It was formerly a public house, known as the White Hart because King Richard II's wife, Catherine of Valois was kept prisoner at the Bishop's Palace in the village after his death. In 1989, the original White Hart was combined with The Red House, previously a private home on Lee's Hill where the dramatist Sir Terence Rattigan resided during 1945–47, to become The Great House.Angela Perkins, The Book of Sonning: The story of an English village, 2nd edition. Buckingham: Baron Books, 1999. ISBN 0-86023-659-5. Page 152.