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Dorney Court

Type:Historic House / Palace

Dorney, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 6QP

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 111 reviews111 reviews

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Tel+44 01628 604638

Dorney Court Great Hall

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About

The history of Dorney Court

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.

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 opening times

In 2020 Dorney Court is open to the public over the May Bank Holiday Weekends (8/9/10 & 24/25 May) and throughout August. Doors open in the afternoon at 1330 with ‘Last Admissions’ at 1630.

During the remainder of the year, we welcome groups of visitors by private appointment. However, please note that we have a minimum admission charge based on a group size of 20.

Generally tours take around an hour although our specialist ‘Connoisseurs’ Tours’ last a little longer.

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.

 

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Connoisseur's Tour* - Private party rate of 20 or more to open exclusively. Minimum price £210 plus £18 for each guide required£21.00
House and Garden Group rate* (10 people or more outside public open days)£10.80 per ticket
House, Garden & Grounds£9.00
House, Garden & Grounds Children aged 10-16£5.50
House, Garden & Grounds Concession£8.50 per ticket

* An additional supplement of £24 per Group (max 20 people per Group) will apply to cover the cost of each Group’s specialist Guide.

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 - Cheerful tearoom accommodates about 70 at The Kitchen Garden Plant Centre, 100 yards from 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

  • Grazing Paddock for horses
  • Licensed for alcohol
  • Marquee Space Available
  • Printed Material in Foreign Languages
  • Special Opening for Groups by Arrangement
  • Toilets

Parking & Transport

  • On site parking
  • Parking (free)

Payment Methods

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

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 Compulsory for Groups
  • Guided Tours Compulsory for Individuals

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

4.5 of 5 stars
  • Certificate of Excellence 2019
  • Excellent
    82
  • Very Good
    24
  • Average
    0
  • Poor
    3
  • Terrible
    2

Recent Reviews:

  • TheBurtfamily
    High Wycombe, United Kingdom
    Lovely House
    5 of 5 stars
    Friday, 30th August 2019
    Visited yesterday. This is a lovely house set in small grounds. The neighbouring little church is ver nice too. The guide explained the famiy history very well and it was very interesting. Read full review
  • BackinBracknell
    Bracknell, United Kingdom
    Wonderful Tudor House
    5 of 5 stars
    Sunday, 1st September 2019
    The house looks amazing from the outside, inside it's a bit of a mishmash but still really interesting. Has been used for lots of films and TV series including Midsomer Murders and Poirot. Check... Read full review
  • Netty1313
    Exeter, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    Nooks and crannies everywhere!
    4 of 5 stars
    Sunday, 22nd September 2019
    Visited on a very hot day but the house was nice and cool - apparently it is freezing in the winter! Guide was a family friend and very informative, she was obviously a great admirer of the family’s... 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)

Opening Times

May 2020 (8 May 2020 - 10 May 2020)
DayTimes
Friday - Sunday13:30 - 17:00
May 2020 (24 May 2020 - 25 May 2020)
DayTimes
Sunday - Monday13:30 - 17:00
August 2020 (1 Aug 2020 - 31 Aug 2020)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday13:30 - 17:00

* In 2020 Dorney Court is open to the public over the May Bank Holiday Weekends (8/9/10 & 24/25 May) and throughout August. Doors open in the afternoon at 1330 with ‘Last Admissions’ at 1630.
During the remainder of the year, we welcome groups of visitors by private appointment. However, please note that we have a minimum admission charge based on a group size of 20.
Generally tours take around an hour although our specialist ‘Connoisseurs’ Tours’ last a little longer.

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