Hughenden

Hughenden has become very well-known because Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, lived at Hughenden Manor from 1847 until his death in 1881. Queen Victoria sent primroses, his favourite flower, to his funeral and these were placed on his grave in Hughenden churchyard, which is visited annually by the Primrose League.
The name Hughenden is derived from Hughendene or Hitchen-den signifying the dene or valley of the Hitchen. The Manor, not far from the Church, is now National Trust property and open to visitors most of the year. There are rooms exactly as they were in Disraeli's time and many mementoes of the great man.
St Michael and All Angels, 'The Church in the Park', must be situated in one of the prettiest sites in the country, with Hughenden Park on one side and farmland on the other. There has been a church there for over 800 years. Those with Second World War memories can recall the stained glass east window being shattered by a flying bomb and then delicately being put together again using most of the old glass. There is an unique memorial to Disraeli in the church from Queen Victoria reading 'This memorial is placed by his grateful Sovereign and Friend Victoria R.I. Kings love him that speaketh right. Proverbs XVI 13'.
The Church House in the south-west corner of the churchyard is a medieval building which housed a small community of monks. It was restored in 1930 by Coningsby Disraeli and contains a minstrels gallery.

Hughenden gradually developed from the church northwards with a farm, cottages and now estates on what used to be extensive orchards, mainly cherry. There are still some of the original old orchards left in gardens. A delightful stream meanders by the farm and under a pretty bridge, flowing and broadening into the Wye in Wycombe. Springs were very prevalent in the valley, causing some flooding, but these have now subsided, helped by a modern pumping station, from which half a million gallons of water are pumped daily from a 200 ft well.
Further along from the farm along the busy highway the mainly residential area is reached, with pleasant houses and gardens. A good proportion of young people with families live here and also retired folk. Daily many commute to their place of business in London and nearby towns.

Hughenderi valley is a beautiful place, and, as most people say — 'We wouldn't want to live anywhere else'.

Article written by members of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes for the publication "The Buckinghamshire Village Book" (1987) and reproduced here with their permission