Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Greys Court, near Henley-on-Thames

I visited this very peaceful manor house near Henley-on-Thames which is a national trust property. What makes it very appealing is the mediaeval ruins which are in the grounds. There is a 12th century castle tower, and parts of a wall belonging to the castle. It also has Tudor style knot gardens and lots of nooks and crannies in which you feel you can get lost. Not surprisingly considering its atmospheric surroundings, it has tales of ghosts as documented in the National Trust book Ghosts by Sian Evans. This particular anecdote belongs to the tea room, which is adjacent to the castle ruins. It is said a cleaner felt unable to enter the tea rooms once when they were unusually cold and the ghost of a "potboy" has been seen by a customer in the tea room. A potboy is a type of boy soldier from Cromwell's time, and it is believed his men occupied the area during the English Civil War. I would recommend this house as a small but quintessential example of what the NT have to offer, it has also been refurbished and restored on the interior although I have not yet been inside, it has been closed for several years for this to take place.

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