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About Mentmore Towers
This was one of England's most important houses, it was built for Baron Meyer Amschel de Rothchild in 1855 by Joseph Paxton, the designer of Crystal Palace.
Jacobean in design, the great towers of Mentmore must have made a striking impression on the distinguished guests being driven towards its elegant door. For both the exterior and the interior are a reflection of the wealth and power of the Rothchild family. The house was always the hub of high society, during its eventful history which has included ownership by the 5th Earl of Roseberry, Mentmore has played host to some of the world's most illustrious people, these have included - Napoleon III, Czar Nicholas II, Winston Churchill, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The house is palatial, it was built on a grand scale and mirror's the style of "Versailles" and of an "Italian palazzo" it shows an incredible amount of gilding and carving. All the rooms are arranged around a large central hall surrounded by plate-glass doors and windows flooding the place with light. The dramatic marble black and white fireplace to the hall came from Rubens' house at Antwerp. Other ornamentation, particularly to the dining room, came from Paris. In its "hey-day" the house possessed a superb collection of fine furniture, paintings and other works of art.
The grand social life of Mentmore came to an end when its contents where put up for sale during the 1970's, despite a huge public outcry at the potential loss to the nation of so many important treasures, the sale went ahead. It realised in excess of six million pounds, a huge sum by any standards, even more so at that time.
The house was eventually purchased by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and is now the headquarters of the Maharishi University of Natural Law. Parts of the building were originally open for public tours, but at the present time these are no longer in operation. None-the-less, just to catch a glimpse of Mentmore's intricate towers is to gaze at a stunning piece of English history.
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