The Chequers Court Estate has been the country residence of the British Prime Minister since 1917. It may be named after Elias Ostiarius, usher of the
Court of the Exchequer, who owned the land in the 1100s, or perhaps after the Chequers or wild service tree which can be found on the site.
The oldest special tree at Chequers is the still-sprouting stump of an Elm, reputed to have been planted by King Stephen (1097-1154). Unfortunately it succumbed to Dutch elm disease in the 1970s. Before it was felled, part of the main trunk was used to build a fine cabinet which can be seen the dining room.
Apart from the old elm, the estate is home to many special trees, which have been planted by Prime Ministers, Presidents and dignitaries visiting the political residence. The first recorded memorial tree was a Noble oak planted by Lloyd George in 1917.
Others of note include Theodore Roosevelt's Cedar (1920), Winston Churchill's Volonia oak (1953),
Dwight Eisenhower's Dawn redwood (1959) and Harold Wilson's Holm oak, planted in 1975 and captured in this photo.
Margaret Thatcher planted a Lime in 1983 and John Major an English oak in 1992. John Major is seen pictured here with Boris Yeltsin who planted a Black poplar to mark his state visit to Britain in 1994.
More recently, Tony Blair planted rather an understated tree, a Field maple (1999) while Bill Clinton planted an American species, a Red oak in 2000.
The Chequers Estate is private.
near Princes Risborough
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