Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire. The hidden gem of French style in English countryside.

waddesdon manor buckinghamshire

Waddesdon Manor is a real hidden gem. Although this stunning place is situated not too far from London (somewhere about 1,5 hours drive), there are plenty of people who have never ever heard of it before. It’s quite an omission, because Waddesdon manor is complete different to any other English stately homes not only in the south of England, but probably throughout the whole of Britain.

The first thing you involuntarily want to do while visiting it, especially for the first time, is to pinch yourself for making sure that it’s not a dream and you are not in France. Waddesdon manor was built in the end of 19th century for the member of an affluent Rothschild family – Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, who, having spent pretty much of his childhood in France, became fond of French art. So due to his personal taste in the common English countryside was built so untypical for these places a French château in the style of Renaissance, which combined the elements of some infamous châteaux of Loire, such as Maintenon or Chambord for example.
waddesdon manor buckinghamshire

Waddesdon manor, like a beautiful treasure box, contains an abounding collection of sumptuous items accumulated by Ferdinand and his successors. Unsurprisingly the interior of its numerous rooms exposed for the public, is mainly devoted to French art. There are the exquisite pieces of furniture by Jean Henri Riesener (one of the most favourite furniture-makers of French royal family of Louis XVI period), like, for instance, the writing table of Marie Antoinette, the collections of regally grand Savonnerie carpets or the samples of fine Sèvre porcelain amid of that are three of only 11 existant ship-looking ornate vases. Even the most of the panelling throughout the house have authentic French origin. The baron acquired it from the Parisian houses, which were about to get destroyed according to the programme of modernisation of Paris, undertaken by Baron Haussman during the reign of Napoleon III.

But notwithstanding the French domination, this Alladin cave also houses the objects of art representing another countries. There are Dutch and English paintings that can be seen, such as Rubens’ “Garden of love” or Gainsborough’s pixie-looking “Pink boy”.
rubens garden of lovePeter Paul Rubens "Garden of love"
Few quite curious paintings are displayed in a tower room of the house. They were created in 1913 by Russian painter and stage-designer Leon Bakst, and depict the members of Rothschild clan as being the characters of “Sleeping Beauty”. A contemporary chandelier, a creative work of German designer Ingo Maurer, highlights the Blue Dining room. Although it looks like an explosion of china and cutlery, it is unexpectedly well in harmony with other classic-looking items in the room.

Ferdinand de Rothschild was not only a keen collector of elegant pieces of art, but also was partial to gardening. He managed to obtain his own mini-Versailles in Buckinghamshire. A magnificent parterre, framed by graceful statues with a vibrant bedding carpet and fountain in the centre, overlooks the Vale of Aylesbury. There is no lack of secluded paths winding through the numerous shrubs and trees of the parkland. Hard to imagine that when the baron bought this site, it barely had any vegetation. That glitch was removed by transporting to the site already mature trees. The garden’s splendour is completed by a dainty aviary made of wrought iron and imitating the rococo style aviaries at Versailles.
waddesdon manor buckinghamshire

This magic spot was quite popular in its midst and welcomed enough of celebrities of its time. HM Queen Victoria visited Waddesdon manor in 1980 and reportedly seemed to be impressed the most not by its beauties, but by the electricity installed in the house that was the novelty of those days. Prince Edward, having been on good terms with Ferdinand de Rothschild, was a frequent visitor of the house, as well as young Winston Churchill, Lord Curzon (that who saved Bodiam castle from decay), infamous French writer Guy de Maupassant and many others. It is nice to see this place coming off obscurity again, according to some sources Waddesdon manor has recently become the most popular place to visit of all National Trust properties.

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mahogany furniture said...

French furniture is very beautiful furniture. french empire style furniture, which gives a distinct atmosphere in the house.

Anonymous said...

Why describe Guy de Maupassant as 'infamous'?

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