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Halton estate, Buckinghamshire

The existing house was built after Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918) inherited it in 1879.  On 19 January 1884 the house, designed by William Cubitt & Co., was opened in the presence of the Prince of Wales. Halton was based loosely on a French Renaissance château, but boasted various modern features including electric lighting and a hot-air heating system.  With its ornate skyline consisting of steep French pavilion roofs, pinnacles, chimney stacks, and domed Winter Garden, it was not to everyone’s taste at the time. Judged by Lady Frances Balfour as "terribly vulgar", to Constance Battersea it was nevetheless Alfred’s "beauteous home on earth", while for Country Life it combined "classical grace and modern elegance". 

In 1914 Halton was taken over for use as an army base, and later in the war was used by the newly formed Royal Flying Corps.  It was subsequently sold to the War office by Alfred’s nephew, Lionel, and was later occupied by the Royal Air Force; it remains in their possession today as RAF Halton. For secondary sources relating to RAF Halton, see Papers of institutions: RAF Halton

In addition to the papers listed below, a further photograph album, cover embossed ‘Halton’, containing large black and white platinum prints by J. Thomson, 70a Grosvenor St New Bond St Photographer to the Queen’ of the exterior, and interior of the principal rooms of Halton House, will be be found in The Exbury Collection 000/880/19/1. Note this album is different to the three identical albums in 000/887 and 000/880/20/1. A set of reproduction photographs of the gardens at Halton, from the collections of the National Monuments Record will be found in 000/529, a collection of research papers of Miriam Rothschild concerning her book Rothschild Gardens. A Visitors' Book from the Chalet at Halton House, with entries from 1891 to 1914 will be found in 000/2348.

N M Rothschild & Sons: Estates Department, Halton estate, accounts and receipts, 1879-1918

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Some accounts and receipts relating to the Halton estate were retained in papers of the Estates Department of the London bank. Go to N M Rothschild & Sons: Estates Department »

Estates: Halton estate, copies of Census returns, 1891; 1901

000/1236, 1 file

Copies of original register and typed transcripts of Census returns: Halton, 1891, 1901.

Estates: Halton estate, deeds and conveyances, 1630-1852

000/69 , 6 boxes

Deeds, maps and conveyances relating to Halton.

Estates: Halton estate, deeds and conveyances, 1707-1861

000/70 , 9 boxes

Deeds and conveyances relating to Halton.

Estates: Halton estate, deeds and conveyances, 1857-1875

000/68 , 3 boxes

Deeds, maps and conveyances relating to Halton. 

Estates: Halton estate, deeds and conveyances, 1880

000/373, 1 item

Conveyance between R S Collett and Alfred Charles de Rothschild re Hale Estate, 2 October 1880. 

Estates: Halton estate, deeds and papers , c.1940

000/2092, 1 file

Schedule of deeds and papers relating to Halton estate.

Estates: Halton estate, maps, 1794; c.1850

000/233, 2 items

Halton estate map, property of John Dashwood, 1794; Halton estate map, c.1850. 

Estates: Halton estate, photograph album, c.1892

000/887/1, 1 volume

Large photograph album, cover embossed ‘A de R Halton’. Contains large sepia plates by S G Payne, Aylesbury, 'Photographer to the Queen and Royal Family, Medallist of the Photographic Society of Great Britain’ of the exterior, and interior of the principal rooms of Halton House, country home of Alfred de Rothschild, (1842-1918). Halton House was opened in 19 January 1884. Plates:

  1. Alfred seated. A handwritten dedication to Almina Wombwell (1876-1969), (later Countess of Carnarvon) in French dated 1892 and signed Alfred de Rothschild. 
  2. Alfred seated. A handwritten dedication “For [darling] Almina, with my very best love Alfred de Rothschild 29 March 1892”.
  3. Alfred seated
  4. Front Entrance
  5. Front Entrance
  6. North Front
  7. North Front
  8. Salon
  9. Salon
  10. Library
  11. Library
  12. South Drawing Room
  13. South Drawing Room
  14. North Drawing Room
  15. North Drawing Room
  16. Boudoir
  17. Red Room
  18. Smoking Room
  19. Billiard Room
  20. Billiard Room
  21. Dining Room
  22. Winter Garden, looking West
  23. Winter Garden, looking to Grand Staircase
  24. Winter Garden
  25. Garden Entrance
  26. Interior of Indian Tent
  27. Summer House

This album is damaged; some pages are detached. Inside the front cover is a label ‘University of St Andrews University College Dundee.  Presented to the Library of the College by James Nicoll, Esq. M.B, C.M, M.D Torquay 1951.’ Also pasted into the front are three newspaper cuttings from The Times, 1936 re: the Dighton picture of the marriage of Charlotte (1807-1859) and Anselm (1803-1874) von Rothschild in 1826. Pasted in to the back cover is a Lithograph of ‘Pietri, by St. Frusquin – Pie Powder. Owned by Mr Leopold de Rothschild, trained by J. Watson & ridden by D. Maher.’ Written in pencil ‘Supplement to the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, May 27th 1911.’

This volume came from the NMR Library either by purchase or gift, c.1970.

