House

The oldest part of the Tudor house and a 20th century hive of activity © Andreas von Einsiedel

The oldest part of the Tudor house and a 20th century hive of activity

'A haven of peace and quietness for those in need'

From a Tudor show house to 20th century family home, Greys Court has only been inhabited by five families in its long history. The mansion today is a patchwork of styles that hint at the various fortunes and tastes of the occupants.

House manager's highlights

Coronation stool

Coronation piano stool belonging to Sir Felix Brunner © Stephen Prickett

This stool by Waring & Gillows is made from limed English oak with a blue velvet seat, and was commissioned for the coronation in 1953 (hidden on the underside is the stamp "ER II Coronation"). Whilst the peers were seated on chairs, the pages had stools and after the ceremony were given the opportunity to buy them. I like to think they bundled out of Westminster Abbey with them under their robes.

Panelling puzzle

A panel dated 1622 in the kitchen © Stephen Prickett

The panelling in the kitchen is a great example of upcycling. It dates from the 16th century but was removed from the house, possibly in the 18th century when dark wood was unfashionable. Still considered good enough to keep it was stored in the lofts and was discovered in 1935 when Mrs Evelyn Fleming purchased the house. She reinstated panelling to the kitchen. Look carefully and the panels don’t match, and a door has been used (on its side) as filler.

Dorothea Baird

A painting of actress Dorothea Baird © Christopher Warleigh-Lack

Baird was a popular English actress who played the title role in George Du Maurier’s Trilby and Mrs Darling in J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan. She married H.B Irving in 1896 and continued to act until 1913, when she retired from the stage and involved herself in various charitable causes especially those supporting infant welfare. The young Elizabeth Irving (later Lady Brunner) followed in her mother’s footsteps on the stage and supporting social causes.

Ever wondered why...

Personal treasures on the bedside table

 ... the rooms are darkened?

Our light levels are very important to us, and we use different methods to keep them consistent. On sunny days we often have to lower the blinds and reduce the UV coming into the rooms in order to protect the fabric of the collection.

Ever wondered why...

A cheerful welcoming reception to be found at the entrance

 ... we use timed tickets?

To maintain the intimacy of our small family rooms, avoid damage and to give you the space to enjoy them we may have to issue timed tickets on busy days. These are given out at Visitor Reception on a first come, first served basis.

Take a tour

Intimate and informative tour of the ground floor

Take a turn through the history of Greys Court starting in 1086 all the way through to 2003 on one of our house tours. Tours are at 11 and 12 and last for between 30-40 minutes and tickets are available first come first served from Visitor Reception.

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