Rotherfield Greys Court

Has been described as a Possible Masonry Castle, and also as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameRotherfield Greys Court
Alternative Names
Historic CountryOxfordshire
Modern AuthorityOxfordshire
1974 AuthorityOxfordshire
Civil ParishRotherfield Greys

Part of the curtain wall and two rectangular towers of a small castle of mid-fourteenth century. One tower is set obliquely at the N angle, the other tower is in the middle of the NE side. A third tower is octagonal and its SE corner is incorporated in a cottage of ?early C17 date. Traces of buildings abutting on the curtain wall perhaps remain underground. The top storey of tower B is a later addtition of flint and brick, the main castle buildings being of flint with ashlar quoins. A brick fireplace of C16 inserted in the curtain wall shows that part continued in use up to that period, but in Elizabeth's reign the present house was built. Adjacent to the S end of the house is the Elizabethan well-house with donkey-wheel still complete. To the E of tower C are two walls of a flint building with brick buttresses, having three-light traceried windows between the buttresses. (Oxfordshire HER)

Walter de Grey, Archbishop of York, is recorded as having bought Rotherfield from Eve de Grey about 1239 and settled it upon his brother Robert, ancestor of the Lords Grey of Rotherfield.

"Of his

Bachelors' Hall is "traditionally described as the chapel."

The older brick portions of the present house were probably built by Sir Francis Knollys who acquired the estate from Henry VIII in 1538

"The house stands in the western half of the Court, its three-gabled front facing east, of flint, brick, and clunch probably quarried from the mediaeval buildings." This east front was apparently added on to the Tudor work of Sir Francis Knollys probably by William Knollys c. 1600, and it may have been much larger at one time as some of it is supposed to have been destroyed in the Civil War. "The north end was certainly reconstructed of brick in the eighteenth century, perhaps implying an amputation at that point".(PastScape ref. Hussey 1944)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSU724834
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Copyright Peter O'Connor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Peter O'Connor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Peter O'Connor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Peter O'Connor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Peter O'Connor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright Peter O'Connor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

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  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 104-7
  • Jones, B. (ed), 2004, Greys Court: Histroic Building Report (London: English Heritage)
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of The Thames Valley and The Chilterns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 70-1
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 204
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 386
  • Oman, Charles W.C., 1926, Castles (1978 edn Beetham House: New York) p. 49-50
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 155-8 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 415 online copy


  • Camden, Wm, 1607, Britannia hypertext critical edition by Dana F. Sutton (2004)
  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England (Sutton Publishing) p. 371-2
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1910, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 5 p. 72 online copy


  • Emery, A., 2005-6, 'Greys Court' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol 19 p. 193-200
  • Jones, Barry, 2005, 'Greys Court, Oxfordshire: the contribution of analysis and recording to the understanding of a property in care' Research News Vol. 1 p. 3-5 online copy
  • Jones, B, 2004, 'Tree-Ring Date Lists 2004' Vernacular Architecture Vol. 35 p. 99
  • Bradley-Hole, K., 2002 May 16, 'A brighter shade of grey' Country Life p. 126-31
  • Kennett, D.H., 1994, 'Early brick houses in the South Midlands: A question of size' South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 24 p. 2-3 online copy
  • Steane, J. and Bond, C.J., 1984, South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 14 p. 70 online copy
  • Kenworthy-Browne, J.A., 1963, The Connoisseur Vol. 152 p. 73-80
  • Hussey, C., 1944 June 23 and 30, Country Life Vol. 95 p. 1080-3, 1124-7
  • Dryden, 1888-9, Oxfordshire Archaeological Society Vol. 24 p. 29-34

Guide Books

  • 1970, Greys Court Guide Book (National Trust)

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1903, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward III (1345-48) Vol. 7 p. 514 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1905, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward III (1348-50) Vol. 8 p. 36 online copy
  • Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) (lists sources for 1272-1422) p. 388