A Trip to Waddesdon Manor


Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0JH


  • Renaissance-style, 16th century French château designed by French architect Destailleur
  • Built between 1874 and 1889 for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild
  • Ferdinand’s sister, Alice (1847-1922), inherited Waddesdon on his death
  • When Alice died, the estate passed to her Parisian great-nephew James de Rothschild (1878-1957) and his English wife, Dorothy (1895-1988)
  • During the Second World War, the Rothschild’s moved into the Bachelors’ Wing, leaving the main House to children evacuated from London
  • James was increasingly ill and with no descendants, he decided to leave the Manor, its collections of national importance and 165 acres of garden and park to The National Trust in 1957
  • Dorothy de Rothschild oversaw the arrangements for opening the ground floor to the public in 1959
  • The Rothschild Foundation is in charge of the preservation, protection and improvement


  • Large display of French 18th century decorative arts
  • Portraits by Gainsborough and Reynolds and works by Dutch and Flemish Masters of the 17th century
  • Savonnerie carpets (most prestigious European manufactory of knotted-pile carpets)
  • Sèvres porcelain
  • Thousands of bottles of vintage Rothschild wines in the cellars.
  • Lord Rothschild continues to add to the collection. Recent acquisitions include: sculptures by Stephen Cox, Angus Fairhurst and Sarah Lucas.  He also acquired some paintings by Chardin, Labille-Guiard, Panini and Callet, the silver service made for George III and the contemporary chandelier by Ingo Maurer


  • Edmund de Waal’s installations (until 28 October 2012): a series of installations spread on the ground floor rooms in conversation with the Waddesdon’s collections
  • Taking Time Chardin’s Boy building a House of Cards and other paintings (until 15 July 2012): this exhibition is prompted by the recent acquisition of Boy building a House of Cards
  • House of Cards, an exhibition of contemporary sculpture presented by Christie’s (until 28 October 2012)










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