National Trust Coughton Court
Imposing Tudor house set in beautiful gardens with a fascinating collection of Catholic treasures. Coughton Court has been the home of the Throckmorton family since they built it around 1530. It holds a unique place in English history with its close connections with the Gunpowder plot of 1605.
The Gunpowder Plot was a plan by a small group of young Roman Catholic extremists to blow up the House of Lords together with King James 1 and the whole of the Protestant government during the opening of Parliament on November 5 1605.
The ringleader was Robert Catesby (nephew of Thomas Throckmorton), several of the other plotters were also related to the Throckmorton family.
Guy Fawkes was chosen to prepare and ignite the 36 barrels of gunpowder they had hidden in the cellars underneath the House of Lords.
Early in the morning of November 5 the cellars were searched and Guy Fawkes was captured. He was taken away and tortured to reveal the names of the other plotters.
Sir Everard Digby had been chosen to plan the Midlands part of the plot, which was to kidnap the daughter of King James 1, the eight year old Princess Elizabeth. Since he needed a base in the Midlands Sir Everard leased Coughton Court and moved in, with his wife and two sons, in October 1605. Thomas Throckmorton and his family were living in one of their other properties.
Whilst making the final arrangements Sir Everard stayed at the Kings Head Inn in Dunchurch. At 8pm on November 5th 1605 news came to Dunchurch of the capture of Guy Fawkes and failure of the plot thus the kidnapping was abandoned and the plotters fled.
The plotters passed through Warwick at about midnight and then went to John Grant's home at Norbrook House which was between Warwick and Stratford. Catesby then sent his servant Bates to Coughton Court to let Lady Digby know what had happened.
When Bates arrived at Coughton at about 3am he met Lady Digby in the Tower room. Also present were Father Garnet, Father Tesimond, Nicholas Owen (the priest hole expert) and the Vaux sisters from Baddesley Clinton.
When they heard the news the men fled, Father Garnet and Nicholas Owen went into hiding at Hindlip House and Father Tessimond escaped to France.
The group at Norbrook House carried on to Huddington Hall where they stayed overnight. On the morning of 7th November they travelled to Hewell Grange and then in pouring rain on to Holbeach House in Kingswinford.
The Final Stand
On arrival at Holbeach House the plotters including Catesby, Percy and the Wright brothers and their gunpowder were soaking wet. In an attempt to dry out they spread the gunpowder in front of an open fire.
The Sherriff and his men, who had been trailing the plotters, saw the resulting explosion and surrounded the House. On the morning of November 8th there was a showdown. Four of the plotters were killed and the others captured. Catesby and Percy were together killed with one musket shot.
The plotters were all tried and convicted of treason and subsequently hung, drawn and quartered at the end of January 1606.
The house stands in 25 acres of grounds containing some of the most breathtaking gardens in the country. Great family day out with children's trail and activities throughout the year. For more information please tel. our information line 01789 762435/01789 400777.
Try one of these beautiful trails around Coughton Court and the surrounding Warwickshire countryside. Please note many of our walks are dog friendly, however dogs are not allowed in the House, Gardens or Stableyard.
- Restaurant - hot lunches or home-baked cakes
- Stables Coffee Bar serving delicious local ice cream
- Picnic area available adjacent to car park, behind the shop and over the river.
- Toilet facilities
- Shop - take home some local honey
- Throckmorton plant centre
- Free parking Including motorhomes
- Dogs welcome, on leads, in car park and on public footpaths. Sorry not in gardens, house or stableyard
- Coach parking available at the Roman Catholic Church
Adult £12 with Gift aid £10.90
Child £6 £5.45
family £30 £27.25
2 miles north of Alcester on A435
Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5JA
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