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The house at Claydon

Visitors looking at a gold framed portrait displayed in the richly decorated Saloon at Claydon, Buckinghamshire, set against blue patterned wall coverings between two wooden doors surrounded by ornate door frames
Visitors looking at a portrait in the Saloon at Claydon | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

History is brought to life at Claydon House, with friendly volunteers and a hands-on approach in many of the stunning 18th-century rooms, so that you can enjoy experiencing life in the house as the Verney family would have done.

Architectural past

Claydon house was originally built with a domed rotunda attached to the north side of the present west wing and an identical wing containing a vast ballroom beyond that. The rotunda and wing containing the ballroom were demolished in 1791.

Upscaling the house

The present Claydon House is almost entirely 18th century and was built on a grand scale by Ralph, 2nd Earl Verney. Lord Verney wanted his house to rival nearby Stowe in magnificence.

A child dressing up in a highly patterned costume, including hat and scarf at Claydon in Buckinghamshire
Dressing up at Claydon | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

No velvet ropes here

Make yourself comfortable on a sofa and marvel at the intricacies of the exuberant 18th-century carved interiors. The velvet ropes in many of the rooms have been taken down so you can enjoy the experience just as the 18th-century residents would have.

The museum room

There are many artefacts on display in the museum room on the first floor. These include some ancient silk slippers, a regimental suit, a number of stuffed birds, watercolours and various objects from the Crimean War. In addition, there’s a remarkably preserved Javanese gamelan, which is a set of musical instruments that include some glockenspiel-type instruments and a set of suspended gongs. Played together as a group, a gamelan brings communities together for religious, spiritual and political music and dancing.

Conservation at Claydon

A dedicated team of volunteer conservationists work closely with the house and collections manager here. Their main goal is to preserve the structure and integrity of Claydon, from the wonderful marquetry on the main staircase through to the collection of ancient texts in the library, and everything you see in between.

The haha (a type of sunken fence) and manor at Claydon House, Buckinghamshire

Discover more at Claydon

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