Over 500 years of history
Claydon House has been the seat of the Verney family since 1620. The present house is almost entirely 18th-century having undergone major redevelopment in 1757 and 1771 to rival the nearby manor house at Stowe. Today, only a fragment of the great house is still standing with its magnificent 18th-century state rooms.
History of the house
The original house consisted of two wings, just the right hand wing remains today. The 2nd Earl's had a taste for grandeur and lavish entertainments and so he greatly extended the house with an immense addition to the north, which almost trebled the length of the existing house. The work began in 1766, just as an earlier phase of building work was being completed. This chiefly consisted of two huge reception rooms, a circular entrance hall or rotunda and a ball room.
When you visit, stand before the west front of the house and try and imagine a second, duplicate building to the far left where the current car park stands. Behind its facade lay an immense columned ballroom or 'Egyptian Hall', seven bays long and two storeys high. Between the two wings stood the rotunda with by six giant Corinthian columns on the outside, with the front door in the centre. This was finished by a domed cupola with a gilt pineapple on its summit.
The many faces of Claydon House
Ornamental West front
The principle, ornamental front of of the house overlooks the park and the lake. It's a seven bay grey cut stone frontage with a terrace.
When you arrive, you'll first come across the imposing north front of the house. It was built around 1791 of cut grey stone to repair and replace the damage caused by the demolition of the original rotunda and second wing.
The red brick East wing currently houses the private Verney family apartments and our shop and offices. It overlooks the courtyard to the front and was built on the site of an old Jacobean manor house.
The South view is only accessible from the gardens which remain the private property of the Verney family. For a small seperate entrance fee you can visit the gardens and see the impressive bay windows which adorn this side of Claydon House.