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Halton House

  • Earlier Houses: There was an earlier house on the site, parts of which were incorporated into the current house.

    Built / Designed For: Alfred Charles de Rothschild

    House & Family History: Lionel de Rothschild, the first Jew to sit in the House of Commons, purchased the Halton Estate in 1853; his son, Alfred, built the current house in the 1880s in the French château style. In 1918 the Royal Air Force purchased the estate and village; the house is today RAF Halton Officers' Mess. Alfred's famous winter garden was a huge domed conservatory (with nine smaller domes) that burst with luxurious tropical foliage and flowers at all times of the year. The winter garden was demolished in the 1930s and replaced in 1935-37 by the west wing, designed by Vincent Harris as accommodation for single officers. The northeast wing was added in 1958. The saloon, soaring to two stories, is decked out in imperial gold and white with crimson silk panels. Most of the interiors are in the style of Louis XIV and Louis XVI; the smoking room is in a Moorish style.

    Collections: Halton contained important collections of French furniture and porcelain and 18th century English portraits.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: There are formal gardens close to the house, with woodlands beyond. The grounds contain an ornamental a circa 1880 cast iron bridge, a Summer House of 1887-88 called The Chalet, the Dog Kennels, and a Skittle Alley. Though now demolished, there was also a skating rink, a circus ring, and a menagerie. The Trenchard Museum on the grounds of Halton preserves and displays items that relate to the early history of Royal Air Force. Named after Lord Trenchard, known as the father of the Royal Air Force, the museum opened in 1999 and is also a Recruit Training Site where the new airmen and women do 10 weeks of basic training before graduating. The museum's collection celebrates the history of RAF Halton, the origins of which go back to 1913, when the Royal Flying Corps were given permission by Alfred de Rothschild to use Halton for practicing manoeuvres. The museum has two complete aircraft, many models of aircraft, a number of aero engines, weapons and other equipment on display. There are a large number of photographs, a mock-up of barrack rooms, and the uniforms worn by those stationed at Halton over the years. The James McCudden Flight Heritage Centre, also located at Halton, is another historical building with flight simulators.

  • Architect: W. R. Rogers

    Date: 1881-84
    Designed: House for Baron Alfred Charles de Rothschild

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    Architect: Vincent Harris

    Date: 1935-37
    Designed: West Wing for Royal Air Force

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  • Country Life: I, 664, 1897.

  • Title: Waddesdon Manor: The Heritage of a Rothschild House
    Author: Hall, Michael (Text); Taylor, John Bigelow (Photographs)
    Year Published: 2002
    Reference: pgs. 36-37
    Publisher: New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
    ISBN: 0810932393
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire, The
    Author: Pevsner, Nikolaus; Williamson, Elizabeth
    Year Published: 1994
    Publisher: London: Penguin Books
    ISBN: 0140710620
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade II*

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "Jeeves and Wooster" (1992 - TV series, in the episode "Safety in New York" [aka "Bertie Sets Sail"], as the New York home of Mr. Stoker; also in 1992 Halton was the brief scene of nighttime entertainment with Jeeves in the episode "Bertie Ensures Bicky Can Continue to Live in Manhattan" ["The Full House"]). "Evita" (1996). "Midsomer Murders" (1997 - TV series, as Monarch Tobacco headquarters in episode "Strangler's Wood"). "An Ideal Husband" (1999). "The World Is Not Enough" (1999 - as interiors of Baku L'Or Noir casino). "Holby City" (1999-2006 - TV series). "Foyle's War" (2002 - TV series). "Die Another Day" (2002 - as the casino). "What a Girl Wants" (2003). "Bride & Prejudice" (2004 - for Punjabi wedding song). "Agatha Christie's Marple" (2005 - TV series, as the primary public spaces of the Majestic Hotel in the episode "The Body in the Library"). "The Queen" (2006 - as the interiors of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle). "Death Defying Acts" (2006). "Hotel Babylon" (2006 - TV Series). "Flyboys" (2006 - as the interior of the French chateau used for barracks). "Death Defying Acts" (2007 - as the interior of the Edinburgh hotel). "The King's Speech" (2010 - as the King's office in Buckingham Palace). "Downton Abbey" (2011 - TV series, as interior of Haxby Park). "Agatha Christie: Poirot" (2013 - TV series, as exterior, main hall, dining room, and terrace of the Swiss hotel in the Alps in the episode "The Labours of Hercules"). "The Crown" (2016 - TV series, as exterior of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's Paris house). "Bridgerton" (2020-22 - TV series, as the interior of Bridgerton House, the Bridgertons's London home). "Cruella" (2021 - as the interiors at the black and white ball).
  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Sir John Dashwood-King, 4th Bt., until 1849. Lionel Nathan Freiherr de Rothschild, 1853-79. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Alfred Charles Freiherr de Rothschild, 1882-1918.

    Current Ownership Type: Government

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Other

    Ownership Details: Today RAF Halton Officers' Mess

  • House Open to Public: Limited Access

    Website: http://www.haltonhouse.org.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No