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
23 March-6 November, Wednesday to Sunday, 10am-5pm

House - timed ticket
23 March-23 October, Wednesday to Friday,12pm-4pm; Saturday & Sunday, 11am-4pm (last entry 3.10pm)

Christmas Season
Grounds
9 November-2 January, Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-6pm. Closed 24-26 December. Open additionally on Tuesday 27 December and Monday 2 January.
House - timed ticket
9 November-2 January, Wednesday to Sunday, 11.30am-6pm. Closed 24-26 December. Open additionally on Tuesday 27 December and Monday 2 January.

Bank holidays
House and Grounds also open on 28-29 March, 2, 30, 31 May, 24-25 October, 27 December and 2 January

Admission charges

Grounds including Aviary, Woodland Playground, Wine Cellars, the Stables, 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. From 6 April Waddesdon is putting on a free bus service to and from Aylesbury Vale Parkway station, for the main season from April 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

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.
French almanac from Waddesdon Manor's collection

Glorious Years: A lecture by Curator Rachel Jacobs

  • 27 March 2017 From 6:30pm *on now

This lecture will introduce the exhibition Glorious Years: French Calendars from Louis XIV to the Revolution (1656-1795) and the wider collection of 17th-and 18th-century calendars and almanacs collected by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839-1898) in the late 19th-century at Waddesdon Manor.

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.

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.

The lecture will take place on Monday 27 March 2017 at 6.30pm. It will be followed by drinks and an opportunity to look at the restored fine 18th-century State Rooms at Spencer House.

Admission

£12

Website

https://www.paypal.com/webapps/shoppingcart?flowlogging_id=e548a42094d59&mfid=1488379135839_b081644c168a#/checkout/openButton

Mrs Abington as Comic Muse by Joshua Reynolds in Waddesdon Manor's collection

Faces for a House Party: a lecture by Senior Curator Dr Juliet Carey

  • 26 June 2017 From 6:30pm

This lecture will explore a 19th-century hang of 18th-century British portraits and consider what roles the paintings played in the theatrical sociability of a Rothschild country house.

Ferdinand de Rothschild, who built Waddesdon Manor, was an important buyer of English 18th-century portraits at a time when they were attaining new aesthetic and commercial values. In contrast to a traditional dynastic hang, he used Gainsboroughs, Reynolds and Romneys in provocative, playful and ironic ways, articulating both social ambiguity and cultural confidence.

The lecture will address individual rooms: the Red Drawing Room, which introduced the host through portraits of collectors he emulated and trophy works; a chromatically arranged group of 18th-century beauties in the Baron’s Sitting Room, experienced by their owner alone, or in counterpoint to living beauties; the Grey Drawing Room hung as a ‘Reynolds Room’,
presenting the artist (at a significant moment in the construction of his 19th-century identity) through an interactive triumvirate of female portraits; the Morning Room, in which an arsonist presides over a space devoted to paper and books. Themes of masquerade and performance run through the house, concentrated in portraits of actors, singers and other performers and in an important group of boys in ‘Van Dyck’ dress.

The lecture will take place on Monday 26 June 2017 at 6.30pm. It will be followed by drinks and an opportunity to look at the restored fine 18th-century State Rooms at Spencer House.

Admission

£12

Website

https://www.paypal.com/webapps/shoppingcart?flowlogging_id=bca6063dad18&mfid=1488379812122_bca6063dad18#/checkout/openButton

Detail of marquetry from a chest by Riesener in Waddesdon's collections

Furniture of the Gilded Age by Associate Curator Dr Ulrich Leben

  • 18 September 2017 From 6:30pm

The pinnacle of artistic and technical ability and unequalled in its quality, Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild’s collection of French 18th-century furniture was assembled to furnish Waddesdon Manor.

Ulrich Leben will introduce pieces by the greatest chairmakers and ébénistes – Cressent, Riesener, Dubois, RVLC and Dubois. Waddesdon’s collection contains the most important single group of works by the royal cabinetmaker Jean Henri Riesener, many originally created for the Palace at Versailles. The Manor’s furnished interiors also display the UK’s most significant collection of furniture adorned with Sèvres porcelain plaques, remarkable in both their number and originality of their mounts and combinations.
Other highlights include lesser known, but equally rare, examples of painted and lacquered or carved French furniture. Ulrich Leben is Associate Curator of Furniture at Waddesdon, Visiting Professor at Bard Graduate Centre, New York, and has recently published ‘Empire Style: The Hôtel de Beauharnais in Paris’, with Jörg Ebeling.

The lecture will take place on Monday 18 September 2017 at 6.30pm. It will be followed by drinks and an opportunity to look at the restored fine 18th-century State Rooms at Spencer House.

Admission

£12

Website

https://www.paypal.com/webapps/shoppingcart?flowlogging_id=20956c9bd8597&mfid=1488380357130_20956c9bd8597#/checkout/openButton

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. From 6 April Waddesdon is putting on a free bus service to and from Aylesbury Vale Parkway station, for the main season from April 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

http://www.waddesdon.org.uk

E-mail

General email

enquiries@waddesdon.org.uk

Telephone

Information Line

01296 820414

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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