Estates: Halton estate, photograph album, c.1892

000/887/2, 1 volume

Large photograph album, cover embossed ‘A de R Halton’. Contains large sepia plates by S G Payne, Aylesbury, 'Photographer to the Queen and Royal Family, Medallist of the Photographic Society of Great Britain’ of the exterior, and interior of the principal rooms of Halton House, country home of Alfred de Rothschild, (1842-1918). Halton House was opened in 19 January 1884. Plates:

  1. Alfred seated
  2. Alfred seated
  3. Alfred seated
  4. Front Entrance
  5. Front Entrance
  6. North Front
  7. North Front
  8. Salon
  9. Salon
  10. Library
  11. Library
  12. South Drawing Room
  13. South Drawing Room
  14. North Drawing Room
  15. North Drawing Room
  16. Boudoir
  17. Red Room
  18. Smoking Room
  19. Billiard Room
  20. Billiard Room
  21. Dining Room
  22. Winter Garden, looking West
  23. Winter Garden, looking to Grand Staircase
  24. Winter Garden
  25. Garden Entrance
  26. Interior of Indian Tent
  27. Summer House

This album bears the bookplate of Leopold de Rothschild, Ascott Schoolroom. This album is in poor condition. 

Estates: Halton estate, photographs, c.1892

000/2597, 17 items

Seventeen copy images of the interior of Halton House acquired from the Historic England Archive. The original images come from Album number 26 in Bedford Lemere's scheme containing images of interiors, mostly of country houses. The original album bears the Historic England reference AL0457: Album of interior photographs 11625-11826. The original album contains a total of 59 images, of which 17 relate to Halton House. The original album was created by Bedford Lemere & Company. Date span of the album is September 1891-January 1892. The 'Halton' images, (with their Historic England Archive (HEA) reference) are:

  1. interior entrance hall Halton House September 1892 (HEA BL11741) 
  2. interior salon towards stair September 1892 (HEA BL11742)
  3. interior salon Halton House September 1892 (HEA BL11743)
  4. interior north drawing room Halton House September 1892 (HEA BL11745)
  5. interior grand staircase Halton House September 1892 (HEA BL11746)
  6. interior grand staircase from half landing Halton House (HEA BL11747)
  7. interior view head of grand staircase Halton House (HEA BL11748)
  8. interior view library Halton House September 1892 (HEA BL11752)
  9. interior view towards garden entrance Halton House (HEA BL11753)
  10. interior boudoir Halton House September 1892 (HEA BL11754)
  11. interior winter garden Halton House September 1892 (HEA BL11760)
  12. interior north drawing room Halton House September 1892 (HEA BL11761)
  13. the Red Room Halton House September 1892 (HEA BL11762)
  14. smoking room Halton House looking towards fireplace (HEA BL11763)
  15. smoking room Halton House seen from window (HEA BL11764)
  16. looking towards fireplace billiard room Halton House (HEA BL11765)
  17.  Billiard Room Halton House (HEA BL11766)

Note: the originals of these images are not in the collections of The Rothschild Archive London, although similar views may be found in the Halton photograph albums in 000/880 and 000/887.

Estates: Halton estate, postcards, c.1900; 1910-1911

000/1525, 000/1582 and 000/2131, 3 items

Halton postcards: unused postcard of Halton Manor, 'the seat of Alfred Charles de Rothschild Esq.', c.1900; colour postcard of ‘Halton Manor’, c.1910; colour postcard of ‘Halton Manor’ (sent to a French address and with a message in French, postmark 9 October 1911).

Estates: Halton estate, secondary sources, n.d.

000/744, 21 items

Modern reproductions (postcards) of historic images of Halton estate including photographs of Halton House, staff, cars, and Alfred.

Estates: Halton estate, staff records, 1912-1913

000/1827, 1 file

Seven envelopes marked 'Halton Estate wages paysheets' for various dates between September 1912 and September 1913.

Estates: Halton estate, visitors’ book, 1884-1913

000/2123, 1 volume

Halton House visitors’ book covering the period 1884-1913, the entire period when the house was occupied by Alfred de Rothschild, from the day it opened in 1884. In 1914 the house was taken over by the military. Alfred died in 1918.

Transcript of entries available 

Estates: Halton estate, Halton Park Camp, postcards, c.1914

000/2021, 5 items

In 1914 Halton was taken over for use as an army base, and later in the war was used by the newly formed Royal Flying Corps.  It was subsequently sold to the War office by Alfred’s nephew, Lionel, and was later occupied by the Royal Air Force; it remains in their possession today as RAF Halton. Items relating to Halton Park Camp: postcard ‘Halton Park Camp’, c.1914; postcard captioned ‘End of the Kaiser’, with poem by a Private in the Lincolnshires now stationed at Leighton; two postcards captioned ‘The Lads of Halton Park’, with poem by a Private in the 13th Northumberland Fusiliers now stationed at Halton, Reprinted from the Bucks Herald  14 November 1914.

The Chalet, Halton, Buckinghamshire

Estates: Halton estate, the Chalet, sale papers, 1992

000/347, 1 item

Jackson-Stop & Staff sales brochure for the Chalet, Halton, May 1992.