Stately homes never cease to amaze me. While most of the country worked long hours in factories or toiled on the land the landed gentry lived in luxury waited on hand and foot by an array of hundreds of servants.
Waddesdon Manor was built in the style of a magnificent French Chateau as a weekend residence for Baron Ferdinand De Rothchild in the nineteenth century.
It seems that the enormous wealth of the British Empire, amassed from all around the world, was being channelled directly into the pockets of a tiny elite. Nothing much has changed there then!
This impressive building housed hundreds of servants, was built in the midst of extensive gardens with miles and miles of grounds around it, all landscaped. The cost for this weekend retreat is truly staggering. Compared to the living conditions of the average person the inequality is stupendous.
It housed lavish collections of art and furniture. It’s wine cellars stocked 15,000 bottles and I bet there wasn’t a bottle of plonk among them.
Well the French got fed up with this gross inequality and had a revolution. Seems amazing to me that we didn’t follow suite. Maybe we’re just a little slow to get started?
These two gargoyles on the gatepost by the stables seem to be of The Green Man – the old Pagan British religion – a symbol of rebellion?