The many faces of Claydon
Ornamental front view
The principle, ornamental front of the house overlooks the park and the lake. It consists of a seven bay, grey stone cut frontage with a terrace that showcases the magnificent location of Claydon house.
When you arrive, you'll first come across the imposing north front of the house. It was rebuilt in around 1791 of grey cut stone to replace the damage caused by the demolition of the original rotunda and second wing. You will also find the visitor reception gazebo to the right of the north face of the house.
The red brick east wing currently houses the private Verney family apartments, our shop and our offices. It overlooks the courtyard to the front and was built on the site of an older Jacobean manor house.
The south view is only accessible from the gardens which remain the private property of the Verney family. For a small, separate entrance fee you can visit the gardens and see the impressive bay widows which adorn this side of Claydon House.
Wood carvings by Luke Lightfoot
Luke Lightfoot was a brilliant and talented stonemason and carver, but not an architect. However, Sir Ralph Verney engaged him as such at Claydon where Lightfoot used his skills to make impressive carvings, most notably in the north hall here at Claydon. He was a very talented carver but not a very trustworthy one and he swindled away a lot of Sir Ralph's money before being dismissed.
Most of the work done by Luke survives today, including the painted wooden carvings in the Chinese Room. All of the wood was painted white, which is believed to be because it was all carved in pine which comes in many shades and discolours over time. Due to the preserving coat of paint you can still see the unique and amazing craftsmanship of the carvings today.