A place with 900 years of history

A drawing of Greys Court

Greys Court has a rich history covering over 900 years. Read on to discover more about the buildings on the site and see if you can spot some of them on your next visit.

The site is first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086, when the de Grey family held it. The medieval manor was across the oval lawn from the current house, and was extended and fortified over the centuries. In the 1450's, the Lovells added a large timber framed building on the house side of the lawn. In the Tudor period, Sir Francis Knollys demolished many of the medieval buildings and built the main part of the present house incorporating part of the 1450's building. In later centuries, the Stapletons converted the house into a fashionable Georgian one with romantic medieval ruins and then into a Victorian one before the last owners, the Brunners, renovated both house and gardens.

Diagram of the historical features on the estate
Greys Court Plan
Diagram of the historical features on the estate

1. The end wall of an 11th/12thC building can be seen in the base of the Great Tower.

2.  Curtain walls and towers were built in several phases in the 14thC around older buildings, mostly no longer visible.

The 14th century walls and tower plus the 15th century wall of a Lovell period building
The 14th century walls and tower plus the 15th century wall of a Lovell period building
The 14th century walls and tower plus the 15th century wall of a Lovell period building

3.  The 1450s timber framed building partly survives in the kitchen, and originally extended beyond today’s house.

The beams in the kitchen at Greys Court
The beams in the kitchen
The beams in the kitchen at Greys Court

4.  An inter-court range divided the Upper and Base Courts. In a dry summer, parch marks show where the walls were on the oval lawn - look out for them on your next visit. 

5.  The main range of the present house was a fashionable Elizabethan mansion built c.1575.

6.  The Cromwellian was built c1578 as a  visitor lodge, and was originally much larger. It was probably used by Roundheads during the Civil War.

7.  The Service Court was extended in about 1559 to improve brewing, baking and other facilities.  There is a well house with a Donkey Wheel.

8.  The Dower House was built beside the medieval south east tower in the 17th and 18th centuries and is said to be a bachelor hall.

9. The 18th C bow window is part of Sir Thomas Stapleton, the 5th baronet’s changes, which also included the fine plasterwork in the main rooms of the house

10. In the 20th century, the Brunners renovated the house, removing Victorian additions and creating a new garden

The house after the bay was added in the 1760's
The house with the bay added in the 1760's
The house after the bay was added in the 1760's
Postcard of the Victorian house with a billiard room
Postcard of Victorian house with a billiard room
Postcard of the Victorian house with a billiard room

Later alterations by Evelyn Fleming and the Brunners did not change the overall plan, though they included renovations to the house, including removing Victorian additions and also re-designing the gardens.

The current house at Greys Court.
The current house at Greys Court
The current house at Greys Court.