A look back at the Clandon Park garden open days

Visitors in the garden at Clandon Park

We’re delighted to have welcomed over 3,500 visitors back to Clandon Park for our series of six garden open days. Extremely positively received, these days have been a great success and we’d like to thank everyone who visited for their support.

We wanted to give our members, supporters and the local community a last chance to view the shell of the building, before it’s covered by scaffolding for several years. Whilst our house remained inaccessible this was a unique opportunity for visitors to see Clandon as never before. With displays that told the story of Clandon before the fire, the salvage operation on the night of the fire, and the work currently taking place in the house, we were able to lead visitors step-by-step through Clandon’s unfolding story.
For us as staff, this programme of open days has been a pleasure to be involved in. Preparing each weekend to receive visitors again has felt a little like a return to normality. Our day-to-day jobs since the fire have been very different and so it’s been lovely for us to be able to unlock reception, welcome you in and, once again, talk about this special place.
" A great opportunity. As a local this house is very special to us and although there is a great sadness we have found our visit very positive. We look forward to following the progress."
- From the Clandon Park visitors' book

Not only have we really valued talking to you about our experiences but we’ve also loved listening to you, our visitors. You’ve asked lots of interesting questions and shared some wonderful memories of Clandon. The visitors’ book that we’ve made available for you to write in is now full of messages of support, innovative ideas for the future of Clandon and heart-warming comments.
I'd like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to our team of volunteers who manned the marquees and welcomed visitors. Without them the open days wouldn’t have been possible. Their knowledge and enthusiasm also gave us the chance to highlight the gardens and Hinemihi, our Maori meeting house, with guided talks and tours. Our volunteers have been dedicated supporters of Clandon over many years and so it was wonderful to see them come back to a place for which they hold so much affection. 
" A big thank you to all the people involved in making this open day possible. A fascinating insight into the mechanics of what happened, what was done and what can be done."
- From the Clandon Park visitors' book

Huge thanks also go to our garden team, to the Surrey Infantry Museum and not forgetting the generosity of local marquee company Claremont Marquees. Our gardeners have been able to keep the gardens in great condition despite huge challenges whilst our colleagues from the museum have joined us for each open day, allowing visitors a glimpse of their work since the fire.
Whilst the open days are over for this year, we’re committed to welcoming visitors back to Clandon in the future. Quite when and what form that will take isn’t clear at this early stage, but as we get more information you’ll be able to read about it here.