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

Exhibition - Rothschild Gardens

6: Ascott, Buckinghamshire

In 1873 Lionel de Rothschild (1808-1879) bought a farm at Ascott in Buckinghamshire for his son, Leopold (1845-1917), who decided to turn it into a fashionable country house to entertain his guests.

The 90 acres of grounds at Ascott were remodelled by Leopold in 1874. The gardens were laid out in discussion with the architect George Devey and the horticulturist Sir Harry Veitch.

The Ascott plan closely followed Francis Bacon’s design for an ‘ideal garden’ published in his Essay Of Gardens in 1625. Bacon’s dimensions and instructions were followed: formal parterres and topiary are contrasted with the natural scenery of the wilderness and the distant views of the Vale of Aylesbury. Bacon recommended fountains in his garden ‘for fountains are a great beauty and refreshment’. Leopold installed several fountains at Ascott, two of which were designed by a fashionable American sculptor, William Wetmore Storey. 

Ascott boasts some remarkable topiary, including a sun-dial made of yew and box. The Roman numerals marking the hours are grown in box and the time of day is marked by the shadow of the tall central yew gnomon. Around the perimeter is a box-trimmed motto: ‘Light and shade by turn but love always’.

In 1950 ownership of the house was transferred to the National Trust.

[Mr Leopold de Rothschild] ".....regularly to be seen at all the shows of the Royal Horticultural Society, took great pride and interest in his gardens at Ascott and Gunnersbury.  He was famous as a grower of orchids, but this year as a war measure he ordered flowers to be replaced by fruit and vegetables. His kitchen gardens this year are probably the most prolific in the kingdom as far as private residences are concerned."

Manchester Dispatch, 30 May 1917

The National Trust: Ascott »

Looking into the Venus Garden at Ascott House

Looking into the Venus Garden at Ascott House