Secret and Sacred at Coughton Court

Beautiful prayer book at Coughton Court

Explore our new exhibition, Secret & Sacred, which highlights the Throckmorton’s Catholic faith and helps us to understand the experiences of those persecuted for their religion.

With support from our volunteers, we’ve carried out lots of new research to discover more about the experiences of the family and other Catholics during the turbulent years after the creation of the Church of England in the 1530s.

Can you find this on the Catherine of Aragon cape
Catherine of Aragon Cape at Coughton Court, Warwickshire
Can you find this on the Catherine of Aragon cape

Discover the story of Coughton’s unusual collection of objects which the Throckmorton family gathered, kept, and treasured throughout their 600-year history in this house. Many of these objects helped them to preserve and practice their Catholic faith. Uncover why locks of hair and an old ribbon are just as treasured as grand portraits and precious ivory. What are their hidden stories and why do we continue to look after them?

These objects helped the Throckmortons to shape their identity. Often connected with their faith, the stories of these objects can help us to understand the experiences of Catholics in England over several centuries.

What is sacred about this hair?
Secret and Sacred hair at Coughton Court, Warwickshire
What is sacred about this hair?

Parts of the house are currently closed but through these objects, explore the fascinating history of the Jacobite rebellion and the 'Old Pretender', discover what an ivory pax was used for in Catholic services and stand in front of the linen chemise reportedly worn by Mary Queen of Scots at her execution in 1587. 

Many of the objects at Coughton helped the Throckmorton family to preserve and practice their Catholic faith. Today, this collection represents their story and helps us to understand the experiences of those persecuted for their religion. We continue to care for each object so that we can share these stories with everyone.