Clandon Park is a red brick Palladian mansion with marvellous stucco ceilings. It was built around 1735 for the 2nd Lord Onslow by the Venetian architect Giacomo Leoni (c.1686–1746), who had also been involved with the designs of Lyme Park in Cheshire. It also boasts a sacred structure unique in Britain: a Maori ‘whare’, or meeting-house, brought back from New Zealand in 1892 by William (1853–1911), 4th Earl Onslow, former Governor there, and originally used as a summer house. William Arthur Bampfylde (1913–1971), 6th Earl Onslow, and his first wife, the Honourable Pamela Dillon (1915–1992), first opened the house to the public in 1951. Gwendolen Onslow (1881–1966), Countess of Iveagh, eldest daughter of the 4th Earl, bought the house and many of its contents from her nephew in 1956 and it was transferred by HM Treasury to the National Trust in 1968. Many of the portraits are of the Onslow family, three of whom were Speakers of the House of Commons. Notable amongst these are the overmantel in the Library of Arthur Onslow (1691–1768), the ‘Great Speaker’, by Sir James Thornhill and his son-in-law William Hogarth. More unusually there are two very large exotic paintings of an ostrich and a cassowary by Francis Barlow, probably painted from specimens kept in one of the royal menageries around 1675.
National Trust, Clandon Park
West Clandon, Guildford, Surrey GU4 7RQ England
Please remember to double-check the opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit