Gunpowder at Compton Verney!

With Guy Fawkes celebrations underway, the historic story itself is one which resonates very much with Compton Verney… Robert Catesby himself was Warwickshire-born, and the Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament was supposed to have led to a Catholic uprising in Warwickshire and surrounding counties. But one of the star attractions in the galleries at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park is a splendid portrait of the man who discovered the plotters – Sir Thomas Knyvet.  Thomas Knyvet or Knyvett (1545-1622) was a member of a prominent Wiltshire landowning family who had risen to the position of Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth I. Knighted by King James I in 1604, he shot to national prominence in 1605 when he was ordered by the king to search the cellars below the Houses of Parliament on the evening of 5th November. There he discovered and apprehended Catesby, Fawkes and their fellow-plotters, thus frustrating the Gunpowder Plot. As a reward, Sir Thomas was made responsible for the education of the king’s daughter, Mary, and in 1607 was created Baron Knyvet of Escrick in Yorkshire.  Compton Verney’s fine portrait of Knyvet of c.1569 is one of the most incisive depictions of the […]



Kids in Museums is a national campaign to encourage more activities for and by children and young people to take place in Museums settings. An annual event takes place in November for organisations such as Art galleries, Museums and Heritage sites to be taken over by children and young people. This year Compton Verney worked with Stratford Upon Avon school and Campion school. Sixth form students from each school joined us on Tuesday 25 November. Ed who studies Art, Drama and Graphic Design was interested in the role of Front of House. He selected an artwork in our collection that he loved and bases a short talk about this piece. At 2:30pm he would present his findings to members of the public and ask for their response to the painting. A member of the audience asked if the artist is featured in the picture, another person asked why there were blisters on the painting. Ed responded in a very confident and positive manner. Watch the short clip on facebook to see how he got on. Ed is interested in studying Product Design but our Front of House Manager was happy to give him a gallery job right there and […]