Another visitor described Mentmore thus:
“This Palatial Residence of Baron de Rothschild introduced a new style of domestic architecture into Buckinghamshire . . . . The mansion in built entirely of Ancestor stone, of fine quality and colour; the cornices are highly enriched; and the frieze of each order in filled in with carved panels and heads . . . . The Great Hall is about 48 feet by 40 feet, and 40 feet high, and is separated from the Sub Hall by the corridor . . . . In the Sub Hall leading to the Great Hall is a collection of beautiful Italian statuary, bronzes, and pillars of the rarest ancient marbles. Amongst the most remarkable of these objects is a Greek statue of a Bacchante, with porphyry drapery and a beautiful bronze bust of Greek workmanship. The Great Hall contains an infinity of interesting works of art. From the ceiling are suspended the three Lanterns of copper gilt, surmounted by the Lion of St. Mark, which were made in the arsenal of Venice in the time of the Doge Andrea Vendremin, in 1470, and once illuminated the deck of the famous Bucentoro. The walls are covered with twelve large well preserved and interesting panels of tapestry, the subjects representing the occupations and amusements of each month of the year. The large chimney-piece, sculptured in black and white marble, was designed by and executed for Rubens, and formerly decorated his house at Antwerp. There are four busts of Moors of cinque-cento workmanship in basalt, the draperies composed of Rosso antique and other rare marbles. Also large sculptured Florentine tables of the 16th century, with magnificent antique marble slabs; and two prizes in silver with inscriptions, which were presented by King William III. to the City of Berne . . . . On the upper floor is a Boudoir, full of the most beautiful drawings, paintings, miniatures, old Sevres porcelain, and Bijoux of the time of the three Louis's, viz. XIX, XV, and XVI.”
History and Topography of Buckinghamshire, James Sheahan (1862)
Paxton, originally a gardener and an accomplished landscape designer, produced plans for the grounds, which were laid out by the foremost horticulturist of the day, Sir Harry Veitch.