Coughton Court, Kinwarton Dovecote, yellowhammers and grey wagtails.

 Coughton Court has been home to the Throckmorton family for 600 years; this fine Tudor house stands testament to a family's courage in maintaining their Catholic beliefs. Today the visitor can see and hear about the dangerous times during which Catholicism was practiced at great risk to life, limb and livelihood. The two churches on the estate reflect the history of Christianity on these islands. The house has been in the ownership of the National Trust since 1946, the family holding a 300-year lease and still occupying part of the property as their home, although the house and grounds are now managed by the trust. 
 For myself it is the beauty of the buildings and the extensive semi-natural estate that are the main attraction, providing endless opportunities to craft some intriguing images with the camera.

Coughton Court 458 (166)Coughton Court 458 (170)Coughton Court 458 (152)

The interior of the building is worth exploring on a quieter day when more time can be spent looking for a particular angle without having to wait too long for the view to become uncluttered by visitors....

Coughton Court 458 (96)Coughton Court 458 (89)Coughton Court 458 (87)Coughton Court 458 (95)Coughton Court 458 (81)

The interior of the Catholic Church is worth seeing as it has a particularly fine painted roof.
Coughton Court  Catholic Church 458 (110)Coughton Court  Catholic Church 458 (107)
Wild flowers, insects and birds flourish in the gardens, fields, woodlands and river beyond the building and a day can easily be spent exploring the possibilities on the warm Spring sunshine. The bridges over the river afford good views of the nesting grey wagtails for example and we found a nuthatch nest-hole in a tree on the bank as well....

grey wagtail 458 (137)nuthatch 458 (225)grey wagtail 458 (140)
The woodlands by the river and further afield are full of wild flowers; have a look at the pictures on Flikr.
I want now to turn my attention to a longer walk (up to about 7 miles) that starts at the main gates of Coughton Court and crosses fields to the 14th Century Kinwarton Dovecote, a relic of the Abbey of Evesham which stood to the north-west. It is an impressive example of a circular stone dovecote with a tiled roof, the view of which is somewhat marred by power cables (two sets of them) looking as if they were deliberately positioned to ruin the image! I include below a picture which I admit has been `photoshopped` up close and a second shot from the road further along the walk taken through the telephoto lens which I feel illustrates the dovecote in what must have been  its original type of surroundings...

Kinwarton Dovecote 458 (189)St Mary`s Church Kinwarton 458 (177)
It is possible to enter the dovecote and admire metre-thick walls with their 580+ nesting holes and the intact potence, or ladder that can rotate about the central pivot to reach every hole. The pigeons would have made eating in the Winter for the Lord of the Manor although his tenants would not have been pleased to see the birds eating their crops in the spring! The resentment is said to have contributed to the revolution in France (!) and much unrest in England.

Kinwarton Dovecote 458 (193)Kinwarton Dovecote 458 (194)
The church at Kinwarton is worth a detour as well. Rebuilt in the 1800s, it is a lovely church that provides many opportunities for some nice images (although it is difficult to hide the water butt by the door) both inside and out...

St Mary`s Church Kinwarton 458 (176)St Mary`s Church Kinwarton458 (180)St Mary`s Church Kinwarton458 (183)St Mary`s Church Kinwarton458 (185)
Finally; a special mention of the the WW2 memorial commemorating the crew of a Wellington Bomber, killed in 1944. Kenneth Wakefield had married the rector`s daughter at the outbreak of war. This is a timely reminder in this peaceful beautiful place of the debt we all owe to so many brave young men as we wonder about our free land....

St Mary`s Church Kinwarton458 (186)

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