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The Clandon Park volunteer talks service

A group of people sat laughing and smiling in a lecture at Petworth House in Sussex.
Get in touch with the Clandon Park talks service to make a booking for your group | © National Trust Images/David Levenson

Since the fire at Clandon Park, we've been determined to continue sharing Clandon’s stories and the project’s progress, despite the current limitations of the site. Our talks service gives you the chance to have one of our volunteer speakers visit your society, club or group. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable, the team are available to give a variety of talks to groups of all sizes.

Discover the stories of Clandon

Clandon Park was conceived to impress and dazzle. Commissioned by politician Thomas, Lord Onslow, and built by Italian, Swiss and English craftsmen, Clandon was designed for entertaining high society, including royalty. An extended Jacobean hunting lodge was swept away, signalling the arrival of a new style in architecture with the transition from Baroque to Palladianism.

Uncover more about this significant house and the Onslow family who lived there. Our dedicated, passionate and knowledgeable volunteers will share their years of research and experience with you. Simply choose the subject about which you'd like to hear, download and complete our talks service booking form, then email it back to us at

Which talks are available?

Clandon Park: the fire and the future 
On 29 April 2015, a devastating fire broke out at Clandon. During this talk we will delve into the salvage phase. We’ll focus on the important discoveries made about the structure of the house and the revelations we have encountered as we work.  
Hospital patients at Clandon Park 
Between 1914 and 1919, Clandon Park was a hospital for those injured on the front line. There were 5,600 patients admitted from all the major battles, and all parts of the Commonwealth. Using patients’ records, contemporary photographs, diaries and memories, this talk remembers this special period in Clandon’s history. 
Clandon Park: the history of a house 
Designed by Italian architect Giacomo Leoni, Clandon Park is one of only five remaining Leoni mansions in Britain. Commissioned by the ambitious Onslow family and built on the site of their Jacobean mansion, this talk explores the building of a magnificent house and its grand internal decoration.  
Clandon Park and the Onslow family 
From Richard, the first member of the Onslow family to be Speaker of the House of Commons, through to William Hillier Onslow, who inherited the house and earldom at the tender age of 17, delve into the Onslow family. 
The Onslows in Surrey 
This talk focusses on the significant role the Onslow family has played in Surrey history since the 1550s. They represented Surrey or Guildford in Parliament for over 400 years, with members of the family also serving as Lord Lieutenants of the County and High Stewards of Guildford. Discover extraordinary local happenings, such as the affair of Mary Toft and the scandal of the Tichborne Claimant. 
The New Zealand connection 
Nestled under a tree in the garden is an extraordinary building. One of only four Māori meeting houses outside of New Zealand, and the only one of these outdoors in a non-museum setting, Hinemihi is an internationally significant building. Brought back to Clandon Park by the 4th Earl following his term of office as Governor of New Zealand, she has stood here for almost 130 years. 

Hosting practicalities

Locations: Our speakers are based in Surrey and Hampshire and can typically travel up to 20 miles to give talks.

Requirements: Your volunteer speaker will need car parking close to the venue and access in advance to set up.

Equipment: A PowerPoint presentation is used to illustrate talks. Please let us know that you're able to supply a laptop, projector and connection cables.

Costs: We kindly ask for a donation to help us cover the cost of providing the talks service.

Contact us about the Clandon Park talks service

For more information about the volunteer talks service, please email us at or call a member of the team on 01483 222482.

Children walking through the meadow in July at Clandon Park, Surrey


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Statue fixed to the brick wall at Clandon Park Surrey

Clandon Park 

Conserving and caring for a great house laid bare

Guildford, Surrey

Partially open today
Taken two days after the fire, this photo show a mass on charred timbers piled on top of one another, with the shell of a room seen behind.

The fire at Clandon Park 

Curator Sophie Chessum witnessed the fire at Clandon Park first-hand. Read her account of the night of 29 April 2015.

Inside the Speakers' Parlour with portraits on the wall above a fireplace and a laid dining table at Clandon Park, Surrey

The Onslow family at Clandon Park 

The Onslow family first moved into Clandon Park in 1641 and since then there have been record-breaking politicians, First World War workers and pioneering women.

A view of the south front of the house and the formal garden at Clandon Park, Surrey

History of Clandon Park 

Clandon Park's history spans more than three centuries, from its origins as a grand Georgian home to its time as a First World War military hospital and subsequent restoration in the 1960s.

Oil painting of William Hillier, 4th Earl of Onslow, in 1903

Clandon Park's colonial connection to New Zealand 

Clandon Park has a number of direct connections to slavery and colonialism. Understanding these links is an important part of our work.

Māori meeting house, known as Hinemihi, at Clandon Park, Surrey

History of Hinemihi 

Discover the history of Hinemihi. Follow her journey from construction in New Zealand to the grounds of a stately home in Surrey.

Māori meeting house, known as Hinemihi, at Clandon Park, Surrey

A new future for Hinemihi 

Find out about plans to return Hinemihi, the 19th century Māori meeting house in the grounds at Clandon Park, to her ancestral home in New Zealand.


The project at Clandon Park 

Take a look at our timeline to find out what the team have been working on.