The Disraelis bought Hughenden in 1848. In the early 1860s the Georgian stucco was removed to reveal the original brickwork. Additional pinnacles, new windows and elaborate brickwork completely modernised the manor.
Mary Anne's drawing room
Mary Anne Disraeli adored bright colours, especially blue and gold. These colours can be seen in the drawing room and bedroom.
Books, books and more books
Benjamin loved books. He wrote 21 books during his life time. When he was particularly hard up, he would write a book to quickly make money. He once said 'if I want to read a novel I will write it myself'.
Mary Anne's foot
Benjamin had a marble sculpture of Mary Anne's foot made from an original cast. He got the idea from Queen Victoria who had casts of her children's feet made.
Benjamin spent a lot of time in his library. He inherited 25,000 books from his father but sold many of them to pay his debts.
Disraeli the unlikely prime minister
The serious side of Disraeli’s political career is most evident in his study with iconic items such as a red dispatch box. A more light-hearted view is painted by cartoons of the period or quotes such as his explanation of the difference between a misfortune and a calamity. Younger visitors will enjoy spotting evocative Victorian items or dressing up in styles of the era.
Disraeli the author
Disraeli’s witty observations led to his popularity as an author and the books he wrote as well as many that inspired him are in his library. Some of his books were partly set in industrialised Britain and paved the way for books such as Hard Times by Dickens. In the light and airy viewing rooms at the top of the house, memorabilia includes the cheque he received as an advance for one of his books.
Secrets of war
Hughenden’s 1940’s wartime role was such a closely guarded secret it only became clear comparatively recently. Closeness to Chequers and the wooded hillside surroundings meant it was convenient for Churchill and hard to spot from enemy reconnaissance planes. The basement and ice house now allow the story to be told with informative displays and interactive exhibits.
Hughenden the home
Disraeli preferred the company of women and was a favourite of Queen Victoria. Whilst he married Mary Anne for her money she declared that if he were to marry her again it would be for love. Perhaps the happiness they found is one reason visitors often comment on the relaxed and liveable air of this Victorian home.