List Entry Number: 1029353
Heritage Category: Listing
Location: DOVECOT, 20 YARDS SOUTH OF TEMPLE COURT, CLANDON PARK, West Clandon, Guildford, Surrey
There are a surprising number of residential properties on the Clandon Park Parkland. Most of these are farmhouses and cottages provided for existing Clandon Park employees. One such property is a Dowerhouse, Temple Court. The property has Clandon Park staff apartments and gardens. A private office (A Listed building currently Listed as a Dovecot) was originally accessible via two doors, one from a private drawing room terrace and the other from a private south garden. In this image you have a view from the Drawing Room. The door that is visible in this photograph is now the only entrance. The building is not a Dovecot. To cause even further confusion (relating to the Listing) a recent document and photograph of the office has been published on the internet by a contractor who launched a conservation competition for a neighbour's property. This company, who published the photograph, describes the office as a Listed Dairy ! As far as the family are able to ascertain, this building was originally built as an office. The family have the original early C18 Estate Office Cabinet that was likely made for it by a local furniture maker and it is still used regularly for Estate business (currently in Lord Onslow's Estate office in Leicestershire) . The Office still retains other original features (possibly also made by the same hand), such as cupboards and shelves that are in daily use. What the family believe to be an original fireplace with a chimney are also still able to be used today.
A later (Victorian) extension to the office was added because more space was required to store private family and Estate documents. Obviously wages for Estate staff are no longer dispensed from this office by the Factor of Temple Court Farm, so the Listed building, part C18 & part Victorian, has been in private daily use as a private office and store since the Estate Office was relocated. The building is maintained by the private owner of Temple Court who has chosen to contribute to the Earl of Onslow's Clandon Park Conservation Management Plan for Temple Court Farm and the other Clandon Park agricultural parkland holdings.
As there is no evidence of the building ever being used as a dovecot, the Onslow family have always been baffled by this Listing. However, whatever this Listed building was designed to be originally, the building has been an office for many more than 100 years and it is maintained as an office, being used mainly to store some historic family documents, private files and furniture. The Clandon Park Estate Office documents, Estate maps and records have now been moved to Lord Onslow's office in Leicestershire to be archived. Other than annual maintenance requirements, more often than not caused by 'Trouble', one of the very wild , roof loving resident peacocks, the building is sound, watertight and fit for purpose.
Cosmetically the office requires two replacement boards to the cap which is a mock lantern added in the c19. (This has always been purely ornamental and the roof is obviously sealed beneath it) This ornamental cap is believed to have been last replaced with softwood (in error) in the 1990's and is the only conservation the building currently requires. Lord Onslow plans to replace the two small boards with our home grown hardwood boarding in October 2017. He is also looking at Peacock friendly ways to prevent 'Trouble' from scratching about on the roof. At one time Trouble would alight on to the office roof gently at sundown, and you would barely notice his arrival. However, 'Trouble' is very old now and he tends to struggle and scrabble about on to the roof of the office. Unfortunately this evening roosting habit by all the peacocks has always caused occasional damage to our roof tiles.... we simply deal with it through regular routine maintenance.
The second door, that appears to also lead to the office from south garden, appears to be a door added later, possibly for cosmetic reasons, to avoid a blank wall on the east side of the south garden. The very established ornamental shrubbery, in the south garden, now obscures this door, so if it was added later as ornament, it is no longer required for visual balance.
Photographs copyright Onslow 2017. All rights reserved.