Visiting the National Trust Site
The Country Home of British Diplomat Benjamin Disraeli
Hughendon is the country of home of Queen Victoria’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. Disraeli and his wife, Mary Ann, enjoyed the home for over 30 years.
When you enter the home on the ground floor, you find the rooms have been re-created as they would have been during Disraeli’s time in the home. The dining room is set for a royal visit and the library is full of his books.
The first floor is home to Disraeli’s study and bedroom. A visitor can also find Mary Anne’s boudoir along with the black silk robe worn by Disraeli as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The top floor houses a timeline of Disraeli’s history.
A Link to World War II
Hughendon also has a link to World War II. During the war, it was the home of a secret map making operation. This operation was so secret, it was only discovered when a house volunteer happened to overhear a visitor explaining to his grandson how he had been stationed at Hughendon during the war! There is now an exhibit on the ground floor which shares the history the home as a vital supporter of British pilots and Bomber Command. Codenamed “Hillside”, Hughendon was one of Hitler’s most sought after targets.
A Home You Could Live In
One thought that kept coming back to me upon touring the home was this was a home you could actually live in! The rooms are still set as though the Disraeli’s are just out for the afternoon and might return at any moment. The Library is home to 100’s of books. The Drawing Room looks as if you could take tea and enjoy a scone. Mary Anne’s bed is neatly made with the windows in the room open to the bright sunshine to stream inside.
The Dining Room was one of my favorites. The table is set as if Queen Victoria is going to be in attendance. A fun fact is that one of the chair’s legs have been cut short to accommodate the very petite Queen.
In Disraeli’s office, you can see many of his personal items, including the red box that was used to transport important papers between Disraeli and Queen Victoria. As a self-proclaimed history nerd, I just love to see this kind of stuff!
In addition to the home, the grounds are beautiful as well. Mary Anne played a major role in the design of the gardens and they do not disappoint. It is easy to see that the home and gardens were a wonderful respite from London for the Disraeli’s.
There is also a church at the foot of the hill leading to the home. Benjamin and Mary Anne are both buried here.
For more information and to plan your visit, click here to visit the National Trust Hughendon Website.