Greys Court

Greys Court is a Tudor country house and gardens in the southern Chiltern Hills at Rotherfield Greys, near Henley-on-Thames in the county of Oxfordshire, England.[1] Now owned by the National Trust, it is located at grid reference SU725834, and is open to the public.


The name derives from an old connection to the Grey family, descendants of the Norman knight Anchetil de Greye. The estate or manor of Rotherfield Greys is referred to in the Domesday Book.[2]

The mainly Tudor-style house has a courtyard and gardens. The walled gardens contain old-fashioned roses and wisteria, an ornamental vegetable garden, maze (laid to grass with brick paths, dedicated by Archbishop Robert Runcie on 12 October 1981) and ice house. Within its grounds are the fortified tower built circa 1347, the only remains of the medieval castle, overlooking the gardens and surrounding countryside, as well as a Tudor wheelhouse.

The house remains furnished as a family home, with some outstanding 18th-century plasterwork interiors. It is a Grade I listed building. [3]


John de Grey, 2nd Baron Grey de Rotherfield, one of the original founder Knights of the Garter, was granted a license to crenellate his Rotherfield house in 1346, when he also considerably enlarged the group of buildings. The estate passed to the Crown in 1485 and was granted to Robert Knollys in 1514 for an annual rental of a red rose, remaining in the Knollys family until 1642, during which time the current house and its associated buildings were constructed.

Sir William Paul bought the house in 1686 and it passed via his son William's daughter's dowry to Sir William Stapleton, 4th Baronet in 1724.

Between 1935 and 1937 the house was occupied by Evelyn Fleming, mother of the author Ian Fleming.[4]

In 1937 the house was bought from the Stapletons by Sir Felix Brunner and his wife Lady Brunner (née Elizabeth Irving), the granddaughter of the Victorian actor-manager Sir Henry Irving. In 1969 the family donated the property to the National Trust, where Lady Brunner continued to live until her death in 2003.

Use as a filming location

The house appeared in a series 3 (2012) episode of Downton Abbey when Crawley family visit the property, known to them as Eryholme. The house was used by the Dowager Countess' late husband as a hunting lodge. Robert, the Earl of Grantham, was considering moving there with his family as he was about to lose Downton to debt and taxes.[5]

It also appeared in the ITV series Agatha Christie's Poirot in 2013. In the adaptation of Elephants Can Remember it is used as the home of one of the people Ariadne Oliver visits while investigating the case. The episode was screened on 9 June 2013.[6]

Greys Court also appeared for external shots as "Midsomer Priory" in the Midsomer Murders Series 14 episode entitled "A Sacred Trust".[7][8]

See also


  1. "Grey's Court", TripAdvisor, UK, retrieved 29 August 2015
  2. Roy Martin Haines, « Grey, John de (d. 1214) », Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  3. Historic England. "Grey's Court, Rotherfield Greys (1181202)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  4. "Greys Court". Chilterns Conservation Board. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  5. "Greys Court lands starring role". Henley Standard. Higgs Group. 17 September 2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  6. Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989–2013): Elephants Can Remember on IMDb
  7. Street, Joan. "A SACRED TRUST: Series 14, Episode 7". Midsomer Murders. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  8. "Midsomer Murders: Complete Series 14". ACORN. Acorn DVD. Retrieved 14 April 2018.

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