will be available at the house entrance and exit and all visitors are encouraged to wear a face covering.
The Front Hall is the start of your visit to the house here at Coughton. It originally served as the gatehouse passageway and was open at both ends. In the 1780s the 4th Baronet turned it into a room decorated in the Gothick style. The ceiling was given a fine fan vault and the walls lined out to resemble masonry, although the whole effect was in fact created from plaster rather than stone.
The staircase acts as a family tree with many portraits which show several generations of the Throckmorton family. The earliest are at the bottom and the later generations are shown nearer the top. The portrait straight ahead as your climb the first flight is that of Katherine Vaux who with her husband, Sir George Throckmorton, had 19 children and 112 grandchildren!
Panelled Dining Room
In Elizabethan times, this was probably the great chamber, the principal first-floor reception room, where the Throckmorton's would have entertained important guests. It appears to have become the Dining Room in the early nineteenth century, which cannot have been popular with the household staff, as the kitchen was almost 100 metres away at the opposite corner of the building. Look out for the sixteenth century panelling and oak dole-gate from the convent of Denny.
This room embodies the Throckmorton family’s journey from danger to triumph. Throughout the 1500s and 1600s, the Catholic relics that can be seen here would have been hidden away from public view. Their discovery would have put their owners’ lives at certain risk. With Catholic Emancipation in 1829, the family were at last free to display their beliefs and their treasures openly, for all to see.
In the Tudor house this was the great hall, where the whole household would have gathered to eat or be entertained on special occasions. It served as a covert chapel between 1688, when the east wing was ransacked, and 1855, when the Catholic chapel in the park was completed. The portraits are largely of nineteenth and twentieth century Throckmorton's including Sir John Throckmorton and the Throckmorton coat made between sunrise and sunset.
Blue Drawing Room
The Blue Drawing Room is on the first floor of the gatehouse, the oldest surviving part of Coughton Court. When new in the 1530s, it would have been one of the most important rooms in the house.
Legend has it that on the 6th November 1605 Lady Digby, the young wife of Gunpowder Plot collaborator Sir Everard, two Jesuit priests, Fathers Garnet and Tesimond and Nicholas Owen, the man who built the priest hole in the tower, sat in this very room waiting to hear the outcome of the conspiracy.
The Tapestry Bedroom is part of the extension added to the main house by Sir Francis Throckmorton (2nd Baronet) during the late 1600s. Sir Francis inherited Coughton when he was just 9 years old.
Look out for the huge wardrobe known as an armoire and is made from walnut during the 1600s, the half tester bed is made from mahogany and dates to the Victorian period and the tapestry fragments are Flemish and date to the 1500s.
We welcome photography in the house at Coughton as we hope you can take away treasured memories from your visit. We just ask that flashes are not used in the house.