Dorney Court is one of England’s most uniquely beautiful Tudor Manor Houses set amidst acres of mature parkland and encircled by well tended yew hedges. The remarkable and characterful House is Grade 1 listed and designated as being of outstanding architectural and historical interest.
Dorney Court is approached through a fragment of once mighty woodland. An ancient carriageway begins at imposing black iron gates, now stripped of the imperial eagles which once adorned the pillars only to be melted down in the Great War to forge shell cases.
Chestnut and ash compete with an abundance of laurel to throw their boughs over the drive as it winds betweeen gnarled trunks and wild flowers. The hand-dug medieval Pike Pond glimmers invitingly and gradually, rewardingly, framed by trees, Dorney Court emerges russet bricked and many gabled across a lush green pasture.
The stillness and tranquility of this unspoilt and lovely part of England enchant and intrigue in equal measure. London lies within easy reach, yet, Dorney remains a timeless rural bastion confronted beyond its watery borders with encroaching suburbia.
Visitors will find that the House and Grounds have an easy charm and a warmth of welcome that reflect continuing family use and the passion and love of everyone involved with the Estate. It may seem that little has changed over the years since the foundation stone was laid but there have been significant developments to the building itself as well as some notable and idiosyncratic intrusions onto the pages of England’s history including the cultivation of the first pineapple to be grown on these shores.
Dorney Court contains a wealth of family portraits besides a varied collection of art that tell a visual tale of the tastes and fortunes of everyone who has lived in the House. Traditional oak furniture, carved panelling, silks and tapestries fill the rooms. The interior and the exterior of the House reward exploration and will surprise the more observant who might spot the 17th century priest hole or even the balding spectre of Dorney Court’s ghost. Above all else, the history of Dorney Court is the history of those who have been privileged to live in the House and the survival of the building and the contents is testament to the perseverance and tenacity of those people across half a millennium.