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Tring Park estate, Hertfordshire

Tring Park in Hertfordshire was built by Christopher Wren in 1670. The Rothschilds’ earliest association with the house dates back to the 1830s when they rented it for the summer. Lionel de Rothschild (1808-1879) finally purchased it in 1872, making considerable alterations according to designs by George Devey. Nathaniel, ('Natty'), 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915), inherited the property in 1879, and it became his country residence. He and his wife, Emma, Lady Rothschild (1844-1935), were generous landlords, building over 400 modern cottages in and around Tring. It was at Tring Park that Lionel Walter, 2nd Lord Rothschild (1868-1937) created his famous museum of natural history.

After Natty's death in 1915, Lady Rothschild was left a life interest in the house, where she lived with her son Walter. Lady Rothschild, after living at Tring for more than sixty years, died in 1935 aged 91. Under the terms of his father’s will, Walter was obliged to move out of Tring Park and the house and estate passed to his brother Charles’ (1877-1923) branch of the family. Two years later Walter died in his sleep in August 1937 and the following year Victor (1910-1990), Charles’ son – now the 3rd Lord Rothschild, who had inherited the Tring estate, offered Walter's museum and its collections to the British Museum. In October 1938, parts of the estate were broken up and sold. 

During the Second World War the house was used by N M Rothschild & Sons as a repository for the safe-keeping of documents and valuables outside London. The Tring Home Guard also used the park grounds for exercises and training. After the war, the bank had no further use for the house and Victor, 3rd Lord Rothschild had no desire to reinstate and house. The mansion was leased by the Prudential Assurance Company and in 1945 was leased and subsequently purchased by the Cone-Ripman School which, in turn, became the Arts Educational School, Tring Park.

Archive sources: the destruction of Tring Park records

Most of the estate papers and ledgers relating to the Tring Park, including records of Walter's hot-houses and the records of the live animals he reared, were destroyed during the Second World War. Victor Rothschild was absent on active service, and his agent, faced with the task of evacuating several tons of paper from Tring Park to Victor's estate at Rushbrooke, decided that the most practical solution was to burn the records. This act of destruction is recalled by the late Miriam Rothschild in her book, Dear Lord Rothschild: '...thus the detailed history of the wonderfully successful mini-welfare state with all its ramifications, pioneer health and fire services, unemployment and apprentice and pension schemes, water and electricity supply, comprehensive milk recording projects, stock breeding and poultry fattening programmes, herd books, conservation, sylviculture, game management and game books, agricultural shows apple orchards, sheep dog trials, aviary, reading room, allotment schemes, holiday camps in the Park for East End children, parties and Christmas hampers for all and sundry, even the details of the dogs' cemetery and its gravestones, was lost...' 

The Rothschild Archive holds very little original material concerning Tring Park. A  set of reproduction photographs of Tring Park gardens, 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

N M Rothschild & Sons: Estates Department, Tring Park estate, receipts and invoices, 1879-1915


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

Estates: Tring Park estate, artefacts, c.1880

000/2119, 1 item

Bunch of keys labelled 'Lord Rothschild Title Deeds Tring. Herts. Estate', relating to deed boxes of Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild.

Estates: Tring Park estate, copies of Census returns, 1881; 1891; 1901

000/1236, 1 file

Copies of original register and typed transcripts of Census returns: Tring Park, 1881, 1891, 1901.

Estates: Tring Park estate, deeds, (Nathaniel) Charles Rothschild (1877-1923), executors’ papers relating to Tring Park estate, 1682-1938

000/52, 000/53, 000/54, 000/55, 000/56, 000/57, 000/58, 000/59, 000/60 and 000/61, 46 boxes

Deeds and papers relating to Tring Park estate.

Estates: Tring Park estate, deeds, 1611-1894

000/875, 7 boxes

Sundry deeds, conveyances and papers concerning property on the Tring Park estate.

Estates: Tring Park estate, deeds, 1927-1976

000/606, 1 file

Contents of box 163 from the NMR vault: deeds of properties in the Tring area.

Estates: Tring Park estate, deeds, c.1940

000/2092, 1 file

Deeds and papers relating to Tring Park estate.

