WORCESTERSHIRE, and particularly Alcester's Coughton Court, is central to the story of the Gunpowder plot, to kill king and Parliament.

Robert Catesby (nephew of Thomas Throckmorton of Coughton Court), was the infamous terrorist who hired Guy Fawkes as part of an attempt to assassinate King James I by blowing up Parliament in 1605.

Families from Worcestershire houses were at the centre of planning to kill the king and to capture a princess to control, and on whom to place the crown and to restore the Catholic rule from Rome.

The co-incidence of the letter ‘H’ adds a twist to the story, for the houses were Hagley, Harvington, Hewell Grange, Hindlip, and Huddington with Holbeache in South Staffordshire on the border.

Several of the plotters were related to the Throckmorton family.

Arms, ammunition and horses were stored at Coughton Court ready for the uprising that was meant to follow the assassination.

It was in the gatehouse that the family and associates of the plotters received the news of the plot’s failure early on November 6 1605.

It was a letter sent from Hindlip to London in October 1605 which disclosed the plot and which led to the arrest not only of Guy Fawkes but all the other plotters.

Some plotters were killed being arrested and some were arrested and then executed – some in London and some in the county.

The country celebrated the defeat of the plot with bonfires which we continue to this day.