Coughton Court: Dole-Gate


On display in the Dining Room at Coughton Court is the above dole-gate. The impressive gate is carved from oak and came from the Convent Abbey of Denny in Cambridgeshire. Elizabeth Throckmorton was the last abbess of Denny in 1539 when the convent was dissolved by Henry VIII.


Originally positioned in the main gate of the convent, charitable donations would have been handed out to the poor through the lower opening and is where the expression ‘on the dole’ derives. The Latin inscription translates: “May God preserve Dame Elizabeth Throckmorton, Abbess of Denny.” The outer panels are beautifully decorated with the carved Sacred Heart, Tudor Rose and Beaufort portcullis. The dole-gate was discovered in a cottage at Ombersley in Worcestershire in 1836.


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