Dorney Court, a glorious Tudor manor house of architectural and historical importance, is also still very much a family home. Built in the fifteen century it has been lived in by the Palmer family for 14 generations and remarkably, the rambling interior of the house has changed little since then. Dorney Court is a medieval house full of nooks and crannies, exuding history and charm and consequently is often used as a film set in period dramas. The majority of the furniture dates to the time of the Restoration as the entire contents of the house were looted by Cromwellian forces. The parlour contains an Elizabethan tapestry, depicting Palmer family members, which has been described as one of the rarest in England. The first pineapple grown in England came from here and was presented to Charles II who had an ‘intimate’ connection to the Palmer family via his notorious mistress Barbara Villiers. Dorney court even has a priest’s hole and a ghost, the bald lady. The house is surrounded by pleasant grounds and we will visit the delightful 12th century church and have a delicious lunch in the nearby garden centre.
Royal Frogmore House, is an elegant late 17th century country house, situated close to Windsor castle. It was bought by King George III in 1792 for his wife, Queen Charlotte and their unmarried daughters to use as a retreat. The house’s decoration illustrates the interests and artistic talents of several generations of the royal family. Queen Charlotte, a keen botanist, commissioned the celebrated flower painter Mary Moser to decorate one of the principal rooms. She also created the gardens and lake and introduced over 4000 trees and shrubs. The gardens have many magnificent trees representing 2 centuries worth of planting. Although unoccupied now, various members of the royal family have lived at Frogmore including Queen Victoria’s mother who resided here for 20 years. Queen Victoria visited frequently and you can even see a sample of her inexpert knitting. Queen Mary, wife of George V, used the house to create a museum of family souvenirs which are still on display. A number of members of the royal family are buried here including Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Frogmore is now used by the royal family for meetings and entertaining and is where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex held their wedding reception in 2018.