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Hampden House Cedar

Hampden House Cedar - painting by William Callow 1875 (Bucks County Museum)Hampden House is a country house in the village of Great Hampden. The Hampden family owned the house from before the Norman conquest until 1938.

Many impressive trees can be seen in the grounds, but it was the tree in this painting, held at the Bucks County Museum, which started an investigative hunt for one of the Special Trees and Woods volunteers. In 1875, William Callow painted this watercolour of a Cedar tree in the garden and entrance of Hampden House (Bucks County Museum AYBCM: 1945.223.103). Armed with an image of this painting, volunteer Vicki visited the house and found the tree still standing over 130 years later! The girth of this Cedar is 10.3 metres and is 28½ metres tall and grows close to the footpath to the west of the house. It is thought to be the last of 8 cedars which were planted before John Hampden took up occupancy in the 17th century.

Hampden House and its cedar - photo by Vicki Billings

Towards the end of the family's time at the house they suffered financial problems and as a result the house began to deteriorate until 1938 when the family decided to let the house, initially to a private girl's school and then to a film company specialising in the making of horror films.

Hampden House was eventually sold to an insurance group and a period of restoration occured over several years. The interior and exterior of the building have now been restored to their former glory.


Hampden House is Private land and permission should be sought for visits.


Great Hampden

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