The Verney family
Meet the Verneys
The Verney family, who still live at Claydon, can trace their roots back to ancestors who came over with William the Conquerer back in 1066. Many years of intrigue, rising and falling fortunes, successful marriages and veritable positions within the hierachy of English politics, the Verneys have made Claydon what it is today.
Verneys through the ages
Trace the Verney family tree and see if you can find their portraits around the house.The family history has many active figures, some of whom have lived at Claydon House as you find it today, and others that would have lived in the old Jacobean manor house that once stood on this site.
Sir Edmund Verney
Sir Edmund Verney served Charles I and famously lost his hand whilst still holding the Kings standard at the battle of Edgehill in 1642.
Sir Francis Verney
Sir Francis was infamous for his exploits as a pirate, operating largely in the Caribbean.
Sir Ralph Verney
Sir Ralph Verney, the second Baron, came into his inheritance in 1752. He was extremely wealthy and he designed and created Claydon to be a pleasure palace.This extravagance eventually led to his downfall and the loss of his fortune. Lady Mary Verney, Countess of Fermanagh inherited Claydon and in 1791 began pulling down the ballroom and the rotunda.
Finally, the property passed to Sir Harry who had inherited the estates from his cousin. He took the Verney name as part of the settlement and went on to marry Parthenope Nightingale,Vsister to the famous Florence. Parthenope is responsible for the layout of the library.
Florence Nightingale visited Claydon often, Sir Harry Verney gave her several rooms of her own and she spent many happy hours here.
15th and 16th Centuries
Wander back in time down the historical times lines to see what was happening for various Verney members
With so much happening in England this was a tumultuous period in history. Its a dangerous time being a Verney.
A century of wars ending in the birth of the United States of America, and the beheading of Marie-Antoinette and the French Royal family in France.A change in Verney fortunes and the demolition of the rotunda and second wing at Claydon House.
The golden age of the Victorians and the Crimea War. Florence Nightingale and advances in medicine. A change in ownership with Sir Harry Calvert changing his name to Verney upon his inheritance of Claydon.
20th and 21st Centuries
Two World Wars, the Falklands, two Gulf Wars and the technological explosion of cars, planes, boats, computers, the internet and telephones to name but a few. Claydon resides in the past, but with just a few modern home comforts such as the internet, the cafe and our volunteers rather than servants.