The exquisite Marble Hall, pictured in the National Trust image above, was the entrance to Clandon Park, a Palladian mansion built in 1720 by a Venetian architect.
The house, near Guildford in Surrey, about an hour from London, was considered the finest and most complete example of the Palladian style in Britain.
Then in 2015, a disastrous fire took the roof and damaged or destroyed much of the contents and decor – including the lovely marble entrance hall and the saloon, pictured below.
Restoration work got underway almost immediately and now you can visit Clandon Park to learn about how the house is being restored and reimagined and see the current state of play.
Before work even began, experts recorded every inch of the house with 22,000 digital images. If you are interested in architecture, historic restoration and reconstruction, this is a remarkable and rare opportunity.
“If you are interested in architecture, historic restoration and reconstruction, this is a remarkable and rare opportunity.”
On a generous selection of days between now and October 29, visitors are being invited to don hard hats and high visibility vests (provided by the National Trust at the site), and follow an extended walkway through the Marble Hall and the Saloon. There you can get a close-up view of the structure and the remarkable survival of some of the marble statues and decorative artwork.
Visits are by timed admission and must be booked in advance on the National Trust Clandon Park website. After, you can picnic in the gardens and follow a trail of historic pictures about the house and the people who lived there.
By the way, if the Marble Hall looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it before. Its cool, spacious beauty played an important role in the film The Duchess with Keira Knightley.
Plan a visit to one of Clandon Park’s Open Days. Admission is £5 for adults, National Trust Members – as usual – free.