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The project at Clandon Park

Heritage bricklayer repointing historic brick arches at Clandon Park
Repointing historic brick arches, Clandon Park | © National Trust Images / Andrew Shaylor

The Clandon Park Project is one of the most complex and exciting projects the National Trust has ever embarked upon. The unique circumstances at Clandon Park following the fire in April 2015 gave the opportunity to take a new direction rather than a straightforward restoration. An expert and dedicated team have worked tirelessly since then to make the building safe, salvage its remains, and plan for its future – to bring Clandon Park back to life.

Clandon Park has always been a unique and special place. Over the years, it was the backdrop to many important memories for many people. As we have cared for the building since the fire, we have come to recognise the many ways it remains an important house today, and its potential to come to life once more as its story evolves.

We’ve welcomed over 70,000 people to experience the fire-damaged house, and their responses have taught us how powerful and evocative Clandon Park is in its laid bare state. We’ve seen artists, scientists, engineers, designers, tradespeople and young children, all gasping in awe. Our vision builds on these responses to celebrate what survives and makes Clandon Park unique today.

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Watch a video about our plans for Clandon Park

Hear about our exciting plans for this remarkable house from the people caring for Clandon Park.

A future for Clandon Park

An insight into the making of 18th-century great houses. Exhibits from the important Clandon Park collection. A cultural venue. A visit to Clandon Park will be a National Trust experience like no other.

The project team is working with award-winning architects Allies and Morrison, and a wider design team including Purcell conservation architects, to make sure the house is preserved and enhanced carefully and sympathetically.

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Clandon Park: Architectural Principles

See how suspended walkways, public roof access and roof lights will bring Clandon Park's fire-damaged interiors to life.

  • The brick and stone skeleton of the house will be repaired and stabilised
  • Most of the interior of Clandon Park will be thoughtfully conserved, made usable, and presented in a version of its new laid-bare condition, offering people an insight into how country houses were made
  • The introduction of new staircases, a lift, and wide walkways at different levels to allow visitors to fully explore the house
  • The creation of a new public access to the roof with stunning views across Surrey to Guildford, Woking and outer London
  • The Speakers’ Parlour ceiling which survived the fire will be conserved and restored, creating a counterpoint to other rooms
  • The external walls and windows of the house will be conserved and restored to appear close to as it did before the fire
  • The installation of typical utilities and amenities, including heating, lighting, toilets, and a cafe, will return Clandon to a welcoming, functioning building
  • The new Clandon Park will be a unique place to explore how great houses were made, not only physically but also socially and culturally. It will be space for a backdrop for a dynamic programme of events, exhibitions, and activities, some created with communities connected to the house.

Read more about our plans, grounded in the house’s history and character, and its surviving and fascinating 18th-century fabric. They give Clandon Park a distinct purpose for the future, as a place to explore and celebrate the craft skills and people who made this and similar great houses across the country.

Architects visualisation of visitors on a roof terrace. A couple look at an information sheet, and other individual visitors sit on benches between the chimneys.
Architects visualisation of the public roof terrace, Clandon Park | © @National Trust Images

The Clandon Park project: a timeline


Essential works continue

May 2023

‘Essential works’ are the repairs and conservation which, as the name suggests, are essential to the survival of the core structure of the house. Some of the issues we’ve found have pre-dated the fire. Key work included making good headway through the repairs to the brick fabric of the external walls. Working with a brickmaker using the same seam of London Clay, and brickmaking techniques similar to those used to create our original bricks, our heritage bricklayer has replaced and repaired areas where the brickwork was damaged.  

When fire swept through the house several additional issues were created. The building is contaminated by the oxidised lead roof, for example. Research forms part of the essential works, including surveys to check the stability of the remaining structure, and to analyse the remains of wallpaper and paintwork discovered around the building. We’ve discovered tiny fragments of 18th century wallpaper hidden in one room under a picture rail, for example, along with the vibrant blue paint on the wooden wall panelling discovered hidden from view in the State Bedroom before the fire. A specialist in the conservation and restoration of historic building interior and exterior features is analysing the wallpaper and paint to identify what they are made of, when they were made and looking for clues for dating. 

Frequently asked questions

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


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Celebrating the talent of plaster sculptors 

Discover what we've learned about the decorative plasterwork at Clandon Park, who made it and what we're starting to find out about how they did it.

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.

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.

A close-up of gloved hands cleaning the broken head of a statue with a brush following the fire at Clandon Park.

Surviving treasures at Clandon Park 

From small ceramics to historic wallpaper, some of Clandon’s treasures live on after the fire to tell their stories of that fateful event.

Ranger in National Trust fleece inspecting white blossom on tree in orchard

Our cause 

We believe that nature, beauty and history are for everyone. That’s why we’re supporting wildlife, protecting historic sites and more. Find out about our work.

Plasterwork in the Speaker's Parlour at Clandon Park, Surrey

Why Clandon Park is important 

Discover why Clandon Park is historically significant today.