Posted in Architecture, Birmingham, England

Archtrove Travels To Compton Verney – NT find

What Need to Know About ….. Compton Verney, Warwickshire

Compton Verney is a Grade I listed house built in 1714 by Richard Verney, 11th Baron Willoughby de Broke. It was first extensively extended by George Verney, 12th Baron Willoughby de Broke in the early 18th century and then remodelled and the interiors redesigned by Robert Adam for John Verney, the 14th baron, in the 1760s. It is set in more than 120 acres (0.49 km2) of parkland landscaped by Lancelot “Capability” Brown in 1769.

The house and its 5,079-acre (20.55 km2) estate was sold by Richard Greville Verney, the 19th baron, in 1921 to soap magnate Joseph Watson who was elevated to the peerage as 1st Baron Manton of Compton Verney only two months before his death in March 1922 from a heart attack whilst out hunting with the Warwickshire Foxhounds at nearby Upper Quinton. George Miles Watson, 2nd Baron Manton sold the property to Samuel Lamb. It was requisitioned by the Army during World War II and became vacant when the war ended.

In 1993 it was bought in a run-down state by the Peter Moores Foundation, a charity supporting music and the visual arts established by former Littlewoods chairman Sir Peter Moores. The property was restored to a gallery capable of hosting international exhibitions. Compton Verney Art Gallery is now run by Compton Verney House Trust, a registered charity.

The collections include Neapolitan art from 1600 to 1800; Northern European medieval art from 1450–1650; British portraits including paintings of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Edward VI and works by Joshua Reynolds; Chinese bronzes including objects from the Neolithic and Shang periods; British folk art; and the Enid Marx / Margaret Lambert Collection of folk art from around the world which inspired the textile designs of 20th century artist Enid Marx.

Location of The Compton Verney

Compton Verney House is an 18th-century country mansion at Compton Verney near Kineton in Warwickshire, England, which has been converted to house the Compton Verney Art Gallery.

Gallery for Compton Verney

To find out more click here


Posted in Architecture, Birmingham, England, Warwickshire

Archtrove Travels To Coughton Court – NT find

The house has a long crenelated façade directly facing the main road, at the centre of which is the Tudor Gatehouse, dating from 1530; this has hexagonal turrets and oriel windows in the English Renaissance style. The gatehouse is the oldest part of the house and is flanked by later wings, in the Strawberry Hill Gothic style, popularised by Horace Walpole.

What Need to Know About ….. Coughton Court, Warwickshire

  • The Coughton estate has been owned by the Throckmorton family since 1409. The estate was acquired through marriage to the De Spinney family. Coughton was rebuilt by Sir George Throckmorton, the first son of Sir Robert Throckmorton of Coughton Court by Catherine Marrow, daughter of William Marrow of London.
  • The great gatehouse at Coughton was dedicated to King Henry VIII by Throckmorton, a favorite of the King. Throckmorton would become notorious due to his almost fatal involvement in the divorce between King Henry and his first wife Catherine of Aragon.
  • Throckmorton favoured the queen and was against the Reformation. Throckmorton spent most of his life rebuilding Coughton. In 1549, when he was planning the windows in the great hall, he asked his son Nicholas to obtain from the heralds the correct tricking (colour abbreviations) of the arms of his ancestors’ wives and his own cousin and niece by marriage Queen Catherine Parr.
  • The costly recusancy (refusal to attend Anglican Church services) of Robert Throckmorton and his heirs restricted later rebuilding, so that much of the house still stands largely as he left it.
  • The gatehouse at Coughton was built at the earliest in 1536, as it is built of stones which came from Bordesley Abbey and Evesham Abbey after the Dissolution of the Monasteries Act in 1536. Similar to other Tudor houses, it was built around a courtyard, with the gatehouse used for deliveries and coaches to travel through to the courtyard. The courtyard was completely closed in on all four sides by around 1651, when during the English Civil War of 1642-1651, the fourth wing (what would be the east wing if it stood today) was burnt by Parliamentary soldiers, along with many of the Throckmorton’s family papers. After the Roman Catholic Relief Act was passed in 1829, the Throckmorton family were able to afford large-scale building works, so the west front was remodelled after 1829.
  • The house was used as a filming location for Father Brown (2013 TV series) in the episode The Mask of the Demon.

Location of Coughton Court

Coughton Court is an English Tudor country house, situated on the main road between Studley and Alcester in Warwickshire. It is a Grade I listed building.

Gallery for Coughton Court

Blog Posts of Coughton Court

Posted in Architecture, England

Archtrove Travels To Britain – with the National Trust

The National Trust is a charity organisation for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty in Britain found in 1895. The premises is to protect the heritage and open spaces so that it is enjoyable for all. It covers, England, Wales and Northern Irelands, Scotland have there own. The large majority are English country houese but it also protects natural beauty sites such as Lake District, urban properties and nature reserves. Also includes, stately home, historic house, castle, abbey, museum. These properties are easily accesible by the public, for a small charge.

What is part of the National Trust:
  • 775 miles of coastline
  • Over 248,000 hectares of land
  • Over 500 historic houses, castles, ancient monuments gardens and parks and nature reserves.
  • Close to one million objects and works of art

National Trust Properties include:


Charlcote Park

Baddesley Clinton

Coughton Court

Tip: If you live in Britain it is worth getting a membership as this works out cheaper and you are more likely to visit these beautiful sites and discover something that you did not know existed.

Find out more about National Trust here

Posted in Birmingham

Beneath the Birmingham Facade

The train is where I start, a hub for an intergalactic spaceship with people toing and froing, the quick lunches being eaten by the hurried suits and packs of young and carefree. Up I descend and am hit with a range of smells, steaming hot pies, pho’s and pastries. Venturing around the corner and down a narrow indoor alley, again, packed with people, the angled lightning from above leading me. As I emerge from the dark, I enter a large airy space looking down I can see even more space and decide this is where I want to be. When I get there I am met with hordes of people and decide to continue on towards the exit, the middle of large, long people’s highway.

I turn and find in front of me, giant silver balls, cascading down uniformly. As I follow these they lead me to the towering church alongside a noise of hustle and bustle. Market traders and customers bargaining to get the best deal. The rejuvenation of this city is impeccable with its old and new sitting side by side.

Venture to the east and the same occurs, the giant golden concentric circles boxed on top of one another, beaming to welcome you in. As I escalated up to the top of the box I was met with a sanction of greenery. A few steps forward and I could see in the distance the towers and the construction workers. Immediately to the right, however, was a rather dull sight, miserable grey, a sign of history dilapidation. Change was occurring but not for all.

Stepping inside the dull grey and the same resonated. On the other side, this was a different story altogether. The sound of gentle streaming water began to gently please the ear. Standing in the middle of the bridge, and behind was the dull grey, underneath was the gentle water, to the left was a tunnel and streets, to the right, a meander with possibilities and in front rows of a hidden world. I decided to venture forward.

The red brick buildings each displayed a different message, some of the food, some of drink. Meandering on and a square emerged with clean linear buildings neatly placed and all centring around this square with coffee resonating from the middle and a gentle patter of water. To the left a tall tower, with beautiful trees, again all neatly lined up. A far world from where I started.



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