What’s this crane doing at Clandon Park?

Cranes at Clandon Park

Some people will have noticed that the skyline above Clandon Park has changed over the last few weeks, with two crane booms working over it.

These cranes are being used to undertake the careful removal of timbers, steelwork and other debris from high-level in the building so that they don't fall into the structure causing further damage to the areas below.

As you can see there are two cranes on site. The smaller is a Grove 3055 which can lift up to 55 tonnes. Its bigger sibling, the Grove 5220, can lift up to 220 tonnes, that’s 27 London buses. The cranes are used to lift operatives up in special baskets so that the removal of the timbers and steelwork can take place safely. In some situations one crane is used to carry the operatives whilst the other is used to lift out bulky and heavy items.

A view from the crane at Clandon Park
Cranes at Clandon Park
A view from the crane at Clandon Park

During the works it has been necessary for me to go up in the baskets to inspect the works being undertaken. You'd think that this would be a scary experience, but with the skill of the driver and an appointed person as his eyes on the ground, it's altogether different.

You gently lift off and start swinging towards the building, rising up so that within seconds you're at the same height as the roof of the house. Whilst it's not a sightseeing trip, as the basket is moving into position, you get the chance to see the gardens and the 360 degree panorama – from here you're able to see Guildford Cathedral and Heathrow Airport, nearly 20 miles away.

" The basket is gently lowered into the house and you immediately feel the eerie serenity of your surroundings."
- Nathan Buckell

Once in position, the basket is gently lowered into the house and you immediately feel the eerie serenity of your surroundings. Here you not only get a feeling of the huge task ahead, but also what has been achieved in the last few months. The majority of the high level timbers, steelwork and other debris has been carefully recorded and removed in readiness for the ground level teams to safely enter the building.

Once the inspection is complete the basket lifts out of the house before sailing over the trees and landing softly back on the ground.

Crane over Clandon Park

How does it feel to go up in a crane over the fire damaged Clandon Park? James Stevenson, Structural Engineer from Price & Myers tells all in this remarkable video.