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Princes Risborough Manor House, Market Square, Princes Risborough, England

Princes Risborough Manor House is an elegant 17th Century house standing just off the Market Square in Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire. The town sits at the foot of the Chiltern escarpement, giving the house a fine view up to the hills. The property was part of the Buckinghamshire estates of the Hon. Nathaniel Charles Rothschild (1877-1923), and in 1925, the King’s Head Inn, (together with The King's Head Inn, Market Square, Aylesbury), were given to nation by Charles’ family in his memory.

The house is a fine example of a Jacobean manor house built for a small market town. It is built of red brick with two storeys and an attic. The frontage has five windows, widely spaced and separated by brick pilasters in two orders corresponding to the ground and first floors. It is noted for a particularly fine Jacobean staircase.


The earliest record of a house on the site is of a hall standing in 1200. By 1589, the house was called Brooke House and belonged to the Crown: tradition has it that Queen Elizabeth I stayed at Brooke House. In 1589 the Queen gave Brooke House to Thomas Crompton, together with the whole manor of Risborough. Later it reverted to the Crown.

In 1628 Charles I gave the manor and house to the City of London to pay his debts. The house was owned by Sir Peter Lely, the court painter for Charles II, in 1671. The present Manor House, dating from early to mid-17th century, situated next to the church, probably stands on the same site as Brooke House.

In 1766 the manor was purchased by John Grubb, and then passed through several hands until purchased by the Rothschild family. In 1925 the Rothschilds presented the manor to the National Trust. The Literary Institute in the High Street, was also owned by the Rothschilds and given to the village in 1891.

Today the house is owned by the National Trust, and rented out so that it is not open to visitors, except for occasional heritage open days.

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