History of Hughenden

Hughenden is best known as the country home of Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, and more recently as a top-secret map making facility in the Second World War. However, the history of Hughenden stretches back almost a thousand years before this.



The story begins with 'Huchedene'

Hughenden takes its name from its setting. In Old English it means the dene – long valley – of a man called Huhha. At the Normal Conquest, it had been granted to the King’s powerful half-brother, Bishop Odo of Bayeux and the Doomsday Book of 1086 records a modest farm dwelling on the site of ‘Huchedene’:

1086 Doomsday book Hugenden Reference


Hughenden's medieval history

Hughenden remained crowned land until the early 12th century when Henry I gave it to his chamberlain, Geoffrey de Clinton who may have built the original parish church which dates to this period. The earliest surviving parts of the present building are the chancel and north chapel, c. 13th or 14th century.

Hughenden Church walls


Sir Robert Dormer

In 1538 the estate passed to Sir Robert Dormer who came from one of the leading Catholic families in Buckinghamshire. Early in the 17th century the Dormers built a set of almshouses beside the church. Hughenden remained part of the Dormers’ estate until 1737.