Waddesdon Manor - National Trust

View of the front facade of Waddesdon Manor
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Waddesdon Manor is a magnificent French Renaissance-style château housing the Rothschild Collection of art treasures. The garden is renowned for its seasonal displays, colourful shrubs and mature trees. There is a fully-stocked Rococo-style aviary, a superb cellar of wines, licensed restaurants, gift and wine shops. Events are organised throughout the year, including Christmas period.

Venue Type:

Archive, Historic house or home

Opening hours

Grounds, Woodland Playground, Aviary, Wine Cellars, Manor shops, Stables Café and Shop
22 March-5 November, Wednesday to Sunday, 10am-5pm

House - timed ticket
22 March-29 October, Wednesday to Friday,12pm-4pm; Saturday & Sunday, 11am-4pm (last entry 3.10pm)

Christmas Season
Grounds
11 November-2 January, Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-6pm. Closed 24-26 December. Open additionally on Tuesday 2 January.
House - timed ticket
11 November-2 January, Wednesday to Sunday, 11.30am-6pm. Closed 24-26 December. Open additionally on Tuesday 2 January.

Bank holidays
House and Grounds also open on 23-24 October and 2 January.

Admission charges

Grounds including Aviary, Woodland Playground, Wine Cellars, the Stables, Coach House gallery exhibition, shops & restaurants

£10 Adults
£5 Child aged 5-16 years
£25 Family (up to 2 Adults and 3 Children aged 5-16 years)
Free Under-5s
Free National Trust members (presenting a valid card)

If you only wish to visit the Grounds, tickets can be purchased on arrival from the Welcome Pavilion in the car park. Find out more about parking at Waddesdon.

House and grounds

£20 Adult
£10 Child aged 5-16 years
£45 Family (up to 2 Adults and 3 Children aged 5-16 years)
Free National Trust members (presenting a valid card) - advance booking for timed House entry recommended

Discounts

  • National Trust
  • National Art Pass
Getting there

By train: The nearest train stations are Aylesbury or Aylesbury Vale Parkway. Trains run to and from Marylebone station. There is a free bus service to and from Aylesbury Vale Parkway station, for the main season from March to October.

By road: For sat nav please use postcode HP18 0JH, the entrance to Waddesdon Manor is via Silk Street.

This French Renaissance-style château was built (1874-89) for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild to display his vast collection of works of art. The Collection includes French Royal furniture, Savonnerie carpets and Sèvres porcelain as well as important portraits by Gainsborough and Reynolds and works by Dutch and Flemish masters of the 17th century.

Collection details

Architecture, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Image of French Calendar from the Glorious Years exhibition at Waddesdon Manor

Glorious Years: French Calendars from Louis XIV to the Revolution

  • 22 March — 29 October 2017 *on now

Glorious Years is a celebration of the power of the printed image before photography. An exhibition of rare calendars, published in Paris in the 17th and 18th centuries, from their golden period under Louis XIV, through to the Revolution, when time itself was re-invented, with new ways of illustrating and naming the days and years.

Despite their popularity, these calendars (originally named ‘almanacs’) have not survived in great numbers. They were replaced annually and were easily damaged due to their large sizes. Depicting major events, from royal weddings, and births to victorious battles and peace treaties. Designed to inform and delight the public, while glorifying the king and his image.

These rare prints can be enjoyed as works of art and as important historic documents, revealing much about the social, political and artistic world of the Old Regime.

A number of bound pocketbook almanacs are also included in the exhibition. These small volumes were extremely popular towards the end of the 18th century. They vary hugely in content but all contain a calendar within.

Admission

Free with house and grounds admission. House and Grounds ticket: £20 Adult, £10 Child, £45 Family. National Trust member and Art Pass holders go free.

Website

https://waddesdon.org.uk/whats-on/glorious-years-exhibition/

mother of pearl

The Riches of the Earth

  • 22 March — 29 October 2017 *on now

Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild’s ‘Renaissance Museum’ was full of objects made of precious materials: hardstones, minerals, silver and gold. While the bulk of this collection was bequeathed to the British Museum on his death in 1898, examples of these extraordinary objects are still to be found at Waddesdon, in collections inherited from other members of the Rothschild family, and in the fabric of the building itself.

Waddesdon is full of works of art that celebrate, embody or express the wealth of the Earth. A trail around the house highlights some of these riches– earthenware and porcelain clays worked into vessels and sculptures, rocks mined from the earth and made into jewellery, caskets and chimney-pieces, minerals and plants transformed into dyes and pigments in tapestries and paintings and furniture of rare woods, resins, stones and metals – as well as allegorical representations of the wealth of the earth.

