CROOME Court, the National Trust property between Worcester and Pershore, is one of the gems of Georgian England, and testament to a remarkable relationship between a wealthy landowner and a young architect.

On Wednesday, October 23, Worcester Civic Society is holding a talk to explain and examine the partnership that George William, 6th Earl of Coventry, and Robert Adam developed to turn the Coventry family seat into a country mansion that welcomed George III, Queen Victoria and George V. 

While Lancelot “Capability” Brown is acclaimed for his landscaping of Croome Park, much of the best of the interior design was by Adam. 

Civic Society chairman Phil Douce said: “During the second half of the 18th century, the 6th Earl of Coventry, one of the most remarkable patrons and collectors of his generation, transformed his Worcestershire seat at Croome. This was an extraordinary collaborative enterprise and a work of seminal importance, not least as it played an important role in launching the careers of both ‘Capability’ Brown and Robert Adam.  

“Lord Coventry shared Adam’s flair and theatricality, his Francophile taste and his desire to be different.

"He also appreciated his astute business instinct and marketing skills and he proved himself more than a match for them. Within a few years of starting work at Croome, the Earl gave Adam the task of refurbishing his new townhouse in Piccadilly and he was to become Adam’s most loyal patron.” 

The talk, titled “The Tactics of Patronage: Lord Coventry of Croome and Robert Adam”, will be given by Dr Catherine Gordon, who will examine the interesting dynamics and impressive results of a relationship that helped chart the course of Adam’s career and fuelled the Earl’s relentless pursuit of perfection and his ambition to make his mark on the cultural life of Georgian Britain.

Dr Gordon is a Worcestershire-based architectural historian, author and historic building consultant, who was involved with the former English Heritage’s major resurvey of buildings of architectural and historical interest.  She has been researching the history of the Earls of Coventry and the Croome estate for more than 20 years and published The Coventrys of Croome in 2000, in association with the National Trust, followed by Croome: A Creation of Genius in 2018.

Starting at 2pm, her talk will take place at St Peter’s Baptist Church, Eden Close, Worcester  on October 23. It is free to attend and open to Civic Society members and non-members.  For further information contact Phil Douce, Worcester Civic Society Chairman: Email:  Phone: 07760352086