East Court

East Court, Finchampstead

Welcome to East Court

East Court is a fine old country house. The history of the East Court Manor starts in 1298, and was originally located beside Finchampstead Church. The present manor house can be traced back to around 1600. The above rotating images show East Court as photographed in 1894, and again in 2010.


Birthplace and childhood home of famous London Socialite Lady Ottoline Morrell, whose great-great-uncle was the Duke of Wellington. She was friend, confidante, lover to many of the Bloomsbury Group, including Bertrand Russell, DH Lawrence, Graham Greene, Siegfried Sassoon, Virginia Woolf, Augustus John, TS Eliot, WB Yeats. She was the inspiration for DH Lawrence's 'Women In Love' and, some believe, for his notorious Lady Chatterley.

Owned by John Walter, proprietor of The Times, who built the magnificent estate now known as Bearwood College, endowed Finchampstead School, and built Wellingtonia Avenue as a tribute to the Duke of Wellington.

Home of the Watsons, a prominent Finchampstead family and military dynasty whose members included a JP, Knights, and many decorations including VC, GCB, CMG, KBE, CMC...

Previous residents counted as friends and visitors to the manor such well-known names as Charles Kingsley, TE Lawrence ('of Arabia'), George Bernard Shaw...

Legend has it that Henry VIII visited East Court Manor to pay attention to the younger daughter of the household. The legend goes on to suggest that the elder daughter was so jealous that she threw herself from the balcony in front of the King's horse in a fatal fit of rage.

On division of the Manor of Finchampstede into East and West Courts in 1298, it became one of the first major estates to be inherited under Norman Law by a woman - Constance Banastre (aka 'Bannister').


  • Photographs of East Court, and albums of photos, including remedial works to rehabilitate the property.
  • History of the property, and legends.
  • Information about previous owners and occupants. Many famous figures have been associated with previous residents.
  • Photos and paintings of previous occupants.
  • A list of previous occupants and owners to the best of our knowledge.
  • Links to other useful website and information resources.
  • Map and contact details.