West Wycombe Park was the
magnificent home of the notorious Dashwood
family. Sir Francis Dashwood was a leader of
the scandalous Hell Fire Club, which dabbled
with occult rituals, many of which were
performed at nearby Medmenham Abbey.
The Palladian mansion is set in grounds landscaped by both ‘Capability’ Brown and Sir Humphrey Repton. Dashwood is buried in a mausoleum in a local hilltop church.
Nearby is Chequers, the 16th century retreat of British Prime Ministers since 1917. It was put into the hands of a trust set up by Lord Lee of Fareham. The property was built on the site of a 13th century residence owned by Lawrence de Saccario (meaning ‘chequer’).