Wonderful visits to the homes of Prime Ministers and Soldiers
From the emergence of the England that followed Magna Carta and the foundations of Parliament, Britain’s historic trail has been forged by scores of political and military leaders. Often we know their accomplishments, but little about them as people. Here are 10 great visits into their homes, which reflect and reveal much about their influences and private lives beyond the public stage. All the homes make delightful visits, even if you know nothing of their famous inhabitants.
Sherborne Castle—Sir Walter Raleigh
Twice Prime Minister in the mid-1880s, Henry Temple, the 3rd Viscount Palmerston, was born and lived on the family estate in the Hampshire market town of Romsey. The Palladian mansion may be stately, but retains the flavor of a family home. Palmerston’s statue stands in the town square.
Houghton Hall—Robert Walpole
Stratfield Saye—The Duke of Wellington
Blenheim Palace—John Churchill
Begun in 1705 and completed in 1733, the extravagant stately home in Woodstock was a gift to the 1st Duke of Marlborough by Queen Anne following the great general’s string of victories in the War of the Spanish Succession. The family unobtrusively resides there to this day.
Buckland Abbey—Sir Francis Drake
The swash-buckling privateer, explorer and courtier bought the estate after the Dissolution of the Monestaries and made his home here on the edge of Dartmoor. The medieval monastic church-cum-Elizabethan manor remained in his family for 400 years.
Hughenden Manor—Benjamin Disraeli
The country estate of Victorian PM Benjamin Disraeli near High Wycombe, Bucks, gave him a rural escape from the pressures of government as well. Overlooking the Hughenden Valley, the brick manor house presents the statesman at home and the country life he loved.
Quebec House—General Wolfe
Explore life as it was in the 1730s at this fine brick 17th-century townhouse in Westerham, Kent. Gen. James Wolfe spent his childhood here then. It was renamed Quebec House following the great general’s victory in the Battle of Quebec, which claimed his life.
Burghley House—William Cecil
The 1st Baron Burghley was Secretary of State and close confidante of Queen Elizabeth I. It was only fitting that he should have built one of the great houses of Elizabethan architecture, still home to Cecil’s descendents. The Queen herself visited the estate bordering Stamford, Lincolnshire, eight times.