One of the central doorways of the burned-out Marble Hall at Clandon Park, with a bust of an African still in place. ©National Trust/John Millar
The devastating fire at Clandon Park the day before yesterday has left the house a burned-out shell. The fire started in the basement of the house and swept rapidly up to the roof and along and down through the building, fanned by a high wind.
Painting of an ostrich by Francis Barlow (c.1626-1704), saved from the Marble Hall at Clandon. Inv. no. 1441454. ©National Trust/John Hammond
This has shocked and saddened us all. But the team at Clandon, local volunteers and other colleagues have been determined to save as much as possible.
The Marble Hall at Clandon following the fire, showing a marble relief by John Michael Rysbrack still over the chimneypiece. ©National Trust/John Millar
In accordance with the emergency procedures, the fire brigade crews were able to take out a number of objects from parts of the building not yet affected, working with the advice and support of National Trust staff.
Speaker Arthur Onslow (1691–1768) presiding over the House of Commons, by Sir James Thornhill (1675–1734) and William Hogarth (1697–1764), 1730, saved from the Library at Clandon. Inventory no. 1441463. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond
The items shown here are among those saved. But until a full inventory check has been done we cannot confirm which items were not saved.
Cast of a classical statue, damaged and blackened but still in situ in the remains of the Marble Hall. ©National Trust/John Millar
Teams have already been organised at Clandon and in the region to deal with the next steps.
Bible printed by John Basket in 1716 and 1717, in two volumes, presented by Arthur Onslow to St. Margaret’s, Westminster in 1735, saved from the Library at Clandon. Inventory no. 1441240. ©National Trust/Nadia Mackenzie
When our specialists are able to enter the building, the rubble will be carefully sifted for things than can be salvaged and fragments that could be used in reconstruction.
Rubble inside the remains of Clandon Park. ©National Trust/John Millar
The remaining structure of the building will also need to be assessed.
The Clandon state bed, dating from about 1710. Its hangings had recently returned from conservation treatment and were salvaged still in their transport crates. Inv. no. 1440847. ©National Trust Images/Nadia Mackenzie
Only then can decisions be taken about the future of the house.
The south front of Clandon Park following the fire. ©National Trust/John Millar
But we are heartened by the many expressions of sympathy and support.
Folding screen incorporating Victorian and Edwardian Onslow family photographs, saved from the Library at Clandon. Inv. no. 1440816. ©National Trust Images/Anthony Parkinson
And we want to thank the crews from the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service and neighbouring fire brigades for their professionalism and team-work.