Out of the Ashes- The next stage for Clandon Park House #NT

Clandon House September 2015

At about 4 pm on 29th April 2015, a catastrophic fire broke out in Clandon House.  Despite the efforts of nearly 80 firefighters it took until noon the following day to damp down the fire.  Everyone had been safely evacuated and some of the artefacts recovered but much of the 18th century furniture and ceramics have been destroyed.

This month the gardens have been opened by ticketed sessions on Saturdays so I was able to see for myself the shell of the building before it is completely covered for its protection.

The original Elizabethan house in Clandon Park was replaced by this Palladian Mansion, designed by Giacomo Leoni, in approximately 1730.  The park had been purchased in 1641 by Sir Richard Onslow, MP for Surrey.  It remained in the Onslow family until 1956 when, experiencing the same problems of maintenance costs seen in last night's episode of Downton Abbey, Lady Iveagh donated it to the National Trust.

The gardens, which were landscaped by Capability Brown, were later added to by a Grotto and a Maori Meeting house.

The Maori Meeting House called Hihemihi was brought from New Zealand by the 4th Earl of Onslow, William Hillier Onslow, when he returned from his duties as Governor of New Zealand.

During World War One, the 5th Earl, Richard Onslow offered the house as a war hospital.  His wife, Violet, Countess of Onslow became Commandant of the Military Hospital, from 1915 until 1919.

Update Plans for the future 




My memories of The Surrey Infantry Museum at Clandon House http://somerville66.blogspot.co.uk/2015_04_01_archive.html


  1. It's sad. I remember reading about the fire but didn't know what had happened since. I wonder what they can do.

  2. The basic structure of the outside walls is sound but it requires a great deal of work and funding to rebuild internally. They are fundraising but I imagine it will take considerable time. Because I know the house so well I felt quite emotional standing in front of the empty shell.