Cowdray House, Midhust, West Sussex title banner, a history of a magnificent 16th Cent house, destroyed by fire in the late 18th Cent
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The Contents
One further note on the valuable contents of Cowdray The house is known to have had a very fine collection of paintings by many of the great artists of the period like Raphael, Rubens, Van Dyke, Inigo Jones, Gainsborough and Holbein. Also, it may safely be assumed many important pieces of furniture. Perhaps more valuable than all the rest, was a collection of relics of the Norman Conquest, taken from Battle Abbey after its dissolution in 1536-39. As Keeper of the Horse, Henry VIII had granted Sir Anthony Browne the Battle Abbey estate and contents and they stayed in the family until 1717 when Battle Abbey was sold. However, some of its relics were kept and brought back to Cowdray. These relics are said to have included the sword of William the Conqueror, his coronation robe and the famous Roll of Battle Abbey, of which, fortunately, copies had been made.

Cowdray up-dates

The Lost Art Works
As was typical of a grand building, it contained an equally grand art collection by many of Europe's great renacesance and later painters;

Most fortunately, engraved copies were made of many of the notable pieces, along with an inventory just months before the disastrous fire, so today we have a record of what was lost. One of the most famous of these is xxxx's record of the Sinking of the Mary Rose, and is the only pictorial record of the event. It features Sir Anthony Browne riding alongside King Henry VIII at Southsea Castle. Browne was King's Master of the Horse at the time.

Historical Records.
St.John Hope's account
Anya Seaton's Green Darkness

BBC Restoration
Although not featured in any of the series, Cowdray made frequent television appearances as the background to the dancing diggers trailer for the BBC2 Restoration television series. Presented by Griff Rhys Jones, the series selected a wide ranging selection of British buildings and monuments in need of conservation or restoration money. The public voted for their favourite projects and the winner gained the funds.

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