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Letters, archival records and memorabilia reveal what life was like for the family and staff who lived at the manor during the First World War.

Among them is Sydney Lyons, who worked in the Waddesdon gardens until conflict broke out in 1914. Put to service with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (OBLI), he stayed in contact with head gardener GF Johnson, who sent letters detailing news and events at the manor, on display here.

Another letter, this time addressed to Johnson, is from lady of the house Alice de Rothschild, who gives instructions about what he should grow in the gardens, and discusses how the war is affecting the family and staff. It is shown alongside estate records from the time.

Other items of correspondence are used to reveal the impact the war had on the wider Rothschild family, including those living in Austria, Germany and France.


Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0JH

01296 820414


Opening times

Waddesdon is open Wed-Sun, 10am-5pm (last admission 3pm). Advance booking essential.

Safety is our priority, please respect other visitors by maintaining social distance and regulations about household mixing.

All visitors, including Art Fund members who have free admission, need to book an arrival time slot.

Please visit the Waddesdon website for full opening details.

For all up to date information on the measures we have put in place in order to welcome visitors safely, please see:

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