We have just purchased a 1937-1938 auction catalogue for the contents of Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, annotated by the original owner, from Patrick King Rare Books.
The house at Clumber was pulled down in 1938 and the collections dispersed. The National Trust will never be able to reassemble those collections, but it is useful to know what was there.
The park, as created by successive Dukes of Newcastle from about 1760, survives and thrives. There is a Brown-style serpentine lake, probably created on the advice of Joseph Spence and a series of meandering views and walks.
The garden designer W.S. Gilpin planted the lime avenue in the 1830s for the 4th Duke of Newcastle, to provide interest and grandeur in the flat landscape. Gilpin also created the areas of picturesque and formal planting, with conifers, rhododendrons and specimen Mediterranean trees.
In the late 1880s G.F. Bodley built the splendid chapel. The stable block and the walled garden with its range of glasshouses are also still there, and one could easily forget that there is no longer a ’big house’ at the centre of all of this.