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Greys Court

Visited April 2023

Location Rotherfield Greys, Henley-on-Thames
Entrance Fee Yes
Railway Station Nearby Henley-on-Thames- Approx 2.5miles
Parking Yes
Facilities Toilets, Cafe, Shop


Greys Court is a country house currently owned by the National Trust. However prior to the house being built on the site in the Elizabethan times (the then-owner Sir Francis Knollys redesigned the estate and built the house to try and impress Elizabeth I) the site contained a castle, which had originally been constructed by the de Grey family, owners of the estate since the time of the Domesday Book.






There is not much left of the original castle, and most of what is left has been incorporated into the current buildings. There are the remains of four of the castle towers, with the North East Tower and the Great Tower still joined by some curtain walling. The South West Tower has been incorporated into the West Range of the house, and the fourth remaining tower has been built into the Dower House. 


The Great Tower is the most impressive of the remaining  four, and it makes a beautiful focus point to the garden that has been created around it. It dates back to the time of the de Greys, who building the castle on their land after being granted a licence to crenellate in 1346.


Unfortunately during our visit there was no interior access to any of the towers, although the house is open to visitors.







The house is interesting to visit, as it has been left as it was when the last owner, Lady Brunner died in 2003. Because of this it seems very homely, with many of the Brunner family's personal belongings still in situ like a time capsule. It is however slightly disconcerting to see items like video recorders from the 1980s which were new technology in my childhood, displayed like museum pieces, which of course they are now. While most children probably won't know these are pieces from their parent's generation, it did  make me feel old!


The homely feeling continued in the kitchen, where fresh scones were being baked by some National Trust volunteers which made the whole kitchen corridor smell delicious!





The grounds of Greys Court are extensive, and so there is a lot of open space for kids to explore and play in. The gardens are beautiful, with a large Wisteria walkway, and a labyrinth behind the stables. Slightly further from the house is a thatched ice house, and beyond that open fields to explore. Next to the cafe is a play area, and there is also a signposted walk around the estate.


We were there in April and there was an Spring Trail for children which seemed popular; other events are run through the year so please check the NT website for current information.





More info:  National Trust Greys Court

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