Some of the smaller objects and items from store are gathered together in the Exhibition Room so that visitors can closely examine materials, techniques and the different attitudes to these objects in the 18th century, when many of them were created, and the 19th century, when they entered Rothschild collections.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/collection/exhibitions/the-riches-of-the-earth-minerals-materials

"Image of Red Drawing Room Waddedon Manor"

Step this Way: the Red Drawing Room opened up

  • 22 March — 29 October 2017 *on now

Come into the Manor as a 19th-century house guest would have done. The Red Drawing Room is the central room of the house, connecting the main door with the formal gardens to the south. Baron Ferdinand’s guests congregated there before going into dinner in the adjoining Dining Room.

For the 2016 season the 17th -century Savonnerie carpet, commissioned by Louis XIV, will be substituted with a reproduction of the carpet, allowing visitors to circulate more freely in the room and to see paintings and furniture close-up. New blinds bring light and the landscape back into the room while filtering out UV radiation. These developments in conservation technology bring the interiors of Waddesdon Manor back to life without damaging the precious textiles and light-sensitive materials. Elements of Baron Ferdinand’s original arrangement of the room will be reinstated, including a folding screen painted with monkey scenes, an important set of tapestry seat furniture and a fireplace full of ferns.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Exhibition is included in the House ticket price (£20 House and Grounds ticket, National Trust members go free).

Website

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/collection/exhibitions-waddesdon-manor/waddesdon-nineteenth-century-display-red-drawing-room

"image of The Baron's Treat"

Tales from the Archive

  • 22 March — 29 October 2017 *on now

This year’s archive exhibition focusses on people and how the records we hold in the Waddesdon archives, housed at Windmill Hill, tell us their stories. One highlight will be to share research recently carried out on the visitors who signed Waddesdon’s visitors’ book – from Winston Churchill to Henry James and Arthur Balfour. Baron Ferdinand’s visitors included the aristocracy, writers, lawyers and politicians. The display will also include records giving details of those who worked at Waddesdon including photographs, wage books and staff record cards.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Exhibition is included in the House ticket price (£20 House and Grounds ticket, National Trust members go free).

Website

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/collection/exhibitions-waddesdon-manor/tales-from-the-archive

Gloriosa rothschildiana

Creatures and Creations: Art by Platon H & designs by Mary Katrantzou inspired by Rothschild species

  • 7 June — 29 October 2017 *on now

Witness nature reimagined in an exhibition that sees an amalgamation of fashion, digital art and animal specimens on show. In collaboration with the Natural History Museum at Tring, Walter Rothschild’s spectacular collection of natural history provides the inspiration for colourful virtual collages by Platon H and couture dresses by Mary Katrantzou.

Walter Rothschild, 2nd Lord Rothschild, nephew of Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (who built Waddesdon), dedicated his life to the natural sciences. His private collection of specimens formed the foundation of his museum at Tring which opened to the public in 1892. An eccentric character, Walter was fascinated by birds, butterflies and giant tortoises, and famously trained zebras to draw his carriage. His reputation and knowledge in the scientific community was so great that many newly discovered creatures and plants, from fleas to giraffes, were subsequently named after him and coined ‘Rothschildi’. It is these species that provide the inspiration for the two contemporary artists in this new exhibition at Waddesdon.

Focusing on 14 Rothschild species and inspired by the history of Walter Rothschild’s collecting, Greek artist Platon H has designed mesmerising digital collages that respond to the beautiful, abstract patterns in the wings, feathers and carapaces of birds and insects. Inspired by Walter’s collection, celebrated fashion designer Mary Katrantzou uses her unique aesthetic of crafting ‘surrealism out of realism and possibility out of impossibility’ to transform nature into three spectacular couture dresses for the exhibition.

On loan from the Natural History Museum at Tring the Rothschild specimens will be displayed alongside the two artists’ contemporary interpretations. Appealing to families and fans of contemporary art and fashion, this exhibition celebrates nature’s vibrant beauty and kaleidoscopic colour while highlighting the extraordinary passion and scientific knowledge of Walter Rothschild.

Admission

Free with grounds admission. Grounds ticket: £10 Adult, £5 Child, £25 Family. National Trust member and Art Pass holders go free.

