DiCamillo Companion
DiCamillo Griffin Logo

Hughenden Manor

  • House & Family History: The manor of Hughenden was first recorded in 1086, when it was held by William, son of the bishop of Bayeux. The estate is most famous today as the seat of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (created 1st Earl of Beaconsfield in 1876) between 1847 and 1881. The reason Disraeli came to own Hughenden is an interesting one; it was inconceivable, in the 19th century, for the leader of the Conservative Party (the party of the landed gentry and aristocracy) not to own a country house. Disraeli WAS the leader of the Conservatives, and he DIDN'T own a country house, or have the money to purchase one; thus, in 1848, Lord Titchfield and Lord Henry Bentinck loaned Disraeli £25,000 (approximately £17 million in 2012 inflation-adjusted values, using the labour value commodity index) to purchase Hughenden Manor. The core of the house dates from 1738; it was extended in the late 18th century; remodeled circa 1860 by E.B. Lamb for Benjamin Disraeli; the west wing was added circa 1900 for Coningsby Disraeli. Disraeli had no children and thus bequeathed Hughenden to his nephew, Coningsby Disraeli; when he died in 1936 his niece inherited the house. She sold Hughenden in 1937 to W.H. Abbey, who vested the house and its remaining contents to the Disraelian Society. In 1947 the Abbey family and the Disraelian Society donated Hughenden to the National Trust. During World War II Hughenden served as a secret intelligence base code-named "Hillside." The staff of the British Air Ministry based at Hughenden analyzed aerial photography of Germany and created maps for bombing missions, including the famous Dambusters Raid.

    Collections: The library at Hughenden contains a collection of Disraeli's novels, including a volume signed by Queen Victoria, together with books of Isaac D'Israeli, Benjamin's father, originally housed at Bradenham Manor. There were sales from the Hughenden library in 1937.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The park and woodlands cover almost 1,500 acres. The formal garden designed by Disraeli's wife, Lady Beaconsfield, has been restored to its 19th century appearance.

    Chapel & Church: Lady Beaconsfield died in 1872 and Disraeli in 1881; both are buried in a vault adjacent to the churchyard of St. Michael and All Angels, near the house. The church contains a memorial to Disraeli erected by Queen Victoria, the only known instance of a reigning British monarch erecting a memorial to a subject.

  • Architect: Edward Buckton Lamb

    Date: Circa 1860
    Designed: Remodeled House for Benjamin Disraeli

    View all houses
  • Country Life: I, 463, 1897. CXIII, 1604, 1698, 1953.

  • Title: Royal Oak Newsletter, The
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: Summer 2004, pg. 9
    Publisher: New York: The Royal Oak Foundation
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Magazine

    Title: National Trust Magazine, The
    Author: NA
    Year Published: NA
    Reference: No. 99, Summer 2003, pg. 8
    Publisher: Swindon: The National Trust
    ISBN: NA
    Book Type: Magazine

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "A History of Britain" (2000 - TV documentary series). "Johnny English" (2003). "He Knew He Was Right" (2004 - BBC TV mini series). "Gladstone and Disraeli: Clash of the Titans" (2009 - BBC TV documentary). "Desperate Romantics" (2009 - BBC TV mini series). "Marple: The Pale Horse" (2010 - TV series). "W.E." (2011). "Agatha Christie: Poirot: The Big Four" (2014 - TV series, as the interiors of the home of the murdered uncle). "Crooked House" (2017).
  • Past Seat / Home of: Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, 1847-81; Coningsby Disraeli, late 19th-early 20th centuries. W.H. Abbey, 1937-47.

    Current Ownership Type: The National Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01494-755-573

    Fax: 01494-474-284

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No