Welcome toThe Rothschild Archive'swebsite

Sources for business history: plans of New Court

Sources for art history: Catalogue of the pictures of Alfred de Rothschild 1901

Sources for yachting history: Plans for Nathaniel von Rothschild's yacht Veglia 1905

Sources for natural history: Walter 2nd Lord Rothschild and his zebra carriage: c.1910

Sources for global financial history: Map of lines of the Brazil Railway Company: c.1920

Sources for business history: index cards to bank files

Sources for social history: Rothschild Hospital Paris: 1920s

Sources for business history: detail of a Rothschild bond coupon

Sources for architectural history: Halton House: 1890s

Sources for the history of travel: Lionel de Rothschild's tours of Spain: 1909

Sources for local history: Tring Park: c.1900

Sources for Royal history: shooting party with Edward Prince of Wales: 1893

Sources for political history: Lionel de Rothschild: first Jewish MP: 1858

Sources for sporting history: St Amant winner of the Derby: 1904

Sources for local history: gardeners at Aston Clinton: 1899

Sources for Rothschild family history: Lionel de Rothschild's yacht Rhodora: 1927

Sources for London history: entrance to New Court: 1965

Sources for design history: plans for Lionel de Rothschild's Rolls-Royce: 1930

Sources for business history: Rothschild gold bars produced by the Royal Mint Refinery: 1930s

Sources for business history: letters of August Belmont Rothschild Agent in New York: 1860s

The Rothschild Reserves Archive

(Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild (1877-1923) was one of the early pioneers of nature conservation, and like his older brother (Lionel) Walter, 2nd Lord Rothschild (1868-1937), Charles was a passionate naturalist.

000/2146 The Rothschild Reserves Archive


In May 1912, Charles held a meeting to discuss his radical idea about preserving natural wildlife habitats. This meeting led to the formation of the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves (SPNR), which would become the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, and signalled the beginning of a UK nature conservation movement that continues today.

Under Charles' supervision, the SPNR conducted the first ever national survey of wildlife sites in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Questionnaires to landowners and local natural history societies seeking information about potential nature reserves were sent out from, (and returned to), the Rothschild bank at New Court in the City. The SPNR also despatched its members to carry out surveys on sites to establish their wildlife value. The resultant documentation for 284 sites (which were to become The Rothschild Reserves) were stored in Rothschild bank blue envelopes, and usually consist of the survey return, a map showing the area in question and relevant correspondence.

The SPNR worked hard to secure Government protection for sites across the UK they considered ‘worthy of preservation’. The SPNR became the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, and in the 1940s nature conservation made it onto the statute books with the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act, 1949. There are now 47 Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK, the Isle of Man and Alderney.

The original survey papers, formerly held by The Wildlfe Trusts have been transferred on permanent loan to The Rothschild Archive London. The Survey papers have been digitised by The Wildlife Trusts as The Rothschild Reserves Archive.

Go to The Rothschild Reserves Archive »

SPNR Return No.118: Greenham Common

Greenham Common in Berkshire, (later to achieve notoriety as RAF Greenham Common) was one of the areas surveyed. The survey return described the land as 'typical heath and sedge vegetation, scenically beautiful and rich in brambles'.






SPNR survey return No.118 for Greenham Common 1912

SPNR survey return No.118 for Greenham Common 1912

Detail of map returned with SPNR survey return No.118 (Greenham Common circled in red)

Detail of map returned with SPNR survey return No.118 (Greenham Common circled in red)