Our first steps towards the restoration of Clandon Park

Dame Helen Ghosh in the Marble Hall at Clandon Park

As we near the end of the salvage operation and assessment of what has been recovered, we can start to share with you the next steps in our planning for the restoration phase of the project.

The restoration of such an historically important building is a complex process and we want to make sure that we get it right. Earlier in the year, our director-general Dame Helen Ghosh outlined our vision for Clandon and our plan to restore the most significant rooms, whilst considering new, contemporary uses for other parts of the building.
The Library at Clandon after being cleared by our archaeology team
The Library at Clandon Park

Moving forward

One of the unexpected results of the fire was the exposure of architectural features that had been hidden since the house was built. This means we’re learning a great deal about Clandon, enriching our understanding of the property, which will be incredibly useful in terms of informing what we do next. 
 
With full and clear access to the house we’ve engaged conservation, construction and condition specialists to carry out surveys and produce accurate drawings which will result in a detailed understanding of the historic fabric of the building. 
 
Ptolemy Dean, a renowned conservation architect, has been engaged on site since September 2015 and is now producing an interim statement outlining the history and significance of the building and surrounding area, and highlighting the main conservation areas to be addressed. This will feed into our Conservation Management Plan, which will define our approach to the conservation and restoration of Clandon.
The final steps toward clearing the house are now underway
Cleaning the Marble Hall at Clandon Park

Alongside the engagement of technical specialists to aid our understanding of the building, we’ll also consult with advisors, amenity groups such as the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and the Georgian Group, and statutory bodies to ensure that nothing is overlooked. Our focus is to ensure that we carry out the right research now to ensure a sustainable future for Clandon.
 
At the same time, we’ll also be talking with our members, neighbours, community groups and local stakeholders, ensuring lots of two-way conversations about our future, so that we understand the experience that people who’ll be working, volunteering at or visiting Clandon, want from the restored building when we re-open in a few years’ time. 
We hope to restore the Marble Hall to its former glory
The Marble Hall at Clandon Park

Architectural Competition

As part of our plans for Clandon we’ll be holding a competition to find the right architect to bring the space alive in a bold and imaginative way. All of the information from the Conservation Management Plan and engagement process will inform the brief for this competition, which will be held next year. It's important that we launch the architects’ competition following this period of thorough research and analysis. The outcome of the competition will then give us a timeline for the construction phase required to rebuild Clandon.
 
The rebuilding of Clandon Park represents one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by the National Trust. The most important thing is that we show our respect for the extraordinary architectural heritage of the past, but also think about new uses for some of the spaces upstairs to create a new heritage for the future. This will provide us with an opportunity to develop a compelling, year round programme of exhibitions and events that will be enjoyed by local, national and international visitors for a very long time.