Building record 0050001000 - CHEQUERS COURT


Sixteenth century country house built 1565 with later extensions, remodelled in Gothick style in 19th century and restored 1890-1917.

Protected Status/Designation

  • Listed Building (I) 1125879: CHEQUERS


Type and Period (2)

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (Built 1565, 16th Century to Modern - 1500 AD to 1999 AD)
  • (Alternate Type) GREAT HOUSE (16th Century - 1500 AD to 1599 AD)


Said originally to have built 1326 (B1).
Grade I. Mansion. Built 1565 for William Hawtrey, possibly incorporating remains of earlier building. S. front completed early C17. Remodelled in Gothick style early C19 for Robert Greenhill Russell by William Atkinson, pupil of James Wyatt. Restored to Elizabethan appearance c.1890-1917 by Sir Reginald Blomfield for Astley family and Sir Arthur Lee, Viscount Fareham. Brick with stone dressings and old tile roofs. Diagonal brick chimney shafts with offset heads. Courtyard plan with C19 central infill. 2 storeys and attic. N. front of 8 bays retains most original detail, with stone quoins, string courses, and parapet coping carried over 5 small gables. 4-light stone mullion windows, double transomed and part renewed, with canted bay windows to bays 2 and 6. These bays have shaped stone parapets with C16 heraldic devices. 5 cross windows to attic. Door to right of centre with 4-centred stone arch and carved spandrels. S. front has 7 original bays, the outer and centre bays gabled and projecting. Narrow bays flanking centre are recessed and have first floor stone frieze with Astley motto "Justitia tenax". Late C19 stone mullion and transom windows, matching those of N. front, the centre having a rectangular bay window with heraldic parapet. Double doors in segmental stone arch in 3rd bay. Taller gabled bay added to left mid C19 by E.B. Lamb. Irregular E. front with 2-storey porch by Blomfield c.1910. On E. and S. sides of house are gardens surrounded by brick walls of 1912, the S. garden having small corner pavilions with ogee tile roofs, stone cornices and mullion windows, and 4-centred stone arches with Tudor hoodmoulds. S. garden also has 1970s glazed arcade to covered swimming pool along W. side,and sunken centre with brick walls. Gate between gardens has 3 stone obelisk finials. E. gate piers have similar finials on scrolls. Interior of house much refurbished early C20, with plaster ceilings in Elizabethan style and re-used C16-C17 panelling, not original to house. House given to the nation by Sir Arthur Lee 1917 as a country residence for the Prime Minister. (J. Gilbert Jenkins, Chequers, 1967) (B9).
Detailed history and description of house and contents (B11).

Sources (5)

  • <1>SBC7623 Bibliographic reference: LIPSCOMB 2 PP198-201.
  • <4>SBC20461 Bibliographic reference: William Page (ed). 1908. A History of Buckinghamshire (Victoria County History) Volume II. Volume 2. pp335-336.
  • <7>SBC6783 Bibliographic reference: JENKINS J G 1967 CHEQUERS.
  • <9>SBC22140 Bibliographic reference: DoE. 1985. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. p4.
  • <11>SBC22466 Bibliographic reference: Norma Major. 2001. Chequers: The Prime Minister's Country House and its History.


Grid reference SP 84192 05657 (point)
Civil Parish ELLESBOROUGH, Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • Event - Survey: (EBC14151)

Record last edited

Jun 6 2022 2:42PM

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