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Using the sources you have been provided with and evidence from your visit do you agree that Clandon Park has changed very little since it was built in 1730?

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Introduction

Using the sources you have been provided with and evidence from your visit do you agree that Clandon Park has changed very little since it was built in 1730? In the introduction to the leaflet "A Short Guide To Clandon Park" sold by The National Trust we are told that Thomas 2nd Baron Onslow built Clandon Park in 1730 on the site of a large Tudor mansion. The old mansion, which was in a habitable state, was knocked down solely for the reason that it was not fashionable and the Onslow family wanted to make a statement- "we are rich, important and have taste." With the help of an Italian architect a new house in Palladian villa style was constructed: Clandon House. Clandon House has seen few changes since 1730 although certain alterations have been made for fashion and convenience due to WWI introduction of the railways and electricity and ownership. The exterior of the house has changed slightly since it was built. For example in the 19th century a porte-cochere was added on the west front so that when people arrived in carriages the could drive right up to the entrance of the house and not have to brave the harsh English weather! Clandon House's red brickwork has not of course changed much since it was built even though a few features of the exterior have. You can see this by looking at the photo which I took in 2003 when I visited the house and reading "A Short Guide To Clandon Park" sold by The National Trust which says that Clandon was "built from finely pointed red brick." ...read more.

Middle

According to Lady Pamela's writing the 5th Earl Onslow's wife Violet Marcia's father: the third Baron Poltimore made Clandon House into a military hospital during WWI. This evidence is backed up by "A Short Guide To Clandon Park" where it mentions a brass plaque in the Onslow Room, which says that it was used as an operating theatre in WWI. When we visited Clandon House we saw this plaque so we know that this piece of information can be trusted. Lady Pamela's evidence is not very useful as the only source when looking into Clandon Park since it is quite unreliable but is useful as a second source used to back up information already gained. Lady Pamela says that when William Hillier, 4th Earl of Onslow came to Clandon at the age of 17 in 1870 the house had been shut up for 43 years with only an old woman who acted as a caretaker living in it. Lady Pamela says, "No other human being ever entered the house" during that period of time. The census return for the year 1861 says, however, that living in the house was Jane Catherine Graham, a widow who was the head of her family living with four grandchildren, a governess and eleven servants. Two visitors were also present at the house when the census was taken. This contrasts greatly with Lady Pamela's evidence. Jane Catherine Graham could have been the old woman mentioned by Lady Pamela but Lady Pamela certainly does not mention anybody else. ...read more.

Conclusion

It says that the Onslows would have a dinner party on Saturday and another on Monday with different guests. This backs up the evidence I already have about the railways- the Onslows would not be likely to have two dinner parties in the same weekend with different guests unless the guests had a means of easy transport to Clandon House and back. I know that the evidence from Country Life magazine can be trusted because it mentions its source of information: Lady Florence, Countess of Onslow's dinner book which I saw when I visited Clandon House. This dinner book was a record of Lady Florence's dinner parties including information on what food was served, who was invited and who out of the guests accepted their invitations. Overall I do not think that Clandon Park has changed much since it was built. Of course over the few hundred years minor changes have been made such as small alterations to the exterior and interior d�cor, the house being used as a military hospital for a small amount of time and a different family inhabiting the house for a small amount of time. The only major change, which would have affected how Clandon Park was used, would be the railway station built in West Clandon. The railways and improved communications in general were a big factor producing change in the 19th century in all of Britain not just Clandon. Compared to some great houses, which are rebuilt, extended and converted again and again, I think Clandon has changed relatively little: the only main piece of building work done to the house was the building of the porch on the West Front. Imogen Hagarty 1 ...read more.

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