Dorney Court

Type:Historic House / Palace

Dorney, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 6QP

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 120 reviews120 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 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 2022 opening times

Dorney Court is open to the general public on 1 & 2 May, 2 & 3 June and all August: open afternoons 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
Connoisseurs' 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£10.00
House, Garden & Grounds Children (all ages up to 16)£5.00
House, Garden & Grounds Concession£9.50 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 - 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.
  • 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 Available for Individuals
  • Guided Tours Compulsory for Groups
  • Guided Tours Compulsory for Individuals

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

4.5 of 5 stars
    • Excellent
      91
    • Very Good
      24
    • Average
      0
    • Poor
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    • Terrible
      2

    Recent Reviews:

    • TcD5588
      Farnham Common, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Friends getaway
      Amazing journey through one particular strand English history.
      5 of 5 stars
      Friday, 19th August 2022
      The excellent knowledge, enthusiasm and presentation style of our tour guide Andrew was attention grabbing. His knowledge of this important part of English history was gripping. His passion and... Read full review
    • Coastal39364153993
      Lowton, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Friends getaway
      Fabulous Tudor house
      5 of 5 stars
      Saturday, 20th August 2022
      I visited Dorney Court with my mother. The tour of the house was conducted by Andrew, who was a most engaging and informative guide. Many thanks to the Palmer family for opening up their home for a... Read full review
    • GloriaAnneliese
      Trip Type:
      Couples
      Guided tour of Dorney Court.
      5 of 5 stars
      Wednesday, 14th September 2022
      Andrew Stafford was our guide at Dorney Court on 29th August. He regaled us with stories and historical facts about the house and family for an hour and a half. It was absolutely fascinating. Thank... 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

    May 2022 (1 May 2022 - 2 May 2022)
    DayTimes
    Sunday - Monday12:30 - 16:00
    June 2022 (2 June 2022 - 3 June 2022)
    DayTimes
    Thursday - Friday12:30 - 16:00
    Season (1 Aug 2022 - 30 Aug 2022)
    DayTimes
    Monday - Sunday12:30 - 16:00

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