Mentmore Towers n the village of Mentmore, in Buckinghamshire, is seen practically abandoned and with a collapsing roof in a series of photos taken by urban explorers. Mentmore Towers has been used as a film location for a number of major Hollywood film productions over the years.
The vast 19th century mansion was originally designed by Sir Joseph Paxton for the Rothschild family and completed in 1854, but required a full restoration following years of neglect and extensive water damage.
Over its entire history, the name “Mentmore Towers” has stuck with the mansion, sharing it with the village in which it stands. Even though it was never something official, today, it is widely accepted as such. Mentmore Towers stands four-square on a slight rise with towers at each corner, and is the largest of the English Rothschild houses.
The two men responsible for the lavish design of the building were Sir Joseph Paxton and his son-in-law, George Henry Stokes. Inspired by the Robert Smythson’s Wollaton Hall building, Paxton and Stokes went for something unique and different, making the building’s structure a mish mash of Elizabethan and Jacobean architecture, two styles quite famous in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
During World War II, Mentmore Towers was used as a storage space for many British art collections of national importance, including the Gold State Coach of the Royal Family. Most of the estate’s park, which today is Grade II listed, was sold during the war.
The Mentmore Towers remained in the Rosebery family until it was put on the market in 1977. The auction of the contents in the same year was one of the major sales of the century. In 1978, The Maharishi Foundation in the UK purchased Mentmore Towers for ₤240,000 for use as a headquarters and college. It was the headquarters of the Natural Law Party and campus of Maharishi University of Natural Law.
Mentmore Towers was sold to the Rueben Brothers in 2009, with plans to renovate the original building and not construct the new extension containing guest-room suites, conference facilities and a large spa.
Mentmore Towers has appeared in many films, including Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985), Slipstream (1989), Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Philip Kaufman’s Marquis de Sade biographical film Quills (2000), The Mummy Returns (2001), Ali G Indahouse (2002) as the Prime Minister’s residence Chequers, Johnny English (2003), and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005), where it was used as the Gothic Wayne Manor.