Coughton Court is worth a visit. We got there to find it very popular. Visits to the house and walled garden were scheduled. We wandered the gardens in glorious sunshine, examined the churches on site, admired the new born rare breed lambs and watched jackdaws building a nest in a church tower.
The house has seen better days but given that it was the home of the Throckmorton family since 1409 and the fact that they were fiercely Roman Catholic when it was prudent not to be so, plus half of the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot were family members, it's amazing they hung on to it as long as they have.
The following is taken from the website of the National Trust:
The name Coughton (pronounced "Coat-un") suggests a settlement or farm known for the hunting of woodcock or game birds. It is believed that there was a medieval house on the site when John de Throckmorton arrived in 1409 to marry into the de Spiney family. Since that time, Coughton Court has been home to the Throckmortons, one of the UK’s oldest Catholic families. This year the family is celebrating its 600th anniversary of residence at Coughton Court.
Through its rich and varied history, the house has witnessed some of the most defining moments in British history – from the court of Henry VIII to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
Coughton Court still has many of its original features including its flamboyant sixteenth-century gate tower. It is one of the last remaining Roman Catholic houses in the country to retain its historic treasures: it houses one of the very best collections of portraits and memorabilia of one family from the early Tudor times. Alongside family items on display, there are pieces such as the chemise reputedly worn by Mary Queen of Scots when she was executed and a bishop’s Cope, with intricate needlework, believed to have been worked upon by Catherine of Aragon.
Coughton Court was gifted to the National Trust in 1946 by the Throckmortons, with a 300 year lease to the family. The Throckmortons continue to live at Coughton Court, continuing six centuries of unbroken tradition.
After inheriting the estate in 1992, it was Clare McLaren-Throckmorton's intention, together with her daughter, the acclaimed garden designer Christina Williams, to create a garden that provides this beautiful house the setting it deserves.