DYFFRYN Gardens is a National Trust-owned series of botanical gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan.
COUGHTON Court is a National Trust property near Alcester in Warwickshire. The Current Mrs Feeney and I visited it on Thursday, on the way home from our Stratford break.
The house has been home for 600 years to the Throckmorton family, one of the great landed Catholic dynasties who found themselves on the wrong side after Henry VIII broke with Rome in order to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn.
Persecuted for their faith, they risked everything on political intrigues, culminating in the Gunpowder Plot, which was at least in part planned in Coughton Court’s rooms.
We joined the National Trust soon after I retired. We were talked into it by a charming lady on the visitors information centre at an historic tinplate works and waterfalls attraction where we had gone to take some photos.
We haven’t made full use of our National Trust membership as yet. The visits we have made have been informative and instructive (not least in reviving my socialist and republican instincts); I am always left wondering how such a small country as Britain managed to sustain so many landed estates.