Château de Ferrières, Seine-et-Marne, France
James de Rothschild was so impressed with Mayer’s house at Mentmore that he is reputed to have told the architect Joseph Paxton, “Build me a Mentmore, only bigger”. The design of Ferrières, Seine-et-Marne, which Paxton produced in 1859 was on the same lines as the English house, but on a much bigger scale with accommodation for one hundred servants and stables for 80 horses. Covering 4,000 hectares, the estate was large enough for a model farm to be maintained on it, and provided ideal territory for hunting.
The last of the family to own Ferrières was Baron Guy de Rothschild (1909-2007) and his wife Baroness Marie-Hélène (1927-1996). Seized by the Germans during the occupation of France in the Second World War, the château remained empty until 1959 when the newlywed Rothschilds decided to reopen it. Marie-Hélène took charge of refurbishing the huge château, making it a place where European nobility mingled with musicians, artists, fashion designers and Hollywood movie stars at grand soirées. In 1975, Château de Ferrières was gifted to the chancellery of the universities of Paris by Guy and Marie-Hélène de Rothschild but they retained the home they had built in the woods surrounding the château.
Estates: Château de Ferrières, estate ledgers, 1862-1928
000/2312, 89 volumes
Ledgers from the Château de Ferrières, France 1862-1928, mostly with printed columns and headers containing manuscript accounts. The ledgers have titles including 'Compte Chasse' or 'Grand Livre', but also others titled Inventaire de la ferme de Pontcarre, Resume des Travaux aux Immeubles, Ferme de Chateau Bergerie, Compte Voliere, Cuisse Tuilerie, Ferme d'Hermieres Bouverie & Vacherie, Porcherie, and one volume with printed visitor permits with counterfoils.