Oakley Court

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Oakley Court, once owned by Otho FitzGerald, and now a hotel
Oakley Court Hotel, looking south from Dorney Lake Park across the Thames.

Oakley Court is a Victorian Gothic country house set in 35 acres (140,000 m2) overlooking the River Thames at Water Oakley in the civil parish of Bray in the English county of Berkshire. It was built in 1859 and is currently a luxury hotel. It is a Grade II* listed building[1] has been often used as a film location.[2]

History[edit]

The Court was built in 1859 for Sir Richard Hall Say who married Ellen Evans of Boveney Court in 1857. He was appointed High Sheriff of Berkshire in 1864 and Justice of the Peace in 1865. In 1874 Oakley Court was sold to Lord Otho FitzGerald, then to a John Lewis Phipps and in 1900 to Sir William Beilby Avery of Avery Scales. In 1919 Ernest Olivier purchased the property together with 50 acres (200,000 m2) of Berkshire woodland for £27,000.[3]

Film set[edit]

Because it adjoins Bray Studios, the exterior of Oakley Court was used in the filming of a number of films including several Hammer horror films, such as The Reptile (1966), The Brides of Dracula (1962), The Plague of the Zombies (1966), and the Amicus horror film And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973). It is perhaps best known as Dr. Frank N Furter's castle (called The Frankenstein Place) in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).

It was used for a cult independent horror film called Vampyres (1974). And in 1995, it featured as the 'Laxton Grange Hotel' in the British television series Pie in the Sky starring Richard Griffiths.

The classic 1976 mystery farce Murder by Death used this house for its setting. It may also be seen in the William Castle horror-comedy The Old Dark House (1963) (a remake of the original The Old Dark House, directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff).

On many web resources it is erroneously credited as being St Trinian's School in the original St Trinian's film series, but a comparison between the films and the actual building show a quite different architecture and overall design.[citation needed] Historical notes available from the hotel, however, indicate that some parts of the St Trinian films were filmed in the grounds.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′24″N 0°40′21″W / 51.490048°N 0.672516°W / 51.490048; -0.672516