A French Chateau in the English Countryside

Just before Christmas we visited Waddesdon Manor, near Oxford. It is an amazing place. It is certainly a French Chateau in the English Countryside.

It was pouring with rain when we arrived, and we had a long walk from the carpark up to the house. The path wound its way through silhouettes of soldiers, sailors and airmen to mark remembrance day.


The house belonged to the Rothschild Family and was donated to the National Trust in 1957, and it is run by them and the Rothschild Foundation.

Built between 1874 and 1889 by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild as a weekend home for entertaining, it contains many treasures. Baron Ferdinand bought the estate from the Duke of Marlborough, but it had no house, park or garden, being an agricultural estate.

Baron Ferdinand wanted to build a house similar to the chateaux in France. I think he succeeded.


On Baron Ferdinand’s death, the estate passed to his sister, Alice, who continued to add to the treasures to be found there.


You can see from these pictures I took, that the rain did stop and the sun came out!

Sadly, the pictures I took inside are not good. Many are blurred for some reason, so I’m not going to post them, but trust me, it’s an amazing place. If you are ever near to it, I suggest you visit.

The Rothschild family was originally from Frankfurt and rose to prominence first in the 18th century. They managed to establish a successful banking business that was continued through  Mayer Amschel Rothschild‘s five sons who went on to establish businesses in England, Italy, Germany, Austria and Germany.

On their coat of arms, in two quarters, are fists holding five arrows. This is symbolic of the five sons, we were told at Waddesdon. They, like five arrows fired from a bow, went on to establish their banks in the five different countries, mentioned above.

In the village of Waddesdon is an inn called The Five Arrows. We stayed there and found it excellent, with wonderful food. I would recommend it to anyone.

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One thought on “A French Chateau in the English Countryside”

  1. What a wonderful tour of that stunning mansion! Years ago when I visited England, we wanted to tour some of the spectacular mansions of the gentry and royalty but just didn’t have the time or opportunity. Some day, I sure hope we have the chance. Thanks for your reflections about this stunning structure.

    Liked by 1 person

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