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:

Museum

Opening hours

Please check the National Trust website before visiting.

Admission charges

See www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Discounts

  • National Trust

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.

Saved for the Nation: Acquisition of Jewish embroidered hangings by The Rothschild Foundation

  • 26 March 2014 — 25 October 2015 *on now

In 2013 this set of extraordinary embroidered hangings was ‘export stopped’ by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), administered by Arts Council England. The hangings have been acquired by The Rothschild Foundation and complement the important textiles in the Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor.

Depicting interior views of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, the effects of stonework, marble, gilded wood, metal and shimmering silks have been created using different embroidery techniques.

Dating from the early to mid-18th century, the number, shape, size and decoration of these embroidered panels do not correspond to any traditional types of Jewish textile. The set was probably commissioned for use in a particular space in a public or private synagogue, or a domestic setting for prayer or worship.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/collection/exhibitions/displays-and-installations

Francesco Guardi: The Rialto Bridge from the North

  • 25 March — 25 October 2015 *on now

For the 2015 season we have secured the loan of an important Conditionally Exempt work by Francesco Guardi (1712-1793) from a private collection. The Rialto Bridge from the North and the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi depicts the famous bridge with its bustling stalls, gondoliers transporting goods and people along the Grand Canal, and the vegetable market (Erberia) to the right.

Painted about 1768-9, it is later than the two large views of the basin of San Marco which hang in the East Gallery, and demonstrates Guardi’s mature style which was beginning to develop in the Waddesdon pictures. The painting is thought to have been bought from Guardi by Chaloner Arcedeckne (1741-1809), an English politician, whilst visiting Venice. English patrons on the Grand Tour were important clients for Guardi, and many of his works are found in British collections. A smaller version of the same composition is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, with a pendant view of the church of Santa Maria della Salute. It is likely that this work was originally also part of a pair.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/collection/exhibitions/displays-and-installations

Costume at Waddesdon

  • 25 March — 25 October 2015 *on now

A selection of 17th-century lace acquired by Baroness Edmond de Rothschild (1853-1935) is displayed outside the Family Room, some of the most spectacular examples of historic lace at Waddesdon. Baroness Edmond collected exquisite French, Brussels and Venetian lace, along with the popular 18th-century buttons, on long-term display.

Complementing the theme of mourning in Jane Wildgoose’s installation, black gloves from the late 19th and 20th centuries are shown, on loan from the Trustees of the Glove Collection Trust and the Worshipful Company of Glovers of London. You can find out more about the history of the Glovers’ Company and their historic glove collections at www.thegloverscompany.org.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/collection/exhibitions/displays-and-installations

Waddesdon at War

  • 25 March — 25 October 2015 *on now

Continuing from 2014, this exhibition marks the centenary of the First World War. Drawn from the Archive and Rothschild memorabilia collections, and including loans from other collections, it looks at the Manor and Estate during the war from the perspective of the family and staff. As Europe was fractured by the conflict, the exhibition also explores the impact of the war on the wider Rothschild family, including those in Austria, Germany and France.

There were approximately 200 staff working at Waddesdon in 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War. They fought in all theatres of war from France and Flanders to Egypt and Palestine in every branch of the armed forces. Over the last year we have been researching the fate of these men and will be telling the stories of some of those who went to war using archival research, documents and images.

Letters sent by Alice de Rothschild to Johnson, giving him instructions about what to grow at Waddesdon and talking about the impact of the war on family and staff, are also included, displayed alongside estate records from the time. The correspondence between Mr and Mrs James de Rothschild during the period James was serving first in France and then Palestine also survives and illuminates the experience of the Rothschild family at home and abroad.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/collection/exhibitions/great-war-world-war-1

The Riches of the Earth

  • 25 March — 25 October 2015 *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.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

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

Renaissance Museum'

  • 25 March — 25 October 2015 *on now

In the late 1880s Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild ordered the creation of a ‘New Smoking Room’ in the Bachelors’ Wing at Waddesdon. The room would contain the ‘Renaissance Museum’, Ferdinand’s collection of objects made of precious materials in the manner of princely collections of the 16th and 17th centuries, the core of which had been inherited from his father, Anselm. The collection had been displayed in the Tower Drawing Room on the ground floor at Waddesdon, though no photographs survive of the room before it was redecorated following the removal of the objects to the Smoking Room.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/collection/exhibitions/renaissance-museum

Jane Wildgoose: Beyond All Price

  • 25 March — 25 October 2015 *on now

It was in the Green Boudoir, in 1890, that Ferdinand presented Queen Victoria with an 18th-century fan set with diamonds as a memento of her visit to Waddesdon. A contemporary illustration in the Illustrated London News of 14th May 1890 shows the Queen planting a fir tree, dressed from head to foot in black. Widowed in 1861, Queen Victoria remained in mourning for the last four decades of her reign until her own death in 1901, and presided over an era in which attention to ritual, costume and accessories associated with death and commemoration assumed unprecedented importance at all levels of society.

Although Waddesdon was celebrated in Baron Ferdinand’s day for the luxury of its house-parties and entertainments, at the heart of his own life may be discerned the shadow of the death of his stillborn child, and his wife Evelina, in childbirth, in 1866, just eighteen months after they married.

This installation reflects upon Ferdinand’s words about the associations, memories and stimulus to the imagination that old objects may evoke, in relation to some of the remaining fragments of material associated with Rothschild deaths and the wider context of the cult of mourning during the 19th century. Offering a direct counterpoint to the dazzling virtuosity, rarity and connoisseur’s worth of the objects in the Waddesdon Bequest - Ferdinand’s legacy to the British Museum on his death in 1898 - the value of this more intimate material, which might instead be perceived to be “beyond all price”, lies in the associations it can evoke.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/collection/exhibitions/jane-wildgoose-beyond-all-price

Henry Moore: From Paper to Bronze

  • 17 June — 25 October 2015 *on now

The exhibition charts the life and art of Henry Moore (1898 -1986) through a selection of 100 drawings from the collection of The Henry Moore Foundation. Although arguably best known as a sculptor, Moore was a prolific and exceptionally talented draughtsman.

Throughout his career drawing represented for Moore both a way to observe and learn about nature and a means to develop sculptural ideas. Starting with figure studies made as a student in Leeds, the exhibition showcases some of Moore’s best known two-dimensional works, such as the Shelter Drawings from the early 1940s and the sheep drawings of the 1970s and 80s, as well as rarely exhibited mid-career and late works, like the playful ‘shut-eye’ drawings, which reveal lesser known and often surprising aspects of his art.

The exhibition is curated by Sebastiano Barassi, Senior Curator, The Henry Moore Foundation. The Henry Moore Foundation is one of the United Kingdom’s leading art charities. Set up by the artist in 1977 to increase public enjoyment of the visual arts, it looks after Moore’s former home and grounds, organises exhibitions of his work worldwide, runs the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, and gives grants to arts organisations.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Normal admission charges apply

Website

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk/collection/exhibitions/henry-moore-100-drawings

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.

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

Website

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/waddesdon-manor

E-mail

waddesdonmanor@nationaltrust.org.uk

Telephone

Information Line

01296 653226

01296 653211

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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