Clandon Park


25th October 2019

The plasterwork ceiling in the Entrance Hall at Clandon Park, Surrey, attributed to Giuseppe Artari © National Trust

CLANDON PARK in Surrey, a property of the National Trust, is a building of particular interest for our research. Among the finest country houses built in England in the early eighteenth century, it was gutted by fire in April of 2015 and is now undergoing an ambitious programme of conservation and restoration. Designed by Italian architect Giacomo Leoni, it was completed in 1733 and boasted an extraordinary double-height entrance hall with figurative plasterwork attributed to Giuseppi Artari.

The surviving building clearly displays the processes by which the brick structure was overlaid by successive layers of crafted surfaces to achieve magnificent interiors in wood, stone and plaster. Though much has been lost, the remaining fragments are testament to the skills of the eighteenth-century craftsman and a significant challenge for the conservation project. There are few better places to observe the multi-layered craftsmanship involved in the creation of an eighteenth-century interior of the highest quality.

The Marble Hall at Clandon Park in October 2019. Photo: ©CRAFTVALUE


The CRAFTVALUE team is working with the National Trust’s conservation and curatorial team at Clandon Park to explore dynamic ways of analysing and digitally representing the cumulative crafted surfaces of the building. This collaboration will be formally presented at a seminar for stakeholders in Britain and Ireland later in 2020.

Further Reading

Christine Casey, Making Magnificence: architects, stuccatori, and the eighteenth century interior, New Haven & London, 2017

John Cornforth ‘Clandon Revisited’, Country Life, 4, 11 (December 1969)1456-60, 1582-6

Richard Hewlings ‘James Leoni c1689-1746’ Architectural Outsiders, London,1985

National Trust, Clandon Park, Swindon, 2007.

H. Avray Tipping ‘Clandon Park, Surrey’ Country Life, 10, 17, 24 (September 1927) 366-72, 398-404, 434-40

C.E. Vuillamy, The Onslow Family 1528-1874 with some account of their times, London, 1953

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