A French château in England – Waddesdon Manor

Built in the late 19th century by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the style of the great Renaissance châteaux of the Loire Valley, Waddesdon Manor sits on a hilltop overlooking Waddesdon village in Buckinghamshire.

Wanting a country retreat to entertain his guests, some features of Waddesdon were inspired by two particular Loire châteaux: the towers by those of the Château de Maintenon and the staircase towers on the north facade by the staircase at the Château de Chambord.

Some of the elaborate details of the manor.

The Parterre at the south front of the house is a fine example of the flamboyant, high Victorian style of gardening with their bedding displays and fountains. The grounds were a wonder of their day, too, as many large trees were successfully transplanted. This was such a special thing those days, that even Queen Victoria invited herself to view them in 1890.

Sculptures are key to the garden, creating focal points and ever new things to discover. Being mostly allegorical and mythological figures, they form one of the most important collections of 17th and 18th century garden statuary in the country.

When first built, guests of the manor enjoyed all modern comforts of the time like running water, central heating and electricity. Still it feels like a French château with lavish furnishings, chandeliers and lots of gold.

There are many more things to discover and spending a whole day almost didn’t seem enough.
Today Waddesdon Manor is part of the National Trust and administered by a Rothschild charitable trust.

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