Fire at National Trust's Clandon Park

‘300 years of history go up in flames’ as twelve fire engines and 60 firefighters try to save 18th-century mansion hit by blaze.

Fire crews are battling a major blaze at an 18th-century stately home in Surrey.

Surrey county council said a dozen fire engines, two aerial ladders and 60 firefighters were attempting to tackle the blaze at Clandon Park, which is run by the National Trust.

Clandon Park has been used as the location for several films, including The Duchess with Keira Knightly.

Many of the house’s irreplaceable historic artefacts are thought to have been destroyed in the blaze, which started in the basement and spread up through the floors.
A spokesman for Surrey fire service said there had been a “significant fire throughout the building”.

“It spread and has spread to the roof. The full extent of the damage is not known but work is ongoing to salvage what can be salvaged from inside,” he said.

“The cause of the fire is currently unknown and will be investigated,” he added.

Helen Ghosh, Director-General of the National Trust, said: “The most important thing for me is that no-one has been hurt in this awful fire and that everyone is safe.

“But it has been heart-breaking to witness the terrible damage to this wonderful mansion, which means so much, to so many people.

“This will come as a terrible shock and a devastating personal blow to all our devoted staff and volunteers.”

John Covey, a local resident, told Get Surrey the firefighters were struggling with water supply.

“The trouble is a lack of water. They can’t get enough pressure up there. They had it under control but then the water went down and the flames went up again. It’s a disaster.”

Another resident, Nick Varns, said: “It is really dreadful, 300 years of history just going up in flames.”

Matthew Beckett, an architectural historian of UK country houses, tweeted that over half the house had been destroyed, adding: “What a terrible loss.”

Clandon Park was built by Lord Onslow in the 1720s and contains a large collection of 18th century furniture, porcelain and textiles. It still belongs to the Onslow family and has been managed by the National Trust since 1956.

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