Baron's Walk at Waddesdon
This walk was rediscovered in 2001 and follows the route used to bring up plants from the huge glasshouses at the bottom of the hill to the parterre. Sadly the glasshouses were demolished in the 1960s, but you can still enjoy this great walk and imagine how magnificent the glasshouses would have looked.
Please note that some sections are uneven under foot with moderate gradients both up and downhill, so probably not the best walk for wheelchair users and pushchairs. Please keep dogs on short leads.
Manor Shop Courtyard
Start from the Manor shop courtyard. Facing away from the shop, head right and look for the statue of Apollo Belvedere draped in a robe with his arm pointing outwards. At Apollo turn left onto the wooded pathway. Please note in winter the statues will be wrapped against the frost.
This statue is a 19th-century copy after the antique Apollo Belvedere in the Vatican Museum in Rome. He marks the start of the Baron's Walk. The pathway takes you into quite a different part of the garden - winding and mysterious - far removed from the public formality of the Parterre.
Keep following the pathway ahead. Along the route you will come across statues of Venus & Adonis.
Venus and Adonis
On either side of a bend in the pathway, Venus and Adonis stand among trees. Dated 1741, they are the last known garden sculptures by Jan van Logteren (1709-1745). Full of swirling rococo movement, they are rare survivals of 18th-century Dutch sculpture. Jan van Logteren, and his father before him, were decorative artists in every sphere. They executed woodwork and stucco, houses and organ-cases. Until they began to explore the possibilities of monumental sculpture, it was not as widely practiced in Holland as much as in other parts of Europe. Unusually, the sculptor chose to celebrate the beauty and animation of the goddess Venus and the mortal Adonis, with whom she fell so helplessly in love, without hinting too clearly that Adonis will any moment leave to hunt the wild boar, which will kill him. However, the drapery around Adonis and his striding pose do express his impatience fr the hunt, which is part of the ironic pathos of the conventional iconography of the subject. Venus' and Adonis' last recorded location was the italian Garden at nearby Aston Clinton (another Rothschild house in the Vale of Aylesbury), which has since been demolished. The army was stationer there during World War II and these sandstone figures are riddled with holes from when they were used as target practice. Herbaceous plants grow out of nooks and crannies in the rockwork.
Continue through the wooded pathway until you find a sculpture called Terra degli Estruchi.
Terra degli Etruschi
Part of the Rothschild Collection and acquired by the Rothschild Family Trust, 2001. It was created by artist Stephen Cox, and is a tomb-like marble sculpture from the series "Interior space". The plinth it sits on was ordered from Travertini Paradiso/Dei Quarry
You will see The Dairy to your left, but continue straight, crossing the main road and following the pathway cut into the grass. This will take you slightly uphill.
Situated on the Waddesdon Estate, the Dairy is breathtakingly beautiful. The perfect space of weddings, meetings and events.
Follow the wooded pathway until you join the road.
As well as formal gardens, you'll find more wild and natural areas to explore while walking.
As you continue down the path you will see on your left some Pulham rockwork. Walking past this, follow the path ahead.
Artificial rock grottoes were a feature of late 19th-century gardens. An elaborate example can be seen in Tulip Patch, just beyond the Stables. More examples are at the Dairy Water Garden and between the Aviary and North Avenue. They were created by James Pulham & Son who invented a way of making realistic looking blocks out of lime mortar poured over brick and rubble - a cheaper and quicker way than hewing blocks of stone. Choice herbaceous plants now grow out of the nooks and crannies on the rockwork.
You have reached the end of the Baron's Walk by arriving at the Stables. Grab yourself a hot drink and tasty treat.
The Stables building was designed by the same architect who designed the Manor, this time in a French 17th-century style. The complex now houses a cafe, shop and the Coach House gallery. In the centre of the Stables is a bronze horse by Edgar Boehm, believed to be the Duke of Wellington's charger, Copenhagen.
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