We are home to three ceramics collections, the Gubbay, Forde and Swaythling collections. Each features rare porcelain and are displayed throughout the house.
Hannah Gubbay was an influential collector of the finest furniture, ceramics, and textiles. She left her collection to us and Clandon was refurbished to show it off.
Fowler was the most influential interior designer of his generation. He invented the English Country House Style and hugely influenced the decorative scheme here.
Francis Barlow was this country’s first wildlife painter and a prolific book illustrator. We have six Barlow paintings here, the largest collection in the country.
Knyff’s birds-eye view
Leonard Knyff was a Dutch artist specialising in topographical drawings of country estates. He was commissioned by Richard, 1st Baron Onslow, to paint Clandon.
The Three Graces
Our project to conserve a mysterious plaster cast of The Three Graces lasted 17 years. They’ve now returned to us and can be seen at the foot of the Oak Stairs.
During the First World War, our house was used as a military hospital. Between 1914 and 1919, over 5000 patients were treated here from the Belgian, French and British armies.
To discover the full story, visit us throughout 2014. We’ll be commemorating the anniversary of the First World War with events and exhibitions. Watch this space for details.
A masterpiece of Venetian architect Giacomo Leoni, our marble entrance hall was designed to be an awe-inspiring introduction for guests of Lord and Lady Onslow.
- Stucco ceiling – constructed by pushing wet lime plaster onto a large oak frame
- Fireplaces – overmantel reliefs were carved by John Michael Rysbrack
Originally, as the entrance hall to the east front, the Saloon was paired with the Marble Hall. Both could be opened to the garden allowing light to spill in and parties to spill out.
- Overmantel – black and white marble framing plaster relief of Mars & Venus
- Curtains – made from Canadian Army blanketing, bought in 1945 during rationing
Green Drawing Room
In 1969, when ageing wall hangings were removed the 1720s green wallpaper beneath was found to be in perfect condition. The room is arranged with pieces from the Gubbay collection.
- Carpet – extremely rare Claude Passavant carpet c.1760, the finest in Mrs Gubbay’s bequest
- Chandelier – possibly the ‘Superb Cut Glass Lustre’ listed in a 1778 inventory
Known as the Palladio Room since 1747, this space has Palladian proportions. The length is twice the height and 1.5 times the width, as prescribed by the great architect.
- Floor – a sprung wood dance floor, this space was used as a ballroom
- Piano – pianoforte by Broadwood, 1814, is identical to the piano presented by Broadwood to Beethoven in 1817
This room is almost entirely furnished with pieces from Mrs Gubbay’s collection. She wanted the public to have an opportunity to view one of the best private collections in the country.
- Pembroke table – marquetry inlaid satinwood table c.1770, fitted with a backgammon board
- Violet Bampfylde portrait – Countess of Onslow during the First World War, she ran Clandon as a hospital
The Onslow family have, uniquely, provided three Speakers for the House of Commons over the centuries. They are celebrated in the Speakers Parlour.
- The Black Speaker – portrait of Sir Richard Onslow, speaker in the reign of Elizabeth I
- Surtout de Table – 18th century Derby porcelain garden on the table
A library since 1778, the centrepiece of this room is the overmantel picture. View of the House of Commons features Speaker Arthur Onslow and his friend, Prime Minister Robert Walpole.
- Books – Many of the Great Speaker's old books were sold but the 4th Earl managed to buy some back
- Library rules – from March 12 1819, requesting the return of all books to their correct shelf position
Dating from around 1710 our state bed is even older than the house. We've undertaken a project to conserve the bed and accompanying furniture.
- State bed – A fabulously expensive suite of furniture bought in hope of a royal visit
- Card table – marquetry card table inlaid with purple heart and fruitwood
Blue China Room
A bedroom in 1778 and the Yellow Bedroom in 1899, this room was converted to a display room for porcelain in the early 70’s when the Gubbay collection was installed.
- Early 19th century doll’s house – belonged to the Onslow children and still contains some of the original 19th century furniture
- Porcelain – each piece in this room is a highlight
Earl of Onslow Room
Discover portraits of the 5th and 6th Earls of Onslow. It was William, 6th Earl, who sold the house to his Aunt, Countess of Iveagh, she then gave the house to us.
- Knyff painting – a birds-eye-view of the Tudor house that once stood here
- 5th Earl portrait – by Philip de Laszlo, the most successful court painter in Europe
Can't wait to get in the house? Why not download our house guide and sneak a peek at what you'll see when you're here. Plan your visit with a detailed floor plan of the house, a brief explanation to lead you through each room, plus some extra info on our garden.
Sneak a peek behind the scenes with our attic tours, we're putting on more tours of these secret spaces than ever before, in 2014. Or unearth Clandon’s unusual and obscure side every week, in Clandon Discovered. For details of all our events, head to our events page.