Dorney Court

Type:Historic House / Palace

Court Lane, Dorney, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 6QP

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 127 reviews127 reviews

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Exterior of Dorney Court

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About

The history of Dorney Court

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

Built in the 15th century, the Tudor Manor House has been home to 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 though the King showed more interest in the lady of the house, making Barbara Palmer (nee Villiers) his mistress gaining her notoriety and power in the process while her husband was exiled to Constantinople as Ambassador to the Ottoman Court. Spookily, a spectre of a bald lady haunts the wood panelled hallways.

Dorney Court remains 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 featured as a film and TV location since the 1970s.  The House and Grounds appearing in a wide range of productions including Bridgerton, The Sandman, The Essex Serpent, 24, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Other Boleyn Girl, Inspector Morse, Poirot and many more.

Visitors will find rooms full of history alongside the tell-tale signs of continuing occupation, not least the sight of an occasional rogue child or spaniel.  Oak and beautiful lacquer furniture compete for space with family portraits and treasures collected over six centuries.

Furniture at Dorney Court

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.

Artwork at Dorney Court

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”.

Dorney Court 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 2024 opening times

Dorney Court is open to the general public every afternoon in June from 12.30 - 4pm.

Throughout the rest of the year, groups of 20 or more are welcome by appointment on Private Tours and Connoisseurs‘ Tours.

We can accommodate smaller groups but a minimum charge will apply.

Dorney Court refreshments: where to enjoy food and drink

Crocus at Dorney Court, a high quality garden centre situated next to Dorney Court, serves breakfast, lunches and afternoon teas in its cafe throughout the year.

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
1. House, Garden & Grounds£13.00 per ticket
2. House, Garden & Grounds Concession£11.00 per ticket
3. House, Garden & Grounds Children (all ages up to 16)£7.50 per ticket
4. House and Garden Group rate*£13.00 per ticket
5. Connoisseurs' Tour*£24.00 per ticket

* An additional supplement of £25 per Group (max 20 people per Group) will apply to cover the cost of each Group’s specialist Guide. Please note that groups of fewer than 20 people will be charged a minimum fee and further information on our charges can be found on Dorney Court's website under Admission Prices.

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Disabled persons toilet - At Garden Centre
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
  • Ramp/Level Access
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors

Catering

  • On-Site cafe/restaurant - Crocus at Dorney Court is a cheerful garden centre tea room accommodating about 70 people; it's situated 100 yards from the house

Children & Infants

  • Children's Meals - At Garden Centre
  • Family Friendly, Children Welcome - At Garden Centre. Children over 10 welcome in Dorney Court itself.
  • Outdoor children’s play area - At Garden Centre

Establishment Features

  • Event Venue
  • Garden / Grounds for visitors use
  • Grazing Paddock for horses
  • Groups by arrangement
  • Groups welcome
  • Guided tours
  • Guided tours by arrangement
  • Licensed for alcohol
  • Licensed for weddings & ceremonies
  • Marquee Space Available
  • Printed Material in Foreign Languages
  • Special Opening for Groups by Arrangement
  • Team / Corporate Activities
  • Toilets

Parking & Transport

  • Free parking
  • Off-road parking
  • On Site Car Parking
  • On site parking
  • Parking (free)
  • Railway station within 5 miles
  • Railway station within walking distance

Payment Methods

  • Euros accepted
  • Groups Accepted - Pre-booking essential.
  • Maestro Accepted
  • MasterCard accepted
  • Max group size - 65
  • Min group size - 20
  • Open by appointment outside normal opening times
  • Visa accepted

Printed Material in Foreign Languages

  • German printed material

Provider Preferences

  • Countryside Setting
  • Indoor Attraction
  • Smoking Areas Available
  • Village Location

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Educational Visits Accepted
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups
  • Guided Tours Available for Individuals
  • Guided Tours Compulsory for Groups
  • Guided Tours Compulsory for Individuals

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

4.5 of 5 stars
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      97
    • Very Good
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    • Poor
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    Recent Reviews:

    • S7499SUstephaniel
      London, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Couples
      Excellent tour of a very interesting Tudor house
      5 of 5 stars
      Tuesday, 4th July 2023
      Great place to visit - beautiful Tudor house and gardens. It is open to the public some dates each year, so check their website. You may have seen it feature as a location in several films. We had a... Read full review
    • Destination590519
      Bainbridge Island, Washington
      Absolute Stunner!
      5 of 5 stars
      Tuesday, 18th June 2024
      What an absolute gem we stumbled upon while out and about in Bucks!! The house is a stunning beauty, the garden is spectacular, the church moving and intimate. The hour long tour was informative and... Read full review
    • stuarts281
      London, United Kingdom
      Gorgeous Tudor Manor in Berks, a True Hidden Gem
      5 of 5 stars
      Tuesday, 2nd July 2024
      What a gorgeous hidden gem in Berks, over five centuries of Palmer family history deeply entwined with the history of England, and perhaps the most charming and photogenic exterior of any Tudor manor... Read full review

    Map & Directions

    Road Directions

    Nearest major road is M4. Follow brown tourist sign from roundabout off M4, jct 7.

    Public Transport Directions

    Nearest stations: Slough, Windsor & Eton Riverside, Taplow and Maidenhead (all within 5 miles)

    Awards

    • Regional and Miscellaneous -WTTC Safe Travels WTTC Safe Travels 2021

    Opening Times

    June 2024 (1 June 2024 - 30 June 2024)
    DayTimes
    Monday - Sunday12:30 - 16:00

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