Waddesdon Manor


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Waddesdon Manor


Ordnance survey map of Waddesdon Manor
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Statutory Address:
Waddesdon Manor

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Aylesbury Vale (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 73311 16514


This list entry was subject to a Minor Enhancement on 03/05/2019


Waddesdon Manor


GV I Mansion. 1874-1883, by Hippolyte Alexandre Destailleur, for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild. Born in Frankfurt and raised in Austria, Rothschild was a prominent member of the international Jewish banking dynasty,a British Liberal MP, and passionate art collector. Bath stone, steeply pitched slate roofs. In the style of a C16 French chateau, incorporating elements from Blois, Maintenon, Chambord and Chaumont, the house and its collections now represent the most complete surviving example of the 'goût Rothschild’. Approximately E-plan with circular staircase towers in angles with side wings. Other round towers to front of north east wing and to rear at south west corner. Small wing added to south west 1889; Service wing attached to north east with Bachelors' wing altered 1890s by Andre Destailleur, to rear.

Two storeys and attic. Main range has seven bays articulated by paired pilasters, entablatures, and parapet with wave ornament and large carved urn finials. Ground floor has arched windows, balustraded aprons, and composite pilasters. First floor has stone mullion and transom windows, and panelled aprons and pilasters. Attic dormers with flanking festoon scrolls and elaborate gables. Tall panelled chimneys with segmental pediments on scroll modillion cornices. Centre bay has projection with rusticated quoins and separate pavilion roof, the first floor with French doors between Composite columns, the attic having an elaborate dormer with oculus in cartouche, swan-neck pediment on paired scrolls, and urn finial.

Ground floor has projecting porch with segmental arches, paired Composite columns, and strapwork parapet with urn finials and central heraldic crest. Domed staircase towers with spiral balustrades, the attic storey with carved terms. Side wings have panelled pilasters, entablatures, mock machicolations below plain attic storeys, and very steep pavilion roofs with parapets and tall urn finials. Round tower to left with steep conical roof. 1889 extension to right is similar to side wings but with elaborate doorway and bay window in decorated Gothic style to rear. Fine south east front, the end bays and centre-piece with arched windows and Composite columns.

Interior: entrance hall and oval vestibule are of stone with coffered vaults, niches, carved cartouches and marble architrave frames to doors. Flanking galleries, small library and west hall have panelling incorporating carved mid C18 French boiseries from demolished Parisian houses.

Breakfast room at east end, and Grey Drawing Room have more complete panelling of similar origin, in delicate Rococo style, with large mirrors and carved marble fireplaces. Late C19 plaster ceilings with richly decorated coves. Dining room is late C19 with grey marble panelling framing C18 French mirrors and pair of tapestries. C19 white marble fireplace with lamp-holding putti seated on the mantelshelf. Similarly panelled ante-room with two carved marble basins and access to conservatory. Red Drawing Room, to centre, has painted ceiling canvas of 1725 by Jacob de Wit, showing Apotheosis of Hercules, in elaborate C19 gilt cornice. Same room has wood and gilt carved doorcases, one with marble relief of Louis XIV's son The Grand Dauphin. Octagonal room in south west tower is fitted with later C18 French wooden arcading and marble gilt fireplace. Similar fireplaces in adjacent Baron's Room and room above. Stone spiral staircases in the manner of Chambord with decoratively panelled newel.

Four bedrooms on the first floor have more mid C18 French panelling, as does the very fine Green Boudoir, green and gilt, with large opposing mirrors and pink marble fireplace. North east wing has mezzanine room with panelling and fireplace of similar date, and access to Bachelor Wing decorated in heavier Renaissance style. Smoking room has painted beam ceiling, heavily carved wooden doorcases and carved wooden fireplace with ceramic tiles and display cabinet above. Billiard room has elaborate marble fireplace, C17 and imitation French panelling, and depressed barrel vault with stone ribs and large modillion scrolls.

House now belongs to National Trust.

Listing NGR: SP7331116514


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Guide to Waddesdon Manor
Blunt, A, Destailleur at Waddesdon, (1977), 409-15
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 4 Buckinghamshire,


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 14 Jan 2007
Reference: IOE01/15423/20
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr George Harper. Source Historic England Archive
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