A place with 900 years of history
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.
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.
3. The 1450s timber framed building partly survives in the kitchen, and originally extended beyond today’s house.
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
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.