The church parish of COUGHTON includes the civil parishes of Coughton and Sambourne. Sambourne we have already looked at. Coughton (or Great Coughton anciently) was the administrative centre for both parts; the parish church for things ecclesiastical; Coughton Court for things manorial.
|The Throckmortons of Fladbury(Worcs)
received Coughton through marriage to the Spineys, lords of Coughton, in the 15th cent.
An early member of the family at Coughton, Sir Robert,enclosed Coughton Park (which encompassed the present Coughton Wood) and died on pilgrimage to Palestine.
The Throckmortons made the Court as it is today, building on the original Spiney house. The family eventually acquired much land in the area, including Sambourne, Spernall,Oversley, Exhall,Wixford and Upton Haselor. Their loyalty to the old religion meant that Coughton and the manors above contained sizeable catholic populations, breaking up the protestant areas around them.
Coughton is unusual in having two churches within the grounds of the manor house --- the mediaeval one (Anglican since the 16th century) and a Roman Catholic one,built in 1857.
Sir Robert in the 16th cent. supported a chantry priest among whose duties was teaching a grammar school; short-lived one would thinky, with Henry Viii's closure of chantries. Education came to the fore again in 1709, when the Throckmortons augmented the Anglican vicar's salary on condition that he taught in a school set up by local people: this was also probably short-lived. In 1850 a Catholic school was started in cottages in Coughton Lane and lasted until after 1900. The National School began life in the 1860s in Wyke Lane, being enlarged by another building in Coughton Lane in 1962
Over the centuries, the village of Coughton has moved. Apart from the Court, the inhabitants were mainly concentrated along the lane to the ford,some near the main road to Studley, others in a settlement beyond the ford. They were all farm houses. The village gradually transferred to the main road and to Coughton Lane after the 17th century and since then has also extended up Sambourne Lane and further up Coughton Lane.
Coughton Mill and the parish pound,both of which have vanished,were close by the ford,though the original mill was at the settlement further down the ford lane.
Summer 1993 Index