Estates: Tring Park estate, deeds and sundry legal papers, 1799-1938

000/1162/3, 000/1162/5, 000/1162/8-10, 000/1162/12, 6 folders

Sundry legal papers concerning matters pertaining largely to the Tring Park estates. The papers formerly comprised the contents of a tin trunk, ‘Hon L.W. Rothschild’ from Halton House. Much of the correspondence contained in this collection has been addressed to or handled by A.W. Vaisey, solicitor, of Aylesbury.  It is likely that the firm of Wilkins took over or inherited the business conducted by Vaisey. Wilkins deposited the tin trunk with Halton at a date unknown.The papers are mainly concerned with property transactions executed by Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915) and his wife, Emma, Lady Rothschild (1844-1935). Includes sunbdry docuements marked ‘Tithes’; bundles of papers concerning conveyances of  land involving Lord Rothschild, including papers concerning the Rose & Crown, Tring, Miswell House, Tring, land at Wilstone, Tring, Brickfield, Buckland Common, Hastoe House, Tring, Manor Farm, Marsworth, Longcroft, Tring, Harrow public house, Tring.; papers concerning Redemption of Land Tax; papers  concerning Lady Rothschild's properties in Tring; schedules of deeds concerning the Tring Estate; papers concerning the Estate of the late Charles Rothschild (1877-1923).

Estates: Tring Park estate, evacuation of NMR to Tring, Second World War, 2004

000/1467, 1 file

Correspondence and copy photographs concerning Doris Scott, a former employee of NM Rothschild & Sons. During the war Ms Scott stayed in a cottage at Tring where the bank had been evacuated.

Estates: Tring Park estate, indenture, 1660

000/635, 1 item

Transcript of an indenture dated 29th Jan 1660 concerning the Manor of Tring.

Estates: Tring Park estate, memoirs, undated

000/2584, 1 volume

Copy of personal memoir The Life And Times of Stan Jennings, 1890-1963 by Derek Jennings (privately published by Amersham Business Services/Derek Jennings), undated. n 1902, Stanley Jennings, started a farming career as an apprentice on Lord Rothschild's Estates near Tring (age 12). By 1914 he had worked his way up to be bailiff of one of the farms near Wendover (age 24). He had joined the Herts Yeomanry as a trooper (age 17), and at the outbreak of the First World War transferred to the City of London Yeomanry 'Rough Riders'.  He fought in the Gallipoli, Salonika and Palestine campaigns and then the final offences on the Western Front as a Sergeant Major in the Machine Gun Corp. His son Derek Jennings, wrote a short privately published book on his memories of his father’s life; the illustrated volume outlines Stan's family background in Barnet, his time on the Rothschild estate farms (Wendover & Tring), his experiences in both world wars and his later business career as Managing Director of a shirt manufacturer.

Estates: Tring Park estate, Ordnance Survey Photo Mosaic Sheet, Tring, 1947

000/1228, 1 item

Black and white aerial photographs, reproduced from the Ordnance Survey Air Photo Mosaic Sheets (1944-1951) 1:10,560, held at the British Library: Tring. September 1947. (42/91 SW).

Estates: Tring Park estate, plans of Tring Park mansion, c.1890

000/379, 1 file

Photocopies of plans of Tring Park mansion, c.1890 (Note: originals held by Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.)

Estates: Tring Park estate, postcards, 1909

000/2131, 1 item

Colour postcard of Tring Park mansion, 1909.

Estates: Tring Park estate, press cuttings, c.1910

000/2368, 1 item

Page from The Country Gentlemen's Association Ltd of Pall Mall, London,advertising sheep, cattle and horse from the Tring Park estate of Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915). 

Estates: Tring Park estate, press cuttings, c.1914

000/1945, 1 item

Press cutting from an unknown source of the poem 'From the Boston Boys at Tring', verse written during the First World War.

Estates: Tring Park estate, sale particulars, 1938

000/1290, 1 item

Tring Park estate in Herts and Bucks: particulars of sale of farms, small holdings, building land, residential and shop properties by auctioneers Stafford, Rogers & A.W. Merry, 1938.  Includes black and white photographs of six properties.

Estates: Tring Park estate, secondary sources, 1993

000/381, 1 item

Country Life, 25 November 1993, containing article on Tring Park.

Estates: Tring Park estate, tenancy agreement, 1942

000/573, 1 item

Agreement, 27 January 1942 for tenancy of Tring Park. This item originates from a tin trunk labelled “Box 64” in the New Court vaults which contained various items selected on grounds of historical interest by an unknown hand. The tenannacy agreement is between Victor, 3rd Lord Rothschild and Messrs N M Rothschild & Sons and concerns the wartime evacuation of parts of the London bank to Tring, 1942-1946.

Estates: Tring Park estate, Silk Mill Farm, livestock records, 1898-1899

000/1873, 1 volume

Livestock Ledger from the tenant of Silk Mill Farm, Tring Park estate, 1898-1899.

Estates: Tring Park estate, The Rose & Crown Hotel, visitors’ book, 1905-1931

000/369, 1 volume

Bound volume, being the visitors' book from The Rose & Crown Hotel, Tring Park, 1905-1931. Guests of the Rothschilds at Tring Park and their domestic staff who could not be accomodated at the Tring Park mansion would sometimes be put up at the hotel.