Website

https://waddesdon.org.uk/whats-on/creatures-and-creations-platon-katrantzou-exhibition/

Elizabeth I

Power & Portraiture: Painting at the Court of Elizabeth I

  • 7 June — 29 October 2017 *on now

A special display exploring how Elizabeth I and her courtiers used portraits to fashion their public image and promote themselves in a glamorous, dangerous world. Two spectacular panel paintings have been newly attributed to Nicholas Hilliard, better known for his miniatures, accompanied by loans from the Royal Collection and National Portrait Gallery.

Visitors will learn about the scientific and scholarly detective work that has led to this important discovery and will be able to compare it with the famous ‘Phoenix’ portrait of Elizabeth I, generously lent by the National Portrait Gallery. Exploring themes from romance to international relations, images of the queen will be flanked by those of her charismatic suitor, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, her ambassador to France, Sir Amias Paulet and the doomed nobleman, Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk.

This display is complemented by Lucien Freud’s portrait of Elizabeth I, on loan from the Royal Collection Trust, giving visitors the chance to consider the portrayal of two very different monarchs in very different circumstances.

Admission

Free with house and grounds admission. House and Grounds ticket: £20 Adult, £10 Child, £45 Family. National Trust member and Art Pass holders go free.

Website

https://waddesdon.org.uk/whats-on/elizabethan-power-portraiture-hilliard/

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Dove by Lauren Booth

Electric Menagerie at Waddesdon Manor

  • 11 November 2017 — 2 January 2018

See Waddesdon’s animals transformed into light, find a giant illuminated dragon, neon goats and parrots and even a flea circus as you explore the Aviary, Stables and grounds.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free with grounds admission

Adult £10, Child £5, Family £25
National Trust/Art Fund members free

Website

https://waddesdon.org.uk/your-visit/plan-your-day/christmas-2017/

Waddesdon Imaginarium

Waddesdon Imaginarium at Waddesdon Manor

  • 11 November 2017 — 2 January 2018

The building and its contents have been scanned in 3D and transformed into detailed animations that bring the façade to life with enchanted objects. Be dazzled by roaming porcelain animals, dancing musical clocks, fluttering clouds of butterflies and moths and spirited 18th-century portraits lead you through a fantastical visual story of Waddesdon.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Free with grounds admission

Adult £10, Child £5, Family £25
National Trust/Art Fund Members free

Website

https://waddesdon.org.uk/your-visit/plan-your-day/christmas-2017/

Waddesdon's elephant automaton at Christmas

Waddesdon Manor's Enchanted Menagerie

  • 11 November 2017 — 2 January 2018

This year we celebrate the weird and wonderful animals of Waddesdon. See an elephant parade inspired by an 18th-century musical automaton to a life-sized zebra and trees decked with birds and mythical beasts.

While Waddesdon’s main rooms are ‘put to bed’ for cleaning and conservation, parts of the House are opened specially for Christmas, with decorations that celebrate the weird and wonderful animals of Waddesdon, from an elephant parade inspired by an 18th-century musical automaton to a life-sized zebra and trees decked with colourful birds and mythical beasts.

For kids, pick up one of our free children's trails at the house entrance to discover some of the more unusual aspects of the collection.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Adult £25, Child £12.50, Family £62.50
National Trust/Art Fund Member: Adult £5, Child £2.50, Family £12.50

Advance booking is essential

Website

https://waddesdon.org.uk/your-visit/plan-your-day/christmas-2017/

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Explorer Trails

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/explorer_trail/explorer_trails.html

Enjoy year-round wildlife trails with things to discover and explore along the way, all within the grounds of Waddesdon Manor. Trails are mostly suitable for children aged 7-11 years with accompanying adults.

How to obtain

Pick up the Explorer Trails Guide at Waddesdon Manor, or download from the website prior to your visit. Contact waddesdonmanor@nationaltrust.org.uk or 01296 653226 for further details.

Getting there

By train: The nearest train stations are Aylesbury or Aylesbury Vale Parkway. Trains run to and from Marylebone station. There is a free bus service to and from Aylesbury Vale Parkway station, for the main season from March to October.

By road: For sat nav please use postcode HP18 0JH, the entrance to Waddesdon Manor is via Silk Street.

Waddesdon Manor - National Trust
Waddesdon
Nr Aylesbury
Buckinghamshire
HP18 0JH
England

Website

www.waddesdon.org.uk

E-mail

General email

enquiries@waddesdon.org.uk

Telephone

Information Line

01296 820414

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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