thu12sepAll DaySOLD OUT - Chilterns Country Visit: Hampden House and Adwell HouseLed by Andrew Wells(All Day: thursday) Book now

Event Details


All day (inc. lunch at Adwell)

The day is a unique opportunity for members to visit two handsome private family houses deep in the Chilterns, open only rarely for connoisseur tours.

Hampden House, near Great Missenden, is a gallimaufry of dates and styles, given external cohesion by 18th-century gothicisation, crenellation and stucco.  A family of soldiers, statesmen and politicians, the Hampdens were at Hampden from at least as early as Domesday 1086 and via various ramifications until 1939. The most celebrated was John Hampden ‘the Patriot’ and opponent of Charles I’s Ship Money tax, who extended the diapered-brick Elizabethan house c 1620-40.  His great-grandson Richard, Treasurer of the Navy and unsuccessful South Sea stock speculator, and his brother John, the last Hampden in the male line (died 1754), gave the house much of its present external appearance.  His kinsman and heir was Robert Trevor,1st Viscount Hampden, diplomat, statesman and talented architectural draughtsman, whose family lived there until it became a school 1939-78. Internally the 17th-century hall gallery balustrade and one staircase remain and the eastern principal rooms contain good 18th-century plaster decoration and chimney pieces. In 1982 Tim and Susie Oliver purchased and rescued Hampden, returning this Grade I house to its historic glory.

Adwell House, 13 miles west of Hampden near Tetsworth, has not changed hands for payment since William Newell bought the manor for £1,400 in 1680. In 1847 this Grade II* house passed to John Newell Birch, son of Mary Newell and her husband George Birch, who left it to his nephew Henry Birch Reynardson in 1867.  Henry’s great-great-grandson Thomas Birch Reynardson and his wife Imogen are kindly allowing members to see Adwell.  The present 5-bay, 2-storey house dates from the early 18th century and is of block-rendered brick under a parapet with a single-bay projecting centre and Doric porch. Its present appearance dates from the mid-18th century ownership of Esther, widow of the last male Newell owner and her daughter Elizabeth from whom it was inherited by Mary Birch and then her son John.  Internally there are late 18th-century chimney pieces and a handsome apse-ended hall leading to a staircase with an early 19th-century cast-iron balustrade beneath a dome.

Lunch will kindly be provided at Adwell and Andrew Wells leads.

Coach transport from the nearest station and between the houses is provided in the ticket. If you would like to use your own transport please notify us when booking

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All Day (Thursday)

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