From a picturesque 16th-century mansion to a 20th century intimate family home. The house exudes a welcoming atmosphere with a well-stocked kitchen and homely living rooms. The series of walled gardens are a colourful patchwork of interest set amid medieval ruins. The organic Kitchen Garden provides produce throughout the open season not only for the Tearoom but for visitors too.
Other buildings from earlier eras include the Great Tower from the 12th century and a rare Tudor donkey wheel, in use until the early 20th century.
Greys Court has a rich history covering over 900 years.
Tudor house associated with the lords of the manor of Rotherfield Greys and once home to Ian Fleming’s mother
There has been a manor at Greys Court since the 11th century – it was the principal residence of the lords of the manor of Rotherfield Greys near Henley-on-Thames. It lies almost in the middle of the ancient parish and was built on a hillside terrace overlooking the valley to the south.
After the death of Robert de Grey in 1388, the property was neglected for nearly 70 years. It was classed as “exceedingly derelict” in 1422, and restoration only started in 1454.
By the 16th century the house was owned by Sir Francis Knollys, a prominent member of the courts of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Elizabeth I. As a Protestant he was exiled during Queen Mary’s reign. Upon his return after Queen Elizabeth’s accession in 1558, he carried out many changes to Greys Court.
The current house was built by Sir Francis Knollys prior to Queen Elizabeth’s proposed visit to Greys Court in 1574. The house then had a triple-gabled range, built of rendered flint, brick, dressed stone and salvaged materials – much of which is still visible despite many alterations. The re-use of materials indicates that earlier buildings were destroyed to clear the site for the new one.
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