The Clandon Park project: a timeline

Project
The upper level of the house underneath the scaffolding roof

Since the night of the fire on April 29 2015 we’ve been through many extraordinary moments, both tough times and triumphs. The Clandon Park project represents one of the most complex and exciting projects the National Trust has ever embarked upon. An enormous undertaking, we now have the opportunity not only to show our respect for the heritage of the past, but also to create a new legacy for the future.  

Here you can follow a timeline of events from the early days of the project, through each major milestone, right up to the present day. We’ll continue to post developments here and update you with our progress on the journey towards our ultimate goal, welcoming visitors back to a reimagined Clandon Park.

Latest updates

03 Jan 22

Material research

The best way to care for something that’s damaged is to really understand how it was made. It would be fair to assume that the red brick exterior of Clandon was chosen simply because the right clay was available close to hand, but it is also furnished with stonework sourced from much further afield.

The team have been working with expert geologists and stonemasons to analyse what types of stone they can find at Clandon, when these types of stone may have been used, and how they were transported. So far, they have identified nine different stones which came from as far as field as Bath and Italy.

This research is also unlocking surprising new insight into how the construction of Clandon is intertwined with different modes of transportation. Specialist materials such timber and stone would have been transported on the Thames to a wharf in London and then down the Wey Navigation and on to Clandon by horse and cart. Many of the historical records that normally record the creation of houses of this kind don’t survive at Clandon to guide our curators, so this makes for a very complex multi-disciplinary research project.

The roof at Clandon Park

09 Aug 21

Conservation bricklaying

This is the first major conservation work to take place since the fire following the years of debris clearance, research and essential maintenance.

A small team of expert brick and stone conservators have set to work investigating the most sensitive way to repair damage in the surviving external walls, chimney stacks and balustrade. In the first phase this will focus mainly on an area in the south-east corner of the house.

Thousands of new bricks will be made by traditional family brickmakers which carefully match the colour and texture of those made by local brickmakers 300 years ago. Repairing this damage is a crucial step in the National Trust’s long-term project to bring the house back to life.

More on the essential conservation works

Emma Simpson, the expert conservation bricklayer working with the National Trust on the Clandon Park project

04 Jan 21

Project restarts

After a challenging year due to Coronavirus, our teams are able to re-start in earnest. This year, subject to planning consents and coronavirus restrictions, we will start essential repair and conservation work which was delayed in 2020.

To prepare for this we are currently undertaking detailed specialist surveys of the brick and stonework. We expect the work to begin in mid-2021 and to take at least two years. It will include careful repairs to conserve the very fine remaining brickwork and stonework throughout the house which remarkably almost entirely survived the fire.

This conservation work is essential to ensuring the house’s long-term protection and public access and must take place before we can begin future construction work.

Kent Rawlinson in the Marble Hall at Clandon Park, Surrey