Clandon Park House: Fire-hit Surrey mansion grounds re-open

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The grounds of an 18th Century stately home destroyed by fire are to be opened for the first time since the blaze

The inside of the house after the blazeImage copyright National Trust/Chris LaceyImage caption Cranes have been used to remove the debris from the charred building

Clandon Park House’s gardens will be open to the public for the next six Saturdays – with visitors able to view the building’s “haunting” shell.

Exhibitions about the house, April’s fire and subsequent salvage work will be displayed in marquees.

It will be the last chance to see the exterior before scaffolding completely covers the mansion for several years.

General manager Alex Bush said the Grade I-listed house, near Guildford, Surrey, remained inaccessible.

But she said: “We know, from the messages of support we have received, that Clandon is a special place for many people.

“We wanted to offer them the chance to spend some quiet time in the gardens near the house, and to share their memories with us.”

She said it was a unique opportunity to see Clandon as it is.

“Now largely clear of high level debris, the view of the house from the gardens is a haunting and breath-taking sight,” she added.

The first open day is free to visitors as part of the national Heritage Open Days scheme, with an entry charge on the following Saturdays.

Clandon Park HouseImage copyright National TrustImage caption Clandon Park was left a shell after by the fire in April

Frame being salvagedImage copyright National Trust/John MillarImage captionVisitors will see films giving accounts of the fire and the salvage work

State purseImage copyright National TrustImage captionA state purse is one of the items recovered by salvage teams

Clandon Park fireImage copyright Getty ImagesImage captionThe National Trust has said the house will be rebuilt “in some shape or form” following April’s blaze

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