Greys Court is an old family home in Oxfordshire now maintained by the National Trust. Being a local tourist in my own city has been made possible due to my membership to the National Trust. Though their are many things one can do in their own city that is free, visiting historical sites like Greys Court isn’t one of them. As a member of the National Trust I do not only get free access to most properties but free parking as well. Every weekend if I am not traveling I enjoy perusing the NT website for places I can explore.

Regular readers of A July Dreamer know of my intention to explore all the NT properties in Oxfordshire and Berkshire. If new to the blog, catch up on my latest local adventures including my visit to Blenheim Palace.

Greys Court

Greys Court #localtourist

Greys Court was a family home owned by Lord and Lady Brunner who bought the house in 1937 from Sir William Stapleton. Lady Brunner {nee Elizabeth Irving} is the granddaughter of the famous Victorian actor Sir Henry Irving. The Tudor country house has only ever had 5 families live in it with the Brunner family being the last. The house was then donated to the National Trust in 1969 but has been open to the public since 1950. Though it wasn’t until 2003 when lady Brunner died aged 99 that the National Trust fully took over. Since then the house is maintained by the National Trust and its army of volunteers.

Lord and Lady Brunner had four sons two of whom died recently and the other two are still alive; living in Oxford and London. Though the family does not maintain the house, they do take interest in how the house is managed. The house is located in Rotherfield Greys near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. It’s name is derived from the Grey Family who are descendants of the Norma Knight Ancheti de Greye.

Greys Court

Things to do @ Greys Court

Though from the outside it doesn’t look it, Greys Court has lots to offer its visitors. From exploring the magnificent house, touring the estate to enjoy the beautiful walled gardens. What I found interest was the fact that the house was built in 1573 but its current decorations are 1750 style.

Touring the house

National Trust offers guided tours to visitors at 11am and 12pm then from 1pm the house is open for free flow. The guided tours are given on a first come fist serve basis and last for 45 minutes. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to join either of the guided tour slots but enjoyed free flow. Even during free flow there are volunteers in each room giving you a brief history on the rooms. One thing to note is that pictures are NOT allowed inside the property which was a shame but understandable.

Greys Court

Greys Court

Shop the Woodshed

The property has one of the cutest gift shops ever, I was so mesmerized by it I ended up picking some items. There is so much to be beheld in the shop its a crime to leave without purchasing anything. You can purchase anything from guide books about the property and also history on the family.

Follow that trail

One thing I enjoyed very much about from touring the property was following the pre-defined trail. There is two options to choose from, a simple 10-15 minute or 30-45 minutes around the property. Obviously I chose the 10-15 minute trail, there loads of cows and sheep on the property which is fun for the children. The leaves on the trees have started to change colour giving a beautiful autumn look.

Greys Court

Eat and enjoy the tranquility and Peace

After following the simple trail, I headed for lunch in the Tea room called the cowshed which was beautiful. I loved how simple but creative there menu was, I opted for a bacon bap with a beetroot salad with walnut dressing. For dessert I opted for the Victoria sponge cake which was absolutely delicious.

After polishing off my meal I went off to check out the walled garden with its beautiful roses and wisteria. They have such a beautiful area where once can sit, no technology allowed and no talking. It’s such a tranquil place, the gardens where awesome to explore including the tower.

Greys Court

Things to know

  • Car Park is two minutes walk from the estate, there is option to park closer for those with mobility issues
  • Toilets are available outside the house next to the gift shop and close to the tea room
  • Team room has both indoor and outdoor sitting area, high chairs for children are available.
  • Admittance is free for National Trust members but guest have to pay
  • There is a lovely picnic area close to the Visitor Reception.
  • The area is family friendly.

Address: Rotherfield Greys, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 4PG

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Read the full original post here authored by Miranda Malanga. You can visit her blog here.

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