Maidenhead's Got Talent
See our young performers at their best...

Taplow Court

Taplow Court, a mid 19th century mansion set high above the Thames near Maidenhead, is the home of SGI-UK, a lay Buddhist society. SGI-UK is part of a world-wide network of organisations in over 190 countries that aims to contribute to a more peaceful and harmonious world through educational and cultural activities based on the philosophy of the 13th century Japanese sage, Nichiren Daishonin. He taught that each person can transform not only their own lives, but also society and the environment, by revealing their most positive and creative potential through the practice of Buddhism.

The Taplow site has a long history of continuous human habitation. In the Iron Age a massive hillfort covered the site and the famous 7th century Anglo-Saxon burial mound can still be seen in the garden. There has been a manor house here since before 1066 and the manor was successively owned by the monks of Merton Priory, until the Dissolution, and then by the Hampson family in the 17th century, who came under attack during the Civil War.

In the 18th century, Taplow Court was the home of the Earls and Countesses of Orkney. The first Earl fought at the Battles of the Boyne and Blenheim and was created first British Field Marshall. In the mid 19th century the house was given its present Jacobean-revival / French Gothic appearance by the architect William Burn.

At the turn of the 19th/20th centuries, the great sportsman, William Henry Grenfell and his wife Ettie, hosted gatherings of the elite, aristocratic social group, 'the Souls', here. Their eldest son, Julian Grenfell, one of the war poets, was killed in 1915.

After the Second World War, Taplow Court was owned by British Telecommunications Research and Plessey Electronics. SGI-UK came here in 1988. Today, the house and other buildings on site are used for courses and conferences for the societies own members and also in cooperation with other like-minded educational and charitable organisations. The Library of the European Branch of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy is based at Taplow Court and students may have access to over 10,000 books by appointment.

The Rotary Club of Maidenhead Charitable Trust Registered No: 102505