Monday, July 20, 2009

The wonders of Waddesdon Manor

Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon near Aylesbury, Bucks

Waddesdon Manor is an architectural treasure and has one of the finest Victorian gardens in Britain. The house was built in the Neo-Renaissance style of a French château in the Loire Valley between 1874 and 1889 for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839–1898).

The gardens were laid out by the French landscape architect Elie Lainé under the instruction of Baron Ferdinand who wanted to provide a 'change of mood or spectacle at every turn to delight his guests'. In his day, a garden tour would include the Aviary, the ornamental Dairy, romantic Pulham grottoes and a menagerie of deer, goats and llamas. Now, the garden is renowned for its seasonal displays, walks, beautiful panoramas, fountains, statuary and Vast rococo-style aviary, housing colourful exotic birds.

Above: The Proserpina fountain was brought to Waddesdon at the end of 1800 from the Palace of the Dukes of Parma in northern Italy: the Ducal Palace of Colorno.

Above: One of the most unusual features of the garden is the Aviary. Completed in 1889 by an unknown architect, it was built from Baron Ferdinand as a reminder of one he had grown up with in his childhood home, the Villa Grüneburg outside Frankfurt. It is made of cast-iron in the style of a rococo trelliswork pavilion, such as those erected at Versailles and Chantilly in the early eighteenth-century.

Grounds: Adults £5.50; Child £2.75; Family (2A + 2C) £13.75.
House & Gardens: Adults £13.20; Child £9.35. Weekends & BHs: Adults £15; Child £11
Winter Season: 3rd Jan - 29th Mar; Adults £7, Child £3.50, Family £17.50

Waddesdon Manor

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