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Clandon Park basement reopens for first time since fire

3 minute read
Clandon Park basement reopens for first time since fire

Published at 3:09pm 3rd May 2018.

The basement of Clandon Park House has reopened to visitors for the first time since it was gutted in a blaze in 2015.

From today, the public will be able to enter the area where the fire started, leading to the destruction of the18th-century Palladian mansion.

The National Trust property went up in flames on April 29th 2015, caused by a defect in an electrical distribution board.

95% of the house was damaged by the fire, including the roof which collapsed.

clandon park basement

A major restoration project is underway - with part of the house accessible to the public since September 2016.

Visitors can now access the basement, via a new walkway, taking visitors deep in to the lowest, and most fire-damaged spaces within the 18th-century Palladian mansion.

Clandon Park basement

The less damaged north end of the basement will also be on show, as visitors are led to the undercroft - a vaulted room under the Marble Hall - which was a restaurant before the fire.

This now includes a display, charting the design challenges and issues around the restoration.
clandon park basement

From the undercroft visitors can pass into a protected viewing area where they can see the full extent of the fire damage for the first time, with dramatic, vertical views from basement floor to scaffolding roof.

Clandon Park basement
Sophie Chessum, Senior Project Curator at Clandon Park says: "Sharing our progress since the fire has always been really important to us. Previous visitors to Clandon Park have been able to visit the Saloon, State Bedroom and Marble Hall, which are amongst the most significant rooms in the house and therefore areas we felt visitors should see straightaway.

"By opening up the basement, we are creating a new space for discussion about Clandon's future in an area of the house where the extent of the damage to Clandon is at its starkest.

"This is a unique opportunity for visitors to see the extraordinary bare bones of this grand Palladian mansion, in its post-fire state, before access may become more limited further down the line when building work is underway."

The new basement walkway adds to the existing access at Clandon Park, which includes the Saloon, State Bedroom, Marble Hall and the garden.

Clandon Park is open until October 28 2018 (including this bank holiday weekend).

clandon park basement

 

 

 

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