Littlecote House

Littlecote House

This gallery uses an original 18th century painting in the collection of the Royal Armouries Museum.

It shows the house and estate of Alexander Popham, a Colonel in the Parliamentarian army during the English Civil War.

This unusual painting can be used to investigate the landscape, activity and social status of such an estate in the period of the English Civil War.

Click on each thumbnail image to enlarge.

A busy road

Behind the House can be seen the top half of some of the traffic to be seen on a 17th century road.

Pack horses, wagons and men carrying nets can be seen behind the hedgerow.

Cattle, horses and a donkey

Cattle, horses and the donkey reflect the wealth of the Pophams.

Clergymen

Clergymen watch the Pophams leave.

Why are they standing there, have they missed a meeting?

Felling a tree

A large tree has been felled. This may have been to make the view from the house more open in aspect.

The felled timbers are being worked. On the left a man is standing on a log in order to split it and turn it into planks. This shows that the Popham estate had good-sized trees and could afford to build houses with very large timbers.

Some of the timbers have been made into a roof frame for a house. This maybe for an extension to the house. The woman is collecting the bark stripped from the trunk to use as fuel for charcoal burning.

Food and clothing

In the top left corner hares are being hunted for food, while below sheep are being herded in the lower field.

Hunting

Easy work?

The men on the left are netting rabbits, other men on horses are hunting a fox.

Landscaping

The lands surrounding Littlecote House appear to be in the stages of being landscaped; avenues of trees and artificial mounds are being created.

Out for a ride

Two young gentlemen are taking a ride.

Where do you think they are going?

Strange encounters

What are they talking about?

A man, possibly an old soldier encounters a younger uniformed man, perhaps he is garrisoned at Littlecote House?

Terraced garden

A walled garden is a nice place for the Pophams to take a stroll and admire the countryside.

The deer park

Is this a path?

This is a deer park. A deer park was a fashionable status object.

The garden

Who is playing in the garden?

In the formal lawned garden, the Popham children play with their dog, accompanied by their nanny.

In the corner can be seen a stone lawn roller, used to keep the lawn flat.

The gatehouse

Who lives here?

This high status building may be a gatehouse, situated at the end of a formal avenue of trees.

The house to the left is an ordinary thatched building, possibly for an estate worker.

The stables

Is this the garage?

The stables area is arranged around a courtyard.

A man is training some white hunting dogs that are on the far left.

Training horses

Are they playing or working?

Horses are being trained to be ridden and to work with dogs.

Watching the Pophams

Who is in the carriage?

People watch the rich carriage of the Popham family.

A young gentleman doffs his cap, and fashionable ladies watch by the wall.

Working for food

Hard work?

A man ploughs a field, while above a fox tries to escape the hunt.

Compare past and present

Explore the House and see what you can find out.

  1. Who the owners were?
  2. How they lived?
  3. What they did?

Click on this link to explore the Great Hall inside Littlecote House.

Did you know?

Going off half-cocked

Many older guns have a form of safety that prevents the gun from being fired when the hammer is pulled halfway back. Sometimes a fault develops which allows the gun to fire when the hammer is in the half-cocked position, before a proper aim can be taken.