Mentmore Towers known as "Mentmore", is a 19th-century English country house built between 1852 and 1854 for the Rothschild family in the village of Mentmore in Buckinghamshire. Sir Joseph Paxton and his son-in-law, George Henry Stokes, designed the building in the 19th-century revival of late 16th and early 17th-century Elizabethan and Jacobean styles called Jacobethan; the house was designed for the banker and collector of fine art Baron Mayer de Rothschild as a country home, as a display case for his collection of fine art. The mansion has been described as one of the greatest houses of the Victorian era. Mentmore was inherited by Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery, née Rothschild, owned by her descendants, the Earls of Rosebery. Mentmore was the first of. Baron Mayer de Rothschild began purchasing land in the area in 1846. Other members of the family built houses at Tring in Hertfordshire, Aston Clinton and Halton. Much of the parkland was sold in 1944, but Mentmore remained with the family until 1977.
At that point, unable to come to an arrangement with the nation to preserve the building and contents intact as a Heritage property, the contents were auctioned, it was sold to the Maharishi Foundation. In 1999, it was sold to investor Simon Halabi, who planned to build additional hotel and conference facilities. In 1992 the Mentmore Golf and Country Club opened, with two 18-hole courses. Mentmore Towers is a Grade I listed building, with its park and gardens listed Grade II*. Baron Rothschild hired Sir Joseph Paxton, who had designed the much-admired Crystal Palace, to design Mentmore. Paxton was responsible for the ridge and furrow glass roof which covered the central hall, designed to imitate the arcaded courtyard of a Renaissance palazzo, while Stokes was co-architect and clerk of works; the builder was the London firm George Myers employed by members of the Rothschild family. In keeping with the contents intended to be displayed within, the interiors take their inspiration principally from the Italian Renaissance, although the house contains drawing rooms and cabinets decorated in the gilded styles of late 18th-century France.
The design is based on that of Robert Smythson's Wollaton Hall. Baron Mayer de Rothschild and his wife did not live long after the Towers' completion. After the Baroness's death it was inherited by her daughter Hannah Countess of Rosebery. Following her death from Bright's Disease in 1890 at age 39, the house became the home of her widower Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery Prime Minister for two years from 1894. In the late 1920s, the fifth earl gave the estate to his son Harry Meyer Archibald Primrose, Lord Dalmeny, who in 1929 on the death of his father, became the sixth Earl. Both earls bred numerous winners of classic horse races at the two stud farms on the estate, including five Epsom Derby winners; these were Ladas, Sir Visto, Cicero from the Crafton Stud. Both stud farms were within a kilometre of the mansion and together with the stable yard were designed by the architect George Devey, who designed many cottages in the estate's villages of Mentmore and Ledburn; the second wife of the sixth Earl, Eva Primose, Countess of Rosebery, was interested in the arts and was acquainted with Kenneth Clark and other national art museum directors.
As a result of Lady Rosebery's friendships, Mentmore was chosen by the British government to store part of the British national art collections during the Second World War. The collections of the National Portrait Gallery were subsequently stored at Mentmore for the duration of the war, along with pieces from the Royal Collection, including the Gold State Coach. Further works transferred to Mentmore included the portraits from Speaker's House in the Palace of Westminster, tapestries and Grinling Gibbons carvings from Hampton Court Palace; the collection was stored in the "battery room" subsequently nicknamed the "refuge", part of the "gas house", a group of outbuildings where gas and electric light were supplied for the estate. Four men guarded the refuge at night, two during the day; the possible purchase of Mentmore for the nation through the government's National Land Fund was the desire of Roy Strong, the director of the V&A, who hoped that Mentmore would become a "branch" of his museum devoted to 19th-century decorative arts as Ham House was for the 17th century and Osterley was for the 18th century.
The government refused to spend such large sums from the fund, the sale fell through. Following the death of the sixth earl in 1973, the Labour government of James Callaghan refused to accept the contents in lieu of inheritance taxes, which could have turned the house into one of England's finest museums of European furniture, objets d'art and Victorian era architecture; the government declined. After three more years of fruitless discussion, the executors of the estate sold the contents by public auction, the large collection was dispersed; the estate made over a tiny fraction of its estimated worth today. Among the paintings sold were works by Gainsborough, Boucher, Drouais and other well known artists, cabinet makers, including Jean Henri Riesener and Chippendale. Represented were the finest German and Russian silver- and goldsmiths, makers of Limoges enamel; this Rothschild/Mentmore collection is said to have been one of the finest to be assembled in private hands, other than the collections of the Russian and British royal families.
The sale of Mentmore has been descr
Tissues and Issues is the fifth studio album by the Welsh singer Charlotte Church released by Sony BMG UK in the United Kingdom on 11 July 2005. The album debuted on the UK Albums Chart at number five and was accredited platinum by BPI for sales over 300,000; the album yielded Church four successful top twenty singles. The album represents a whole new direction for the singer, her previous album, Prelude, a'best of' album, had ended her classical career. The first single to be taken from the album, "Crazy Chick", released shortly before the album itself, reached number two on the UK Singles Chart. "Call My Name", the second single, reached number ten in October 2005. "Even God", the third single, debuted in the Top 20 in early December 2005. The fourth single, "Moodswings", was released on 27 February 2006, peaked at number fourteen on the UK charts. Tissues and Issues is Charlotte Church's second and final album with Sony Music UK. Notes When "Even God" was released as a single on 12 December 2005, the name was changed to "Even God Can't Change the Past"
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