Page updated Sunday, July 24th, 2011
|Oakley Court Hotel, Windsor, Berkshire|
Rocky Horror Picture Show original filming location
|Image Gallery Rocky Horror Picnic Show 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011|
"Wasn't that a Castle we passed a few miles back up the road?"
Actually it's now a prestige hotel, although at the time of filming The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Oakley Court was a dilapidated shell. The crew had to work around buckets catching the rainwater from the holes in the roof and tread carefully on the old rotting timbers. It is said that most of the cast caught very bad colds during filming.
The house was originally built in 1859 for Sir Richard Hall Say. He had married a young French woman and some say that to make her feel less homesick the house was constructed in a classic French Chateau style.
In 1919, Mr. Ernest Olivier purchased the house and fifty acres of woodland for Twenty Seven Thousand Pounds and after his death in 1965 the property stood empty, making it an ideal setting for many films from the nearby Bray Studios. Over 200 films were made that featured the house or it's grounds. As well as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, many of the Hammer House of Horror and the St.Trinians films were made at Oakley Court. Here's a few to start you off: The House in Nightmare Park, The Reptile, Dracula and Half a Sixpence.
The conversion of Oakley Court began in 1979, adding two new wings to house most of the Hotel's bedrooms, although six restored suites are still available in the main building. As much of the original furniture and plaster as possible was restored to it's former splendour. On 7th November, 1981, after two years of building and restoration, and Five Million Pounds spent on the property, Oakley Court Hotel opened for business.
Many of the areas used in the film remain, particularly of interest to Rocky Fans is the original staircase, although the lift shaft has been removed. The Griffins (Gryphens, and other spellings!) remain outside the main entrance, although at one stage they sported concrete muzzles, probably added during production of the Hammer films. These have now been carefully removed and they are restored to their former glory.
An interesting continuity error from the film is in the way Brad and Janet approach the house. They start at the main gates to the house, walk to the back of the property, where Riff Raff stands at a rear window, finally ending up back at the front entrance.
If you are thinking of visiting Oakley Court or wish to stay for a few days their telephone number is 01753 609988, we have always found them very helpful but whatever you do don't just turn up in full Rocky gear as they are a working Hotel and they may have a conference, wedding or other function happening. The one time we can all dress up with no problems is for our annual fan club picnic each August.
Oakley Court has also featured in many television shows, from an entire morning of C4's Sunday morning show to more a slightly seedy country hotel in Murder Rooms (shown 2nd October, 2001). It also featured as a still image in a Cluedo board game advert in November 2002.
Remember the great action series of the 70's, The Professionals, well that featured the Court in an episode called Blind Run, first shown in 1978 and now available on DVD. It hurts to watch as Martin Shaw smashed the reception door stained glass windows to shoot a gun through! Lot's more (special effect) damage is reaped on the interior of the building, next time I go I'm going to look for the repairs on the bullet holes! The exterior shots of the steel doors apparently leading the Oakley Court were taken somewhere else, just in case you are wondering. Weird coincidence time.......Patricia Quinn and Raynor Bourton also appeared in episodes of The Professionals
TimeWarp celebrated our 18th birthday with a Picnic at Oakley Court on Sunday 27th August 2006 we called The Rocky Horror Picnic Show. Forty six fans attended, stayed the night and even got to watch the movie at the location it was filmed and meet Richard O'Brien! Click here for a full section on this event and a hundred images from the day. We also ran the event in 2007, 2008 and 2009, 2010. The 2010 event had eighty three of us there! The 2011 event will be taking bookings soon. We hope to continue the Picnic each year.
Stephanie and I spent our honeymoon night in the bedroom that overlooks the doorway way back in May 1990, we also spent our 15th wedding anniversary in the room in the right hand corner of the image above. Our good friends, and great Rocky fans, Mike and Cathy did even better and got married at Oakley Court in 1999. They even had their reception party themed to films connected with the building. Click here to see some pictures from their special day. Click here to see the best man's Rocky Horror themed speech, well worth reading!
Rocky fan Joanne Broome married Matt Stanton at Oakley Court in 2011. Jo sends us some images and information about her special day.
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