Waddesdon Manor
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Waddesdon Manor

We worked on the re-lighting of the extensive Rothschild collections at Waddesdon Manor from 1989 to 2008. The original collection, given by James de Rothschild to the National Trust, has been expanded by the present Lord Rothschild and other family members. The main refurbishment program in the mid 90s renewed the roof and brought the existing infrastructure of the house up to modern standards. Until the late nineties the late architect Dr. W. (Bill) Allen worked with us to create the new lighting for the existing collection areas.

2003 George III silver service

In 2003 Waddesdon acquired an outstanding silver service. It has been placed on display on a specially designed table that enabled us to locate fibre-optic lighting points within the silver such that no light source is visible and yet each object sparkles. In addition a special rope barriers were designed into which we incorporated innovative LED lighting points in the top of each rope post to light the front of the table.

  • For an article about this innovative lighting click here.

2002 New Library

During 2002 an existing suite of offices was converted into a new library for Waddesdon’s extensive collection of art, architecture and furniture books and manuscripts. In addition to new main room lights we designed a small fibre-optic lighting system carefully recessed into the ceiling to provide additional lighting to each bookcase section. We re-lit the roof garden next to the library to provide attractive views out from the library in the evenings.

Unusual lighting

The oval picture on the bed head, pictured above, has been lit by a single fibre-optic lighting tail concealed in the folds of the front of the canopy. The tail was enclosed in a thermosetting plastic tube so that it could be shaped exactly whilst warm to fit into the folds of the canopy. The projector is hidden on top of the canopy and is silent in operation.

Beautiful cases

In 1999 a new print exhibition and study room was opened with new wooden upright and desk style cases for which we designed fibre-optic lighting to display the delicate prints within.

Our designs for the special lighting in this print cases illuminate the exhibits in a way that allows maximum appreciation by the viewer, without risk of damage by light or heat. The shelves can be relocated even though they contain fibre-optic cabling and concealed lenses.


Waddesdon Manor has been given a long string of awards that started with the award to ourselves and the architects Bickerdike Allen Partners of the 1996 National Lighting Award. This was followed by the 1997 Museum of the Year Award and the 1997 National Trust Property of the Year Award as well as awards for the gardens, catering and Civic Trust and Tourism awards.

More information

Return to main page > Showcase Lighting