Hughenden Manor: a Victorian home with a military secret
A house with two tales, Hughenden Manor has a rich history. On one hand it was the Victorian home to Benjamin Disraeli, Queen Victoria's favourite Prime Minister. On the other, it was the base for a secret map-making organisation during the Second World War. Both stories can be explored as you roam the historic building.
Visiting the manor
Talks & Tours
Join a daily guided tour of the Manor at 10.40am. If you're arriving early it's a great way to learn about Hughenden's history and discover highlights in the principle rooms of the Manor. There is no additional charge for the tour, but please do pick up a ticket from our Visitor Welcome Kiosk on arrival. Arrive early to avoid disappointment, as it is limited to 16 people.
Free talks run throughout the day and provide an opportunity to learn more about Hughenden's two stories. A fifteen minute Disraeli talk runs at 12 noon, 1.30pm and 3.45pm. The thirty minute Operation Hillside talk runs at 12.45pm and 3pm, inlcuding a visit to the Ice House. There's no need to book, just meet at the Manor entrance.
Queen Victoria's favourite Prime Minister
Hughenden was purchased by Benjamin Disraeli as his country home in 1848 and was cherished by himself and his wife Mary Anne. Securing the manor was vital to the realisation of his political ambitions and his personal aspirations and it provided the setting for political drama, royal visits and a personal love story.
Over the course of three floors you will discover insights into the personal and political life of this most unlikely of prime ministers. On the ground and first floor see Disraeli's collection in the rooms he loved, including his library and study. On the second floor explore new exhibition spaces.
Meet the map-makers
Step back in time in Hughenden's Second World War exhibition and delve into the secret lives of the Hillside map makers.
Most of Hughenden's wartime activities only became known comparatively recently. A chance visit by a man who worked in the house during the war has led to over a decade long unravelling of the Operation Hillside story previously kept under wraps.
Visit the cellars in the house to find out more about the story, and see the recreated dark room in the ice house. The annual 1940s weekend in September brings a wartime atmosphere and is very popular.