Welcome to Coughton Court, which also has two churches, beautiful grounds and a bog garden. By far the best bog garden I have ever seen. This house is steeped in the history of Catholicism in England, the reformation and the gunpowder plot.
The bedside commode was the closest I got to a bathroom here, sadly, but having said that I really like this piece of furniture. It takes multi purpose to a whole new level, though I'm not to sure about sleeping directly next to such an object. Any evidence of ablutions were within the rooms themselves which are just as interesting. A very personal private time becomes less so despite the help of ornate screens
According to the info handed out this yellow room displays, what are affectionately (I'm sure) referred to as 'The Uglies' a room of family portraits by Willem Wessing. I tried to get a good picture of all of the paintings in this room but it was just too packed full of visitors. Smallish and at the end of a tour route it was an awkward space but probably my favourite room. I loved these paintings, unflattering? who knows but they certainly felt real and I do like a double chin. I saw beauties depicted in these paintings.
There are a lot of miniature portraits at Coughton, a helpful guide told me the back story of the couple pictured above, he would be the last male in the line to inherit the house and grounds and was desperate to marry so he attached himself to his young cousin. The fact that she was a cousin caused a huge problem and was regarded as shameful. When he died she (only in her early 20's) did not re marry and in doing so kept Coughton court within the family. (it would have been great if I had made a note of names and dates as the guide was telling me about what was a wall full of family miniatures as well as the dimly lit room they were in, but alas I did not - a country house rookie mistake)
This was a pleasant surprise, I wasn't expecting to find Edward VIII abdication speech and letter of abdication here. I stood in a room already evoking the feeling of history rather strongly and read the typed speech carefully, I have listened to it several times but reading the old fashion type set and feeling the rhythm of this Kings Speech made it very, very personal.
I've been thinking about what it must be like to live here while a portion of the house is open to the public. It's often the case that the the families continue on in a private part of the house but what must feel like a fish bowl. I wonder What it feels like to give up part or all of your family home in this way.
You can see. More of my photographs from Coughton Court on my Flickr here.