Clandon Park before the fire
A devastating fire broke out at Clandon Park in Surrey on Wednesday 29 April. Everyone was evacuated from the building and there were no reports of injuries but the fire ravaged the building, damaging all but one room.
Three centuries of cultural history and important Palladian interiors were lost in the blaze. A proportion of the contents were saved through a well-rehearsed salvage operation.
A magnificent house and collection
Clandon Park was built by a Venetian architect for Lord Onslow in the 1720s and was one of the country’s most complete examples of a Palladian mansion. The interiors featured original stucco ceilings and marble fireplaces, the most impressive of which were in the Marble Hall.
The house also contained a superb collection of 18th-century furniture, porcelain and textiles, much of which was acquired by the connoisseur Hannah Gubbay. The house came into our care in 1956 and Gubbay left her whole collection to us.
Roles played by Clandon Park
During the First World War Clandon Park was used as a military hospital and it became an archive for the Public Records Office during the Second World War.
On screen it played a role in the 2008 film The Duchess, with the Marble Hall doubling as the dining room at Devonshire House. The Marble Hall, Green Drawing Room, Hunting Room, Saloon and Palladio Room were also used for filming the 2015 BBC Two drama The Scandalous Lady W, with the interiors representing Appuldurcombe House and a hotel room.
The future for Clandon Park
We’re hopeful that Clandon Park can be rebuilt and has a long-term future. It’s too early to say how, when and in what form it could be rebuilt, but as we get more information on the extent of the damage we’ll be able to take a clearer view on the potential options for the house.
To make a donation please call 0344 800 1895 or donate online following the link below. All donations are being held in a separate Clandon Appeal Fund. Thank you.
This article was first published on 17 August 2015.