Friends of Coughton Court

Friends of Coughton were recently treated to a beautiful journey down the River Wye from its source at Plynlimon on a Welsh hillside, as far as Hereford, courtesy of a very enthusiastic and amusing guide, Brian Draper, showing the slides of his own photographs.

The River Wye is in total 135 miles long and rises in the same hills as the River Severn. After flowing through 15 miles of unpopulated country, the river passes by villages and towns as it meanders through the stunning scenery of Wales and its many places of interest such as the RSPB reserve where red kites are once again thriving; the old drovers’ road to Smithfield market; Builth Wells with its bridge built in 1779 and its Italian style town hall. It also boasts the only building in the country to sport E VIII R 1936 over its door. Having removed the George V cipher, they could not be bothered to alter it again when Edward abdicated.

So many places of interest: Hay-on-Wye, the book town; Clifford Castle, where Henry 11 used to visit his mistress, “the fair Rosamund”; Bredwardine, where the diarist and cleric was vicar until his untimely death. On past the celebrated Weir Garden, Kenchester Roman Fort and Belmont Abbey and into Hereford.

So much packed into an hour’s amusing and informative talk. Mr Draper can be sure of an invitation to return and entertain us with the second half of the story as the River Wye continues on its way from Hereford to the Bristol Channel.

The Friends of Coughton Court meet on the third Wednesday of the month from March to October. For further information, see or telephone 01386 833767.