The Best Castles & Stately Homes in Buckinghamshire

Buckinghamshire is a county in the southeast of England and it’s one of the Home Counties as its borders Greater London. The county features Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Beauty in the south of the county, that attracts many walkers and cyclists. In the north, you will find the Vale of Aylesbury with beautiful landscapes and historic houses.

The famous Rothschild family built several houses in Buckinghamshire, specifically in the Vale of Aylesbury. Their houses are worthy of a visit for their architecture and as they display the famous Rothschild art and furniture collection.

But you can find more castles and historic country houses in Buckinghamshire. From a 14th-century gatehouse to lavish homes that welcomed some of England’s most famous residents like Queen Victoria. The historic houses in Buckinghamshire are filled with lavish interiors, interesting stories, and they are set in a fine landscape. These are the best castles and historic houses in Buckinghamshire that you can visit.

photo: John Bointon / CC BY 2.0

Hughenden Manor

Hughenden Manor is an 18th century Jacobean country house that was the home of Queen Victoria’s favorite Prime Minister: Benjamin Disraeli.

Disraeli and his wife Mary Anne loved Hughenden and it was the home has a rich history of political drama and royal visits.

The basement at Hughenden Manor was used as a secret intelligance base called “Hillside” during the Second World War. It was here that aerial photogrpahs of Germany were analysed and bombing missions were planned.

Today Hughenden Manor is owned by the National Trust. The house is re-created as Benjaming Disraeli would have known them. On the ground floor you’ll find the library with an extensive book collection. Including his own novels and one written and signed by Queen Victoria. Upstairs you’ll find Disraeli’s study, bedroom and Mary Anne’s boudoir along with the black silk robe worn by Disraeli as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

An exhibition called “The Royal Gifts of Hughenden” shows Israeli’s close relationship with Queen Victoria.

Where: Hughenden

Built: 18th centruy

Style: Jacobean

Visitor information: the house is open to the public. Visit the website for more information.  

photo: DeFacto / CC BY-SA 4.0

Waddesdon Manor

Waddesdon Manor is a late 19th century country house built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild. The house is designed in Neo-Renaissance style which is inspired by French châteaux.

The house was built to show the expansive art collection of the Baron and to entertain the fashionable world. Many important figures have visited Waddesdon Manor including King Edward VII and Queen Victoria.

Waddesdon Manor opened to the public in 1959. It showcases the Rothschild collections of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.

On the Waddesdon Estate you will also find Eythrope, a Jacobean/French Renaissance-style house that was built for Alice de Rothschild. In this house, she displayed her collection and entertained friends. The four-acre walled garden, glasshouse, and orchard op Eythrope can be visited.  

Where: Aylesbury

Built: 1874-1885

Style: neo Renaissance

Visitor information: the house and gardens are open to visitors. Visit the website for more information.

Related post: Visit the Rothschild country houses in Europe

photo: Peter O’Connor / CC BY-SA 2.0

West Wycombe Park

Sir Francis Dashwood wanted to build an Italian-style house after he got inspired by his travels through Italy. Because the building of the house took so long, the house is now a bend of Palladian and Neoclassical architectural styles.

The interiors also feature a blend of styles, from the  Neoclassical entrance hall you can visit eight rooms in Baroque and Rococo styles.

The grounds are designed in a natural landscape style with follies in classical style and temples. The gardens are one of the finest original 18th century gardens in England.

Where: West Wycombe

Built: 18th century

Style: Palladian and Neoclassical

Visitor information: the house is open to visitors. Visit the website for more information.

photo: Michael Garlick / Dorney Court / CC BY-SA 2.0

Dorney Court

Dorney Court is a Tudor manor house owned by the Palmer family. At the end of the nineteenth century, the house was remodeled. While the exterior looks medieval, it is actually a reconstruction from the Victorian times.

The oldest part of the house is the paneled parlour with antique furniture. The house is also used as a filming location.

Where: Dorney

Built: 1440

Style: Tudor

Visitor information: the house is open to visitors. Visit the website for more information.


Stowe House

Stowe House is a 17th century country house in Buckinghamshire. The house was mainly built during four periods  in the 17th and 18th centuries. The house was built by the powerful Temple-Grenville family who set this grand house in a landscape filled with temples.

The house is filled with rooms imitating ancient worlds and classical ruins. All the excessive spending led to bankruptcy, the richest family in England became the greatest debtors in the world.

Though the house is used as a school. It is also restored and open to the public.

Where: Stowe

Built: 17th century

Style: English Baroque, Palladian, Neoclassical

Visitor information: the house and gardens are open to the public. Visit the website for more information.

photo: Alex / CC BY 2.0

Mentmore Towers

Mentmore is a 19th century country house and it was the first country house in the Vale of Aylesbury, built for the Rothschild family. The house was built in Jacobethan style as a place for Baron Mayer de Rothschild to display his art collection.

