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A Visual Tour by The Beagle For Beauty: Hughendon & Chenies Manor House

Last summer, which now seems Oh so long ago, we took a couple of little adventures to some beautiful stately homes we wished we owned (but wouldn't have to clean!).

Can anything be really more perfect that an English summer, an English stately home, and a second-hand bookshop, I think not! Hughenden offers a vivid insight into the charismatic personality and colourful private life of Britain's most unlikely Victorian Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. This was his much loved home from 1848 to 1881. The interior of the house is exquisite as you will see but it was the vision and love of his wife Mary Anne who brought design and beauty to the gardens and grounds. Hughendon was also a part of the WWII war effort, doing its bit in the making of secret maps, it was high on Hitler's list to destroy. Aren't we thankful he failed in that also! Disraeli was Britain's first and only Jewish Prime Minister. He was a novelist, debater and flamboyant character who had the sense to marry the wealthy widow Mary Anne. He became a close friend of Queen Victoria, you can see many gifts from her in the home. Anything with a little crown on top was from the Royal family.

Zoe and I took a packed lunch, which we always do so we can spend our pennies on coffee and cake in the many excellent National Trust tea rooms. Deckchairs we provided on the front lawn, what a view. We ate our little picnic here and read our books. The kitchen garden was so beautiful and restful with an abundance of flowers and produce. We went for a woodland walk and came across an area where the families beloved dogs were buried. Do you have a favourite room or item? I fell in love with the lemon bedroom and the ornate dressing table.

Although Chenies has never been a royal residence it has enjoyed the company Kings, Dukes and Earls in its time. The house and grounds have been used in several films and TV series, Poirot, Little Dorrit and The Midsomer Murders among them. We enjoyed another glorious summer day on our visit which seems like forever ago now. Roman ruins have been found on the site dating between the 1st and 4th centuries. A house has been listed here since 1165 and the existing church has parts dating to the 12th century. It has passed through several owners over many centuries but John Russel the 1st Earl of Bedford made the most extensive additions and renovations to the property between 1530 to 1550 this house is lived in to this day, I think you can pick up on the homely vibe from these images can’t you. There is a most lovely summer house as you go into the gardens. We sat in the walled garden and enjoyed our refreshments. The trained apple trees looked like grape vines, can you see them? I hope you've enjoyed these images and little tour, I admit it's been lovely to gaze on them in these cold winter days. Until next time when I can share other trips, take care -

Jacqui X


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