As a wedding photographer, I’ve shot weddings at all sort of venues in Surrey, the South-East and beyond and stately homes are always a regular feature. On the 29th of April 2015 (just yesterday as I write this post), a fire caused near total devastation to one of Surrey’s most loved and historical buildings. At the time of writing, it’s unknown what the extent of the damage is but by reading the accounts on the news, it looks like Clandon Park may well have been left as nothing more than an ’empty shell’.
On a personal note, my wife and I were married at Clandon Park ten years ago this June, and I have been back many times since to photograph other weddings. It was love at first sight when Sarah and I were looking for the right location to celebrate our wedding as it is just such a unique building. The Marble Hall in itself never failed to amaze me, not because of its sheer size but also by the intricacy of the sculpting involved to create such a masterpiece. And as a wonderful contrast, the wedding breakfast was served downstairs in the old servant’s quarters and kitchens.
Built around 1730-33, a Venetian architect named Giacomo Leoni was commissioned by Thomas, 2nd Baron Onslow to build this wonderful Palladian House. The gardens too are very special as is the Maori meeting house that sits just a stone’s throw from the house; this was brought back from New Zealand by Lord Onslow who had held the position of Governor of New Zealand in the late 19th century.
As I wrote earlier, I’m unaware as to the level of damage but my heart goes out to all those involved with Clandon Park and I’m sure that I’ll be one of many well-wishers who hope that all is not lost at such a stunning and unique estate.