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Dorney Court

Historic House / Palace

Add Dorney Court to your Itinerary

Dorney Court Great Hall




Tel: +44 01628 604638

Dorney Court is one of England’s finest stately homes.  It is a Grade 1 listed building, renowned for its architectural importance and historical significance, and any visit is a fascinating and unique experience.

Built in the 15th century, the Tudor Manor House has been lived in by the Palmer family for more than 450 years – this remarkable and characterful building has been passed from father to son over thirteen generations.

“Dorney” is the ancient Saxon word for “island of bees” and the estate remains famous for its honey which is still produced to this day. The very first pineapple to be raised in England was grown at Dorney Court and presented to Charles II in 1661 and the spectre of a bald lady haunts the wood panelled hallways.

Dorney Court is very much a family home and 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.

Dorney Court has been used as a film and TV location since the 1970s.  The House and Grounds have featured in a wide range of productions including Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Other Boleyn GirlInspector Morse and Poirot.

When you visit Dorney Court, you will find rooms full of history.  Oak and beautiful lacquer furniture compete for space with family portraits and treasures collected over six centuries.


If you have an interest in furniture and its history, you will be intrigued by the pieces at Dorney Court.

The great majority of it dates from the Restoration but look in the Great Hall and you will see a massive table, created from one piece of oak, bearing the notches and scars that suggest it dates from a much earlier period in history.

Four poster beds, lacquer cabinets and contemporary designs all found favour for practical purposes.  Few were collected simply for their aesthetic quality.  The imposing bed in the Great Chamber is of the tester style not just to offer privacy but more importantly to provide a waterproof canopy as protection from a leaking roof. The lacquer furniture was used on campaign by Palmers serving on Eastern fronts, particularly by Field Marshall Sir Donald Stewart, and the modern pieces show the determination of the Palmer family to make use of wood from the Estate.


Each of the thirteen generations of the Palmer Family is represented in the wonderfully complete catalogue of family portraits that tell a most compelling and intimate story of a redoubtable family that has epitomised the English squirearchy.

Paintings by Lely, Kneller, Janssen and others cover the walls.  In the Parlour you will discover the Palmer Needlework depicting the achievements of 17th-century Palmer triplets and which has been described as “one of the rarest in England”.

Park, Gardens and Church

The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens and acres of mature parkland.   The lawns are divided by ancient yew hedges and herbaceous borders.

The adjacent 13th-Century church of St James the Less, with its Norman front and Tudor tower, are also open to the public.

Dorney Court Kitchen Garden, a high quality garden centre, situated next to the House serves cream teas and light lunches throughout the year.

Public Opening Times:

House opens at 1.30pm and closes at 5pm.

May 2016: Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd, Sunday 29th and Monday 30th.

August 2016: every afternoon.

At all other times throughout 2016, the House welcomes visitors by appointment (based on a min Group size of 20).

Weddings, private and corporate events available.

Opening Times

Open (1 Aug 2017 - 31 Aug 2017)

* House opens at 1.30pm, last tour at 4pm, house closes at 5pm.

Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change
  • Certificate of Excellence 2016

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

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Recent Reviews:

  • 567892015
    Bath, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Wonderful Afternoon
    5 of 5 stars
    Wednesday, 7th September 2016
    Fantastic house which has heaps of history. We were taken on a guided tour which was full of information and well presented in a slightly jovil way,also the gardens and chapel are worth a vist. There... Read full review
  • LFB58126
    Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    5 of 5 stars
    Thursday, 1st September 2016
    What a fantastic afternoon out. I took my son , aged nine, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable visit. Our guide had plenty of historical facts up his sleeve, coupled with a lovely easy going manner... Read full review
  • Martin J
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    Living History
    5 of 5 stars
    Tuesday, 30th August 2016
    Finally went to the House having been to the cafe many times! Well worth a visit if you can! A splendid example of a Tudor Manor house, no wonder it is used so many times for filming period dramas... Read full review

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