Greys Courty near Henley

Arriving at Greys Court at lunchtime we made our way to the Cowshed Café before having a look around.After lunch we had a look at the Donkey Wheel. This is a method that was used to raise water from the bottom of a well. A donkey is used to walk in a giant vertical wheel which has two buckets suspended from the axle of the wheel. The donkey walks in the wheel in one direction to bring a full bucket of water to the surface while the empty bucket is lowered. When the top bucket has been emptied the donkey is turned around to walk the other way bringing the now full bucket to the surface and lowering the now empty bucket. Sadly the access into the wheelhouse has three steps and was not possible without assistance.Next we went into the main house to look around the ground floor which included the entrance foyer, drawing room, study, and dining area. The main building at Greys Court was built in the 16th century although some of the buildings in the grounds go back as far as the late 11th or early 12th century. There is a photographic guide to the upstairs and inaccessible kitchen areas.We are presently sat in a pagoda in the tranquil gardens with a huge variety of plants and flowers, including an impressive 120 year old wisteria which provides a leafy roof over a pathway and large section of garden. The house and gardens are generally wheelchair accessible with a few slopes and some gravel pathways.