What is Clandon Park?
Clandon Park is a modern ruin. In 2015 a huge fire ripped through the Palladian mansion, destroying the upper floors and roof, and gutting the house. But the strong brick walls survived, and today Clandon Park is cloaked in scaffolding, sheltered from the wind and rain. This year, we welcomed visitors from March to November, but the house is closed for winter now. While we’re closed, this website is the place to come for updates on our progress.
The house won’t stay this way for long because we’re working on plans to restore and remake Clandon Park. A visit today reveals a vital moment in the house’s history, before the house closes to the sky and uninterrupted open spaces become rooms once more.
Before the fire
Clandon Park was one of the country’s most complete examples of a Palladian mansion. Built for the Onslow family in the 1720s, the house featured magnificent interiors with original ceilings and marble fireplaces. Given to us in 1956, the house was re-presented in the late 1960s to showcase a collection of furniture, porcelain and textiles.
Fire at Clandon Park
In April 2015, a fire broke out. Everyone was evacuated from the building but the fire caused significant damage, effectively leaving the house a shell full of ash and debris. We immediately put together a core project team drawing from the wealth of expertise within the National Trust to begin to plan a way forward.
A future for Clandon Park
In the months that followed the fire, a huge salvage operation took place, slowly but surely removing huge timbers, dangling metal and pieces of rubble, to discover precious collection objects hidden in the ash. After careful deliberation, we announced in 2016 that Clandon would be rebuilt in some shape or form. The house would come back to life.
What will it be?
Rather than a straightforward restoration, the unique circumstances at Clandon Park have demanded a new direction. We’re creating a hybrid space, both old and new, unlike any other National Trust place. We’re working with award winning architects Allies and Morrison who will lead a design team including Purcell, our conservation architects, to help us to do this carefully and sympathetically. We’ll create flexible spaces embraced by the original Palladian structure, while returning the State Rooms at the centre of this Palladian masterpiece to their former glory.
Where are we now?
As one of the UK’s biggest heritage projects, there’s a lot to consider and get right. We’re fine-tuning the masterplan for Clandon, working with experts in areas from fire safety and sustainability to programming and accessibility. One of the project’s key principles is collaboration, so we’re talking and listening with lots of people as we hone our designs and ideas. We’ll be sharing our first working plans with you as soon we can.