a rose labyrinth ...

This is one of the most beautiful rose gardens I have visited.

Coughton Court in Warwickshire. (pronounced Coat-un)



 










Wandering the gravel paths,
Fingers glancing over silken petals
and prickled thorn.
The air hangs heavy with sweetness
and honied scents.
Roses of all colours and hue
Noisette, Alba, Damask, Floribunda
Scrambling skyward or trailing low.
Following the twisted curve
The labyrinth
An endless path leading to
Where flowering abundance begins and ends.
Darkened arbours to sit in shade
and view the house of history, made
 of ancient stone, turret and gable
standing still,
 brooding,
watching over the centuries.

And now for the history bit ... 

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 continues 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.
Elaine
p.s.  the photos really don't do the garden justice - the sun was so bright it just bleached everything out.

Comments

  1. Oh Elaine, I do believe there is nothing more beautiful than the English garden. Just stunning.

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    1. It really was a delight Donna.

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  2. I visited Coughton Court a couple of years after the rose labyrinth garden was planted about 18 years ago, and how wonderfully it has grown and matured. I seem to recall that the Throgmorton daughter designed it for her mother.

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    1. It must have changed a lot since you visited - now it is a beautifully mature garden. Part of this post was missing when you commented - I have now rectified this.

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  3. How pretty Elaine .... I love it because it has a slightly ' messy ', overgrown look ..... not all perfectly clipped and pruned or perfectly Marks and Spencerish !!!!! { I know what I mean !! }
    .... but then, by contrast, I love the clipped topiary by the house.... I'm very fickle !!
    Your photographs are lovely but I know what you mean ...... images of gardens are never as pretty as the real thing, are they ? XXXX

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    1. I'm with you Jackie - I love a garden that is untamed too - love the M&S analogy!

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  4. You have made me want to visit this lovely garden, but it's a long way from my home in Cornwall to drive. My son and his family have a home in Rugby so I think I will pass this information on to them, so that they can visit and enjoy the beauty and the gorgeous scents of those roses.

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    1. Yes, Rosie, definitely a bit too far for a day trip from Cornwall :)

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  5. Dear Elaine,
    This is a magnificent post.. such gorgeous roses.
    Very interesting history of the family.. I like it , when the families still live in these wonderful homes and still have the chance to enjoy them.
    Your photos are beautiful.. those roses.!! Oh so lovely.
    really enjoyed this visit with you.
    Happy weekend.
    val xx

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    1. I know you love your roses - you would have been delighted with this garden - so many different types and colours and such wonderful fragrances.

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  6. I guess that its' a good time to visit a rose garden.

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  7. A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. Flighty xx

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  8. I'd love this garden if only I could also have a full-time helper! The roses and foxglove are spectacular.

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    1. They have quite a few gardeners to help with this garden Barb - just think of all the deadheading that needs doing :)

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  9. Beautiful! Great photos. Such an interesting place. I remember it well from a visit which must have been over fifteen years ago:)

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    1. I'm so glad we went - a real treat. It seems everyone else in blogland has visited it before me!

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  10. The roses look beautiful and the gardens look a wonderful place to wander around. If these gardens were near me I think I'd make a note to visit them every year at this time.

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    1. A lovely garden and an interesting place to visit - a wealth of history within the walls.

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  11. We visited there some years ago and the house was fascinating, we missed the gardens though as it was heaving down with rain. Therefore I really enjoyed seeing them today in your post! It looks like an incredible garden, I am sad I missed it, but glad I saw it through your eyes! Thank you!

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    1. Oh what a shame you missed the garden - it was absolutely sweltering when we went - I had to buy a sunhat to wear for fear of passing out in the heat - maybe if you get another chance to visit the weather will be kinder.

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  12. What a lovely idea to construct a labyrinth from roses. The scent must have been heavenly.

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    1. It was a garden full of scent Jessica - I didn't know which flower to stick my nose into next there were so many different varieties.

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  13. I so enjoyed my visit to your blog Elaine.
    Lovely photo's ... perhaps one day I may get to visit this lovely house and garden

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan - certainly worth a visit.

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  14. That all looks lovely - buildings, flowers and even the stretch of water and charming statue.
    It's not one I've heard of, even though I belong to the National Trust. One for the wish list!
    All the best :)

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    1. It was a delight Pat - right down to the second hand books in an outbuilding with a honesty box :)

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  15. Oh Elaine what a remarkable place. Loved your poetic words that describes your visit to this beautiful garden. I bet with the sunshine the fragrance was amazing too. What history you have too because of the age of your country. Here in America we are such a young country in comparison to you. So glad you shared. Hope your week is lovely.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment Debbie.

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  16. It is a beautiful garden Elaine. It seems romantic in its design.....and in parts secret. The sort of garden that I could wander alone, and feel totally content.

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    1. Dear Cheryl
      Thanks for stopping by. I loved this garden so full of beauty and fragrance and hidden places - there were so many other visitors at the time - I too would have loved to wander through it along :)

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  17. What a beautiful poem, I loved it! This is a special place, filled with history and magic...how I wish I had wandered around it with you. I love scent in a garden and the old ones always have it, not so the new. A labyrinth made from roses....now there's a thing!!! Lovely post, I did enjoy it.xxx

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  18. Thanks Dina. It was lovely, wandering the grounds, lunch under umbrellas in the courtyard, browsing the bookshop in the barn - a lovely way to spend the day.

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  19. What a beautiful garden, your photos are lovely despite the light. Such history in that place, the things it must have seen if only walls could talk.....

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    1. Thanks SM - it was beautiful, and as you say, full of history.

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  20. It all looks very lovely and a place I would love to visit..great photos too.
    Amanda xx

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    1. Thanks Amanda - I hope you get a chance to visit it one day.

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  21. Oh it looks most fabulous Elaine and no doubt there must have been some sweet scents drifting through the air. If you ever find yourself in Gloucestershire at the right time of year do visit Sudeley Castle especially 'The Queen's Garden' :)

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    1. IT was a lovely garden indeed Anna - sudeley castle is now on my list, thanks.

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