The Family

The Rothschilds at Exbury

Founded by Mayer Amschel, a coin dealer in the ghetto of Frankfurt, the present dynasty of the Rothschild family, started by his five sons, spread throughout Europe in the 1800s. The name Rothschild derives from the German for “red shield” and was first adopted as a family surname in the late 1600s. The family’s coat of arms of five arrows, representing the five brothers, was granted in 1822 by the Austro-Hungarian empire with its motto “Concordia, Industria, Integritas,” which  means Harmony, Industriousness, Integrity, a slogan that has held it in good stead ever since.

Lionel de Rothschild had been very interested in horticulture from an early age. In 1919 he started to build Exbury Gardens: the result was to be one of the most ambitious enterprises of its kind to take place in the last century – the creation of a private woodland garden covering 250 acres. In the intervening years before his death in 1942, he assembled a celebrated collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, magnolias and other shrubs and trees.

The work Lionel started was continued, first by his sons Edmund and Leopold and now by subsequent generations, who have raised new Exbury hybrids, added new features and maintained the high standards of his great achievement.

Charlotte de Rothschild is an internationally renowned lyric soprano who specialises in Oratorio and the Art of Song. She sings in 18 languages and was hailed as a pioneer in Japan, being one of the first foreigners to have recorded a complete CD of Kakyoku. For more information , please visit her website and YouTube channel.

Nicholas de Rothschild's pictures of the gardens are now available to buy online at 

We hope you enjoy your visit to Exbury Gardens.

‘A truly fantastic day out. My wife and I were bowled over by the amazing spring colours of rhododendrons and azaleas and there was literally colour everywhere. There are beautiful areas to walk through as well as places to sit. We took a picnic in the hope of being able to sit by one of the ponds and were not disappointed – the reflections were as spectacular as the real thing! The next thing we want to do is return in the autumn to see the colours change as it must be beautiful’

David Parker, Christchurch

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