Clandon Park: ‘Painstaking’ work at fire-hit estate

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Scaffolding will go up next month at an 18th Century stately home in Surrey that was reduced to a shell by fire

  • 9 August 2015

Cranes being used lift timber beams
Scores of charred timber beams have been lifted out by crane

Cranes moved on to the Clandon Park estate in June, when the National Trust announced the mansion would be rebuilt “in some shape or form“.

It has taken several weeks to remove loose debris such as wires and masonry from the building, the trust said.

General manager Alex Bush said ground level teams were still waiting to go into the building.

She said large numbers of timber beams and metal struts had to be removed because of the total collapse of the roof and most of the floors in the building.

‘Huge task’

The first beam was lifted from the Marble Hall by crane on 7 July, and 28 further huge timbers were lifted out that week.

Each beam removal has had to be carefully planned because of the impact on the building’s structure, she added.

Cranes being used lift timber beams
Cranes have been on site since rebuilding plans were announced in June

Cranes have also been used to cover the fragile remaining interiors to protect from the elements.

“The scale of the task is huge,” said Ms Bush. “Although progress can sometimes seem painstaking, the work is currently on track.”

Ground level teams hoped to get into the house next month, when scaffolding would also be erected, she said.

Fire broke out at the Grade-I listed building near Guildford in April.

One room – the Speakers’ Parlour – survived and hundreds of items have been rescued.

An investigation into the fire continues and the cause is still not known.

Speakers' Parlour ceiling
The Speakers’ Parlour was the only room that survived

Clandon Park
The National Trust wants to see the mansion rebuilt “in some shape”

Clandon Park before the fire
Clandon Park House was one of the National Trust’s main attractions in the South East

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