National Trust, National Treasures, Waddesdon Manor on DVD.
National Trust: National Treasures is a private tour of a selection of The National Trust's spectacular houses, castles and abbeys. Here, Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury.
An artsworld production
An exclusive private tour of a National Trust property
Nearly 1 hour running time
In a world of late trains, lousy weather and international sporting losses, it's easy to forget the things Britain is uniquely good at. Constitutional monarchies, for example, or Marmite, depending on your point of view. But perhaps best of all is The National Trust. Where would we be without the Trust's meticulously-preserved historic houses, beautifully-tended gardens or, (let's face it) diet-endingly delicious cream teas?
The National Trust was founded in 1895 by Victorian philanthropists. Over a century later, it now looks after over 612,000 acres of countryside in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 700-plus miles of coastline and over 200 houses and gardens, monuments and mills, and churches and chapels of outstanding interest and importance.
This series, National Trust: National Treasures examines a selection of these properties in detail. It takes you on a private guided tour of the selected properties, charting each of their often colourful histories and revealing a selection of their art treasures - from 17th-century tapestries and Renaissance stained glass to sculptures by Henry Moore and oriental rugs - with the help of the Trust's many and varied experts. Atmospheric, lavishly-shot and with great attention to detail and illuminating explanations from members of the properties' staff, it's almost as good a good as being there - although of course, you do have to provide your own scones and jam…
Waddesdon Manor was built between 1874 and 1889 for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild to entertain his guests and display his vast collection of art treasures, Waddesdon Manor is an extraordinary testimony to Victorian taste, technology and wealth. It houses an extraordinary, world-renowned assemblage of French 18th-century decorative arts, among which the furniture, Savonnerie carpets and Sèvres porcelain rank in importance with items in the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Louvre in Paris. Also outstanding are the portraits by Gainsborough and Reynolds, works by 17th-century Dutch and Flemish Masters, and a spectacular silver dinner service made for George III.
In addition, the extensive wine cellars can be visited, as can the garden, one of the finest Victorian gardens in Britain which is renowned for its seasonal displays, colourful shrubs, giant tree ferns, parterre, statuary and restored pleasure garden. It also features a rose garden, and famed, recently-renovated rococo-style aviary, which houses a splendid collection of exotic birds.