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The history of Hughenden

View of the house from the parkland at Hughenden, Buckinghamshire
View of the house from the parkland at Hughenden, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

Hughenden is best known as the country home of Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, and more recently as a top-secret map-making facility during the Second World War. However, there's almost a thousand years of history stretching back before either story for you to discover.

A brief history of Hughenden

The origins of the estate date back beyond the first records in the Domesday book. In more recent history the land was farmed, and the dwelling was a humble farmhouse. This building was only upgraded to a ‘gentleman’s residence’ when it was converted in 1738.

The Hughenden Manor we know today was remodelled in 1862 for Benjamin Disraeli by architect Edward Buckton Lamb. As prospective leader of the Conservative Party, Disraeli needed a suitable country seat, so in 1848 he bought the Hughenden estate and continued the process of Gothicising the house begun by an earlier owner, the antiquary John Norris.

Take a look at the timeline through the ages to find out all about the people that shaped this interesting estate.

Hughenden through the ages

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The story begins with 'Huchedene'

Hughenden takes its name from its setting. In Old English it means the dene, or long valley, of a man called Huhha. Formerly part of Queen Edith's lands, at the Norman Conquest it was granted to the King’s powerful half-brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. The Domesday Book of 1086 records a farm dwelling on the site of ‘Huchedene’.

View of the house from the parkland at Hughenden, Buckinghamshire

Discover more at Hughenden

Find out when Hughenden is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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