A Georgian country house

Charles Savage, a wealthy London merchant, acquired the estate in 1738 and converted the Tudor farmhouse on the hill into a gentleman’s residence. The new Manor was a fashionably symmetrical Georgian building with a white stucco finish, surrounded by naturalistic landscaping typical of the period. A sundial on the flint walls of the entrance to the Walled Garden is dated 1749 with the inscription Hora passus – ‘Time passes’.

Hughenden Georgian Manor


The Norris Family

In 1771 Hughenden passed to Savage’s relatives the Norris family. When distinguished scholar and antiquary John Norris inherited the house in 1816 he set about Gothicising the interior to reflect the fashion of the time, with elaborate mouldings, arched doorways and panelled ceilings. The manor's exterior remained a typical example of simple Georgian classicism and was described as the ‘prettiest place in the county’. In the 1820s, Norris established the parkland planting limes, chestnuts, walnuts and sycamores.

Hughunden John Norris Portrait


Benjamin Disraeli buys Hughenden

Following the death of Norris the 750 acre estate came on the market in 1846 at a price of £35,000, significantly beyond Disraeli’s means. In September 1848, borrowing heavily to do so, Disraeli purchased the Manor. The newly elected Member of Parliament for Buckinghamshire now had all the necessary attributes to become a leading political figure.

1852 portrait of Benjamin Disraeli