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Fire ravages grade I-listed Surrey mansion

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A Grade I-listed Palladian mansion in Surrey has been reduced to a ‘shell’ after fire ripped through the 18th Century structure

National Trust director general Helen Ghosh said a devastating blaze at Clandon Park, near Guildford, on Wednesday (April 29) had caused the 1720s structure’s roof, ceilings and floors to cave in, while many of its antique contents had also been lost.

‘The fire is now out but the scale of the damage to the mansion has been devastating,’ she said.

‘The house is now essentially a shell, most of the roof, ceiling and floors have collapsed into the bottom of the building.

‘There is perhaps one room that is relatively untouched but, other than that, the interior is extensively damaged. The external walls are still standing.

‘It’s a terrible sight. We have saved some significant items but certainly not everything that we wanted to save.’

Ghosh said it would take ‘some time’ before the full scale of the damage to the building could be assessed, and options for its future considered.

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said it had been called to the mansion shortly after 4pm yesterday, and had required the assistance of crews from both East Sussex and Hampshire to deal with the blaze. A statement at 2pm today (April 30) confirmed it had been extinguished but that the building had been left ‘severely damaged’.

Built in the 1720s by Venetian architect Giacomo Leoni, Clandon Park was left to the National Trust in 1956.

Among its contents was a collection of 18th-century furniture, porcelain and textiles.

Clandon Park

Firefighters tackle the blaze at Clandon Park in Surrey

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Readers' comments (1)

  • What a terrible loss, It really should not happen in today's world with modern fire detection, suppression systems and the possibility of fire stopping etc. The roof space should have been compartmented. In recent years we have had serious fires at Uppark, Hampton Court, Windsor Castle and numerous piers and we do not seem to be able to save our irreplaceable hertiage. Perhaps a rethink is needed wherethe alterations required to stop a fire developing outweigh the loss or alterations to the historic fabric. Was it a kitchen fire (similar to the Randolph in Oxford a few weeks ago), is gas being used for cooking?

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