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Historic photos of Waddesdon Manor uncovered

A volunteer found them in an old family photo album

Published by Beth Pridding at 2:45pm 20th March 2020. 2-minute read.

Historic photos of Waddesdon Manor uncovered

Forgotten photographs of Waddesdon Manor have been unearthed - almost 50 years after they were taken. 

A volunteer found the slides, featuring guests at the grounds, inside a family album - believed to be from 1968.

The manor opened its doors to the public in 1959, after James de Rothschild left it to the National Trust in 1957. 

The set up of the manor was very different to its current design, which can be seen from the photos. 

Historic photo of Waddesdon Manor
A stunning water feature at Waddesdon Manor

With only 62,647 visitors in 1968 (compared to more than 460,000 in 2019), cars could park along the north front to the entrance doors, and large oak trees lined the north avenue. 

The trees were replaced in 2008, as several had succumbed to diseases and had to be replaced with non-native Oak species.

But after extensive research, they were all felled and replanted with English Oak trees, as original owner Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild originally intended. 

Waddesdon Manor
Cars lining the north front

Prior to the public opening, the parterre had been grassed over for a generation; beds were recut into the turf, to approximately the same pattern as the originals (though not at the same scale), and spring and summer displays were reinstated, which can be seen in the images.

In 1993, Beth Rothschild fully restored the lavish Victorian planting arrangement, and today the 'raised ribbon' bedding, a typical Victorian feature, can be enjoyed once again.

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