23 April 2017
27 October 2016
A member of the Austrian family of bankers, Ferdinand James Anselm Freiherr von Rothschild (1839-1898) was born in Paris and lived in Vienna before moving to Britain. He was a hereditary baron (freiherr) in the lower Austrian nobility and in Britain was known as Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild. He served as Liberal MP for Aylesbury from 1885 until 1898.
In 1874 Ferdinand bought the Buckinghamshire estate near Waddesdon village. Designed by French architect Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur (1822-1893) in a style based on 16th-century French châteaux, the Manor at Waddesdon was built from 1874 to 1889 to house Ferdinand’s art collection and for entertaining.
Ferdinand left the property to his younger sister Alice Charlotte de Rothschild (1847-1922) and it was subsequently inherited by their great-nephew James Armand de Rothschild (1878-1957), who left it to the National Trust. Although owned by the National Trust, Waddesdon is run semi-independently by investment banker Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild (b 1936) through the Rothschild charity The Alice Trust.
As well as being the National Trust’s second most popular visitor attraction, Waddesdon Manor is also used as a wedding venue and is hired out for location filming. The manor has featured in a variety of films and series, from Carry on… Don’t Lose Your Head and Never Say Never Again to Downton Abbey and The Crown.
25 October 2016
Dover Castle – the largest in England – is a Grade I listed building and is owned by English Heritage. Its strategically important location on a clifftop overlooking Dover Strait in the English Channel was the site of an Iron Age hillfort. A lighthouse – the oldest still surviving in the UK – was also built there by the Romans in the 2nd century. Much of the existing castle was built by Henry II in the 12th century. Major additions were built at the end of the 18th century during the Napoleonic Wars and a network of tunnels beneath the clifftop were excavated to serve as barracks to house the extra troops stationed there at that time. During World War II the tunnels housed an underground hospital and a command centre, from where Vice-Admiral Ramsay led Operation Dynamo to rescue British and French troops stranded at Dunkirk.
24 October 2016
Located in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Hughenden Manor is a Grade I listed building in the care of the National Trust and was the country residence of Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), 1st Earl of Beaconsfield.
The estate dates back to the 11th century and the present house was built in the late 18th century. Disraeli inherited Hughenden in 1848 from his father Isaac, who had purchased it in 1847. The property was remodelled in 1862 by architect Edward Buckton Lamb (1806-1869).
Hughenden was sold by the Disraeli family in 1937 and it was used as a secret intelligence base during World War II. It was given to the National Trust in 1947.
25 August 2016
The 22-metre-high, freestanding round tower in Abernethy is one of only two of the Irish Celtic type in Scotland, the other one being in Brechin, Angus. Abernethy’s tower is thought to have been built in the 11th century. Although its original purpose is unclear, the tower has been used as a bell tower for the adjacent church, a purpose that it continues to serve. The tower’s bell is dated 1782 and the clock dates from 1868.
Irish round towers served primarily as bell towers and it is thought that around 100 were built in Ireland from the 10th to the 13th century, of which around 10 still survive intact. Outside of Ireland only three are known of – the two in Scotland plus a third one on the Isle of Man
The tower is a Category A listed building and is in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.
24 August 2016
The Hill House was designed in 1902 by artist, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) for Glasgow publisher Walter Blackie (1860-1953). Mackintosh was also responsible for the interior design of the residence, which the Blackie family moved into in 1904. The house is a Category A listed building and was donated to the National Trust for Scotland in 1982.
24 August 2016
With a strategic position overlooking the Clyde, Dumbarton Rock has been home to fortifications of the Britons, Vikings and Scots for over 1500 years.
Dumbarton Castle is a Category A listed building and is in the care of Historical Environment Scotland.