It has just been confirmed that the Speakers’ Parlour at Clandon was not damaged as severely in the recent fire as many of the other areas of the house.
This family dining room was named after the portraits hanging there of the three members of the Onslow family who were Speakers of the House of Commons: Richard Onslow (1528-71, ‘the Black Speaker’), Sir Richard Onslow, 3rd Bt and 1st Baron Onslow (1654-1717), and Arthur Onslow (1691-1768, ‘the Great Speaker’).
The important plaster ceiling in this room remains in place and has now been propped up. The chimneypiece, designed by the house’s architect, Giacomo Leoni, also survives.
The Regency ormolu chandelier, the Regency steel grate and the Turkey carpet in this room have been taken into protective storage, as have all the paintings that hung here, including the portraits of the three Speakers.
Jim Foy, the general manager for Hughenden Manor who is currently leading the salvage operation at Clandon, comments: ‘We are still limited in terms of access while structural engineers assess the building. The weather is also a big factor, as we wait to see how the building responds to the high winds we have had over the last couple of days.’
Jim adds: ‘We are incredibly grateful for the continued support we are receiving from volunteers, external specialists, the fire service and many others.’