Oakley Court – Bray, England - Atlas Obscura

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Oakley Court

Bray, England

You can spend the night in Dr. Frank-N-Furter's castle.  


Now a luxury hotel, this is the place where “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” was filmed. Unless there’s a special event like the annual Time Warp Picnic, Oakley Court runs like any nice hotel, but the patient staff is not fazed by fans who pop in for the day and ask questions about film locations. You can easily spot the famous staircase, entryway, Riff Raff’s window, and the room where the dinner scene was filmed. There’s even a grandfather clock in the lobby, although not the original. 

Oakley Court is conveniently located 20 minutes from Heathrow Airport on the River Thames, or a 10 minute drive from Windsor Railway Station. The 33-acre estate has the Downton Abbey vibe of an old English manor, which it once was. This country house was built in 1859, a Grad II listed building, covering just over 35 acres.

The Court was originally built for the newly appointed sheriff Sir Richard Hall and his young bride. Over the proceeding decades, it was sold to various well-to-do owners. It was during the possession of Lord Otho Fitzgerald that this stately home would host  King Edward VII and the last surviving family member of the French dynasty, Napoleon IV. It would lie dormant from the mid-1960s until it was sold and converted into a hotel in the early 1980s.

As of March 2019, IMDb lists a combination of 34 films and television shows where Oakley Court has been used as a location. Just a few doors up from the hotel, along the River Thames at the back of the hotel, is Bray Studios. It is not surprising that Bray Studios, the home of Hammer Studios from 1952 to 1966, would have a larger percentage of that number, including works like The Curse of Frankenstein, The Brides of Dracula, and The Plague of Zombies. Bray Studios closed its doors in 2012 but reopened in 2019 following a successful campaign to save the studios with recent productions at the studio including Rocket Man and the BBC’s Dracula. The facade can be viewed if one is to hire a boat from the hotel.

Know Before You Go

If you opt to stay here, be sure to get one of the mansion suites, as other rooms are not part of the original structure. There are only nine of these rooms. You can book an electric boat that you operate yourself to take you and six other passengers along the River Thames for up to an hour. This can be booked between the months of April and October. Reserve through your hotel, advance booking online is advised to avoid disappointment. Check their website for other events happening around Halloween, Christmas, and New Year's.

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