Waddesdon Manor

Part of my new National Trust Travels blog series…


My all-girls grammar in Buckinghamshire decided to big itself up even more by naming its six ‘Houses’ after famous manor houses in the county. Five of them are National Trust properties, and so when I got my membership I duly challenged myself to visit them all! (Annoyingly, the eponymous building of the House I was in, Missenden Abbey, isn’t NT-owned, grr!)

First up was Waddesdon Manor, a masterpiece built in 1874 by the wonderfully named Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in the image of a French Renaissance chateau basically just to host parties at (what a lad!). It also housed his grand collection of fine art, and today those two legacies are carried through by way of two rather nice restaurants, wine shops, afternoon teas and splendid exhibitions.

I happened to time my visit with the Feast Weekend and ate myself stupid – sadly I couldn’t investigate the wine-tasting tent due to us all having cars with us!

My favourite Waddesdon Manor anecdote is how in 1890 Queen Victoria herself was invited to view the beautiful landscaped gardens – Queenie was more interested in the electric lighting, and is reported to have spent over ten minutes flicking an electrified 18th century chandelier on and off in wonder…

Aerial view from south


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