Taplow Court

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A view of the front of Taplow Court

Taplow Court is a large Victorian house in the village of Taplow in Buckinghamshire, England, which has served as the national headquarters for the Soka Gakkai International of the United Kingdom (SGI-UK) since 1988.


The Taplow burial, a 7th-century Anglo-Saxon burial mound, is in the grounds of the house, near the parish church which is scenically positioned on a hill directly above Maidenhead Bridge and the town's riverside district. The mound was excavated in 1883 and a number of treasures were discovered, of quality of the early Saxon centuries surpassed only by Sutton Hoo in 1939.

Manor House[edit]

There has been a manor house on the site since before the Norman Conquest in 1066. The manor was owned by the monks at Merton Priory until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It was then owned by the Hampson family in the 17th century, coming under attack during the English Civil War. Throughout the 18th century and through to the 1850s, Taplow Court was home to the Earl and Countess of Orkney who has also owned the adjacent Cliveden.

19th Century Rebuilding[edit]

From 1852, Taplow Court became the home of the Grenfell family, purchased by Charles Pascoe Grenfell in August of that year.[1] His family had it rebuilt in 1855, as it is dated, etched into the masonry. The exterior in an early Tudor style and the interior (with its central glazed hall rising the full height of the house) in Romanesque architecture. A listed building in the starting category of Grade II, it is built of red brick partly dressed in light stone and has a slate roof, has four storeys with 2 stone stringcourses carried round the building as drip moulds over the windows. It has a central projection with a porch. Here its heavy oak door is set in recess with a Norman style arch.[2]

An interior room at Taplow Court

It was inherited in 1867 by his grandson William Grenfell, 1st Baron Desborough where a prominent social role was also played by his wife Ettie.[3] Their son was war poet Julian Grenfell. They prominently hosted an aristocratic and elite group known as "the Souls" at the house. Visitors included Henry Irving, Vita Sackville-West, Edward VII when Prince of Wales, Winston Churchill, H. G. Wells, Patrick Shaw Stewart, Edith Wharton and Oscar Wilde.

A stické court was built by Lord Desborough at Taplow Court in 1892 and the dimension of this court subsequently became the standard size of the court.

In 1913 Taplow Court was rented by Rodman Wanamaker, the U.S. Department Store magnate. After World War II, Taplow Court was owned by British Telecommunications Research, a subsidiary of Plessey Electronics until 1988 when it became a Soka Gakkai International Buddhist centre.


  1. ^ Sheahan, James Joseph (1862). History and topography of Buckinghamshire: comprising a general survey of the county, preceded by an epitome of the early history of Great Britain. Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts. p. 852. ISBN 978-0-8048-3390-5. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  2. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1165286)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  3. ^ Ettie, book review, The Independent, Retrieved 1 February 2016

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′54″N 0°41′41″W / 51.53167°N 0.69472°W / 51.53167; -0.69472