19 members of the History group visited the 15th century Whittington Court. Just 100 yards north of the A40 near Andoversford, not one of us had ever visited it or even noticed it.
Mentioned in the Doomsday Book, it was built near the Anglo-Saxon church accross the lane from a 2nd century Roman Villa which was discovered in 1949. During the middle ages the Court was owned by the de Crupes family, then it passed to the Despencer family and later to Henry VII and Henry VIII. Then it passed to the Cotton family who gave respite and tea to Elizabeth I on her way to Sudeley Castle. Unusually the house then passed through many female members of the owning families. In 1748 Thomas Tracey, MP for Gloucester bought it and ownership passed through his widow to her family until the last surviving member Mrs Stephanie Evans-Lawrence bequeathed it to Mrs Joan Charleston, the mother of the present owner. An emblem on their coat of arms refers to a distant ancester who had accompanied Richard the Lionheart to Jerusalem and was made a Knight Banneret. This history of the house was given to us while we were sitting in the very atmopspheric Library.
Originally envisionaged as an E-plan house, there were many alterations in the 16th and 17th centuries.
After our talk, we were free to wander around the three floors.The house is full of interesting architecture, panelling and old oak furniture.
The church which is just outside the Court, and within it’s beautifully kept garden, has many interesting features, including two Knight’s tombs, one Richard de Crupes who died in 1278, and the other, his son.
There are brasses of the Cotton family, and records showing mention of the church dating back to 1216.
This is an HHA property, and is only open twice a year for two weeks, so we were lucky that their August opening coincided with our monthly meeting.
Following our tour, the owner had made some lovely sandwiches and cakes to finish off our very intersting and enjoyable day.