New rooms opened at Hughenden
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Latest update 15.10.2013 12:06
We have opened three new rooms on the top floor of Hughenden Manor near High Wycombe, giving you the chance to enjoy fine views and see rare items from the collection of memorabilia and belongings once owned by the great Victorian Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli.
Light, airy and modern, the rooms are very different from the Victorian interiors in the rest of the Manor. Here you can relax and find out more about the country home and estate, as well as the life and passions of Disraeli, who was known to his wife and close friends as 'Dizzy'.
The first room, A Room with a View, offers fine views over the formal gardens and across the Chilterns countryside to the Disraeli Monument, commissioned by Disraeli’s wife Mary-Anne to commemorate the life of his father, Isaac. Binoculars will help you explore the landscape. There’s alse a flat-screen television mounted on the wall showing a fascinating bird’s eye view of the whole estate with an aerial film shot by a camera attached to a remote-controlled mini-helicopter
Disraeli inherited a love of literature as well as a fine collection of books from his father, and the new Literary Room invites you to explore this aspect of his life. The library is of national significance and the oldest book in the collection, a hand-written and illustrated manuscript published in 1477, is on public display in the new room for the first time ever.
Punch cartoons featuring Disraeli add a touch of humour to the room as well as a fascinating social context. Here you can sit and browse through a range of books about the life and times of Queen Victoria’s favorite Prime Minister, as well as many of his own writings, whilst listening to extracts from his novels and letters.
The third room is the Elevation Room, so called because it is the highest room in the Manor, and because it also shows objects reflecting Disraeli’s climb up 'the greasy pole' of politics. Here you can see his earl’s robes and ceremonial shoes, one of which is slightly misshapen because his left foot was often swollen with gout.
The transformation of the three rooms which were previously used as offices, was master-minded by our Heritage Manager, Robert Bandy, who joined the National Trust in 2012. ‘We wanted to offer you a place to relax and enjoy a close look at some of the highlights of the collection, some of which have never been on public display before,’ says Robert.
'We think the rooms complement the formal showrooms in the main part of the Manor which are presented as Disraeli would like, with all the paraphernalia and formality of the Victorian age. From the new rooms you can also see views of the whole estate which is more extensive than many people realise.'