When: April 2013
Who: 2 Adults
My National Trust Young Person Membership Card has made another appearance! This time it was the turn of Coughton Court in Warwickshire where I along with another membership card wielding friend went to explore the house and its grounds.
I had been to Coughton Court before when I was in Sixth From but the only things I can remember from it was that I got given a sticker that said ‘History Matters’, there was an association with the gunpowder plot and there was a room with mannequins.
Therefore time was right for another gander and visiting during the Easter Holidays meant that the house and gardens felt alive and even the weather played its part when the sun came out.
We decided to go around house first and luckily for me the room with the mannequins was no more. Instead in the Tower Room, the painted canvas was the focus with a lively volunteer explaining the meanings of the Coats of Arms and what it meant to be a Catholic in the turbulent times of the 1500s. (Saying that though, the painted canvas could have been prominently featured on my previous visit but my aversion to mannequins was so strong that I refused to go in.)
A highlight of the trip was then after the talk on the canvas, as my friend and I were given an insight as to how it would of been like if you were a ‘serving wench’ as we told about the distance that the food had to be carried from the kitchen to the hall and we held a serving plate which was very heavy! We after some debate however decided against it as a potential career, too much like hard work.
The importance of Catholicism to the family of Coughton Court, the Throckmortons, was creatively told throughout the house with focus on particular pieces of Catholic treasures, a gown was supposedly worn by Mary Queen of Scots when she was beheaded and a priest hole. The Throckmorton family presence was also felt with photographs of the family positioned in certain rooms as well as one room where among the important furniture you also got to see a wonderful example of a 21st Century flat screen TV. These touches, I feel, had a welcoming effect and made the house feel more lived in and not an ancient obsolete creaking building.
We rounded off the trip with a wander through the grounds which were significantly bigger that what I remembered and were lovingly maintained.
So I think I will remember more from this trip to Coughton Court, the painted canvas, my decision not to be a serving wench and the gown that was ‘worn’ by Mary Queen of Scots will all act as very useful reminders!
p.s. If you are a heritage graduate and you haven’t filled in my survey please do!
Getting excited outside Coughton Court