I stayed with friends in central Buckinghamshire, on the north-west edge of the Chiltern Hills, recently. They laid on a great programme of visits for me, mostly at National Trust properties. (We are all members.)
The first was to Hughenden, the home of 19th century British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, later Earl of Beaconsfield, (1804-1881). Images, in two and three dimensions, of Disraeli abounded throughout the house. I have no idea whether this one was added in his lifetime.This was the first we saw inside the house. in the porch.But I stopped taking photos of them after that.
John Tenniel was a great cartoonist (in Punch Magazine for over 50 years) and illustrator, perhaps most well-known for his work on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. It is thought that Disraeli may have been the model for the Mad Hatter.The feud between Tory Disraeli and Whig W S Gladstone (1809 -1898) was one of the great political confrontations in British 19th century history. When the latter succeeded the former as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he refused to pay for the furniture of 11 Downing Street, so Disraeli refused to hand over the Chancellor’s robe. It has been at Hughenden ever since.
Over the mantelpiece of this bedroom is a double portrait of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, given by the Queen to Disraeli in grateful recognition of his securing funding for the Albert Memorial.
Disraeli was a prolific novelist throughout his life. (He wrote a novel, not as well-known as some of the others, though still available, called Venetia.) Here is one of his better known, Sybil. A whole room was devoted to his writings.During World War II, Hughenden was known as Hillside, a secret target map-making base, and there was an exhibition about this in the basement.
It was good to go outside to the rear garden.I noticed these original hinges on the stable doors Buckinghamshire is red kite country, and, back at my hosts’ house, I was pleased to see the birds swooping overhead, though less pleased with my photographic efforts. However, one kite kindly settled in a tree some way away. Not one, but two National Trust properties the next day, (though one did not allow inside photography).