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Saturday, 22 March 2014


Chequers is an old house in the Chilterns, to the west of London. It was largely rebuilt in the 16th century and was given neo-Gothic trimmings in the 19th century.

Chequers was bought in 1909 by Arthur Hamilton Lee (1868–1947, Conservative MP for Fareham 1900–18, later Viscount Lee of Fareham) and his American wife, Ruth as a country home. During World War I the house became a hospital and then a convalescent home for officers.

Following the end of hostilities and the reinstatement of Chequers as a country home the childless Lees formed a plan for the now restored and refurbished house, giving it to the nation as a country retreat for the serving Prime Minister.

The Lees left Chequers on January 8, 1921 after a final dinner at their country home. A political disagreement between the Lees and Lloyd George soured the hand-over, which went ahead nevertheless.

The first prime minister to use Chequers was David Lloyd George. 

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