Waddesdon Manor - National Trust

Waddesdon Manor - National Trust
Nr Aylesbury
HP18 0JH






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.
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:


Opening hours

Please check the National Trust website before visiting.

Admission charges

See www.nationaltrust.org.uk


  • 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.

Imagine…Lace at Waddesdon

  • 26 March — 26 October 2014 *on now

Continuing our contemporary programme, lace-makers and selected artists have been invited to respond to the collection at Waddesdon.

While lace and accessories from the 17th to the 20th centuries acquired by Baroness Edmond de Rothschild will be displayed, the new works are inspired by aspects of Waddesdon as diverse as architecture, automata, porcelain and panelling and will be shown in the historic interiors, challenging the traditional concept of lace.

Imagine….Lace at Waddesdon has been organised by Waddesdon Manor and Lace 21, comprising members from the Lace Guild, the Lace Society and the Ring of Tatters. The group has a multi-faceted approach to lace, seeing it as an art form for the 21st century.



Royal Spectacle: Eighteenth-Century Court Ceremony in Books, Prints and Drawings

  • 26 March — 26 October 2014 *on now

This exhibition further celebrates the publication of Waddesdon’s Books and Bookbiindings catalogue (published earlier in 2013), and highlights illustrated books published on the occasion of court festivities, celebrations and spectacles.

These lavishly illustrated books, containing large format engravings, document the many extravagant festivities and ceremonies staged for the French court during the 17th and 18th centuries to mark the life cycle of births, marriages and deaths.

Fanciful theatrical stage settings are the backdrop for richly costumed processions, equestrian tournaments, theatre performances, church ceremonies and spectacular firework displays.

Intended for the Royal family and aristocracy the books are presented in exquisite bindings. Although focused on France, the exhibition also includes some comparative material from other European courts.



Waddesdon at War

  • 26 March — 26 October 2014 *on now

This in-house exhibition marks the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. Drawn from the Archive and Rothschild memorabilia collections, with loans from other collections, it will look 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 will also explore the impact of the war on the wider Rothschild family, including those in Austria, Germany and France.



Imagine... Lace at Waddesdon

  • 25 — 26 October 2014 11am-4pm *on now

Lace-makers and selected artists have created items in response to the collection at Waddesdon. The new works are inspired by the architecture, automata, porcelain and challenge the traditional conception of Lace.
Imagine...Lace at Waddesdon has been organised by Waddesdon Manor and Lace 21, comprising members from the Lace Guild, the Lace Society and the Ring of Tatters. The group has a multi-faceted approach to lace, seeing it as an art form for the 21st century.


Normal admission charges apply

Jan Dunning: Rascal Shadows

  • 25 — 26 October 2014 11am-4pm *on now

Follow the playful and surreal trail of works that Jan has created, leading visitors through the house via unexpected images and installations. The trail finishes with a Camera Obscura in one of the turrets where your view of Waddesdon will be magically transformed.


Normal admission charges apply

Mosaic Menagerie: A Roman Masterpiece from Lod

  • 5 June — 26 October 2014 *on now

A rare Roman mosaic pavement excavated in Israel forms the centrepiece of this special exhibition held in the Stables Coach House at Waddesdon Manor.

In 1996 a splendid series of Roman mosaic floors was accidentally discovered during local road works in Lod, just outside Tel Aviv in Israel (Lydda in the Ancient World). Finally excavated in 2009 by the Israel Antiquities Authority, the largest and most elaborate of these will be displayed at Waddesdon Manor in 2014, having toured a number of museums in the US and Europe including the Metropolitan Museum, New York, the Field Museum, Chicago and the Louvre. It is currently on display at the Altesmuseum in Berlin.

Fame and Friendship: Pope, Roubiliac and the Portrait Bust

  • 18 June — 26 October 2014 *on now

No contemporary figure in 18th-century Britain has been more widely depicted than the poet Alexander Pope. Widely considered to be the leading literary figure of the age, Pope took great pains over how he was represented and carefully fashioned his public persona through images, published letters and printed editions of his works.

In this exhibition, curated by eminent sculpture scholar, Professor Malcolm Baker, Distinguished Professor in the Department of History of Art at California University Riverside, USA, some of the most celebrated painted portraits of Pope will be shown alongside a selection of prints.

The centrepiece of the exhibition though will consist of eight different versions of the same portrait bust of Pope by the leading sculptor of the period, Louis François Roubiliac, whose busts are amongst the greatest portrait sculptures of the eighteenth century, a period in which the medium found new prominence.

They convey the compelling and intense sensibility of a sitter who, as well as being a significant public figure, also endured much physical pain. This revealing exhibition offers visitors an opportunity to explore how replication was central to 18th century sculptural practice as well as how an author’s fame and friendships could be celebrated through sculpture.



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.
Girl painting a plate

Make your own Winter Light Paper Lantern

  • 28 — 30 November 2014
  • 5 — 7 December 2014
  • 12 — 14 December 2014
  • 19 December 2014 11am-3pm

We will provide you with all the materials and an LED candle. You might like to take your lantern around the Bruce Munro trail, and then take it home to keep.

Suitable for

  • Any age


£2.00 per lantern. Normal admission charges apply, adult: £18.00, child: £9.00, family: £45.00.



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


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.