Did you, like me, wonder which location was used for the external shots of ‘The Priory’ in last week’s new episode of Midsomer Murders? Well if you did then you need wonder no more, as the super midsomermurders.org website has revealed that Grey’s Court in the village of Rotherfield Greys near Henley-on-Thames was the building outside which a nun was murdered in the chicken coop.
This South Oxfordshire 16th century Tudor country house looked absolutely stunning in scenes shot in brilliant sunshine in the heart of the rolling Chiltern Hills.
Robert Knollys was one of the earliest owners of the estate – he was married to the cousin of Elizabeth I. On acquiring ownership, Robert demolished the estate’s medieval building and embarked on an extensive building programme to remodel the court as a courtier’s house.
All this was done with the hope of attracting Elizabeth I as a visitor. Unfortunately, the plan didn’t work. However, Grey’s Court is a fine legacy of Robert Knollys’ ambition!
In 1935, Mrs Evelyn Fleming, the mother of James bond creator Ian Fleming, bought the house and undertook further restoration work. (Incidentally, Ian Fleming wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – a scene from which was filmed at nearby Henley).
Today, visitors to this National Trust property can wander around the walled gardens and house via a timed ticket system – these are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
A visit offers the chance for you to climb the Great Tower and watch the rare red kites of the Chiltern Hills soar high above villages in South Oxfordshire.
Greys Court, as ‘A Sacred Trust’ illustrated, really is magical – Elizabeth I should surely have paid a visit!