On Wednesday 21st June our third “Architectural Visit” took us to Greys Court, Near Henley, Oxfordshire.
Greys Court is a 16th century mansion with an interesting history. Set within a 280 acre estate, the mansion is accompanied by beautiful walled gardens, the Great Tower, which dates back to the 14th century and a Tudor donkey wheel, which was in use until the early 20th century and is one of only two left in Britain.
What is characteristic about Greys Court is the multitude of distinct architectural trends used to make up this family home. From brick and flint walls, to rendered bays and castellation’s atop the parapet walls, these obvious variations in style make it a very strange but interesting building to look at.
All of the furniture inside the property is owned by the Brunner family (the last family to live in the house, who then handed the property over to the National Trust) and is on loan so that the building is presented in an authentic manner, showing how the house would have looked and been lived in.
Greys Court is a great example of how different architectural styles and fortunes influenced the five families that owned it. The walled gardens are a maze of colours, with plants of different ages and species; many of the climbing plants have become intertwined with the metal pergolas that are spread around the gardens. Whilst we were visiting, there was also a display of sculptures throughout the grounds.
Although not a typical National Trust property, Greys Court has plenty to offer those who visit and we would highly recommend a trip to this beautiful estate.