Mentmore Towers was inherited by his daughter Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery. The house remained in the Earls of Rosebery family until it was sold off in 1974. After that, it was used by the Maharishi Foundation and as a Gold and Country Club.

Where: Mentmore

Built: 1852-1854

Style: Jacobethan

Visitor information: the house is not open to visitors.

photo: Paul Shreeve / Ascott House / CC BY-SA 2.0

Ascott House

Ascott House is a 16th century half-timbered house in Buckinghamshire. In 1873, the house was bought by Baron Mayer de Rothschild, who already owned Mentmore Towers. The Rothschild family transformed the manor into a great country home with a grand furniture and art collection.   

Surrounding the house lie beautifully manicured gardens after a design by Sir Harry Veitch.

Where: Wing

Built: 16th century

Style: Tudor

Visitor information: the house and gardens are open to visitors. Visit the website for more information.

photo: Outwivcamera / CC BY-SA 4.0

Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park is an English country house that was used as the main center of Allied code-breaking during the Second World War. The mansion was built in 1883 for Sir Herbert Leon in a combination of Gothic, Tudor, and Dutch Baroque style.

During World War Two, Bletchley Park houses the Government Code and Cypher School. Here codebreakers like Alan Turing tried to break the codes from German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers. It wasn’t until the mid-1970s.that information about this program was made public.

Bletchley Park is now open as a museum where you can learn more about the code-breaking work during the Second World War.   

Where: Milton Keynes

Built: 1883

Style: Gothic, Tudor, Dutch Baroque

Visitor information: the house is open to visitors. Visit the website for more information.

Boarstall Tower

Boarstall Tower is a 14th century moated gatehouse with beautiful gardens in Buckinghamshire. The name comes from a legend. It is told that King Edward the Confessor granted this piece of land to one of his men who slayed a wild boar. The manor that stood here was demolished in 1778 but the fortified tower remains.

The tower was granted to the National Trust by philanthropist Ernest Cook.

Where: Boarstall

Built: 1312

Visitor information: the tower is currently (2022) not open to the public. Visit the National Trust website for the latest information.

Claydon House by Paul Buckingham / CC BY-SA 2.0

Claydon House

Claydon House is an 18th century country house that has been the family seat of the Verney family since 1620. The house was built to rival Stowe House, a nearby manor, however, only parts of the house as it was in those days are still standing.

The interiors of Claydon House are magnificent in Rococo style. It has beautiful 18th century state rooms and rich woodwork and carvings.

Florence Nightingale spent much time at Claydon House, she was even given a number of rooms to work on her books. Sir Harry Verney married Parthenope, Florence’s sister. She became a favorite aunt to the children of Edmund Verney (Sir Harry’s eldest son).

Where: Middle Claydon

Built: 18th century

Visitor information: the house is owned by the National trust and is open to the public. Visit the website for more information.

photo: John Bointon / CC BY 2.0


Cliveden House is a 19th century Italianate mansion in Buckinghamshire, close to the border with Berkshire. Cliveden has been the home of many influential people. It was first built for the 2nd Duke of Sutherland. Later, it becomes the home of the Prince of Wales, two Dukes, an Earl, and eventually the Viscounts Astor.   

When it was the home of Nancy Astor in the 1920s and 30s, Cliveden became a meeting place for a group of intellectuals called the Cliveden Set. It was also the main setting for a big English scandal. In the 1960s, Cliveden was the home of the 3rd Viscount Astor who was involved in the Profumo affair, the BBC has created a tv drama about this Scandal.

Surrounding the house lie beautiful gardens and woodlands overlooking the River Thames.

Cliveden House is currently a luxury five-star country house hotel. The gardens are open to visitors via the National Trust.

Where: Taplow

Built: 1851

Style: Palladian

Visitor information: the gardens and woodland are open to visitors. It’s one of the National Trust’s most visited properties. Visit the website for opening hours.


Halton House

Halton House is a country house in French chateau style in Buckinghamshire. The house was built by Alfred Freiherr de Rothschild who was inspired by Waddesdon Manor which belonged to this brother-in-law Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild.

Halton House is now an RAF officer’s mess, but it is also frequently used as a film location for television series and movies like Bridgerton, The Crown, The Queen, and The King’s Speech.

Where: Halton

Built: 1880

Style: French chateau

Visitor information: the house is not open to the public.

Hartwell House

Hartwell House is a 17th century country house that is best known for being the home of the exiled French king Louis XVIII in the 19th century. The house shows a mixture of styles, in its core it is Jacobean, with a Georgian front, and Rococo interiors.

Today, Hartwell House is a four star country house hotel with a spa. Book your stay.  

Similar Posts