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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

Our gardens and Aviary are now open and the exhibition gallery will open from 4 July 2020. All visits must be booked in advance due to capped visitor numbers to ensure social distancing

Please visit the Waddesdon website for full opening details

The reopening date for the house and wine cellars is not yet confirmed

Free entry with National Art Pass

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