Historic England Listing:
List Entry Number: 1001171
Heritage Category: Parkland
Clandon Park Estate, West Clandon, Guildford, Surrey
Over the last four centuries there have been several avenues of trees planted by the Onslow family on Clandon Park. Some were planted in the C17th and C18th, two were restored in the C19th and C20th and new ones were planted in the C20th and C21st. This map shows the important Henchley Gate avenue (Henchley Gates being Lord Onslow's important and early historic entrance to Clandon Park). Part of this avenue still exists. Lord Onslow is in the process of restoring this avenue to its former glory.
The avenue is present on Estate maps in the late 1600's and then repeatedly throughout the 1700's, 1800's, 1900's and 2000's. When storm damaged some trees in whatever century, the whole Henchley Gate Avenue would have to be replanted again (otherwise the Avenue would have appeared very odd with trees of different ages !) In the 1970's a section of the avenue had to be felled due to disease. In addition to this, at the request of the National Trust, further trees on the avenue were felled. (called Cranley Avenue by the National Trust). Lord Onslow had agreed to sell a couple of acres of land to the National Trust to allow visitors more space at the front of Clandon House (which the Onslow's had gifted to the Nation in 1956). The trees closest to Clandon House were felled to make room for further National Trust parking. Here is a photograph of one end of the avenue being felled at the request of the National Trust. Note that the trees in the avenue are not ancient as it had been replanted (yet again) as a birthday present for the current Earls Great Grandfather following devastation in an earlier storm. Unfortunately storms in 1976,1987 and more recent storms have caused further destruction to this version of the Avenue. A new planting is therefor due.
This historic view, down the avenue from Clandon House, was obviously taken prior to Lord Onslow's Great Grandfathers time. It was an earlier version ! It looks mature and complete, undamaged by the storms and so the Henchley Gates would have been visible at the end of the avenue. Unfortunately, once restored, it has been confirmed that the Merrow Park and Ride Car Park will now be visible. The Merrow Park and Ride has been screened, carefully designed and built well, however, it does impact on the Grade 11 Listed Parkland of Clandon Park as it is in such close proximity and it is of a good size. One of the reasons why the current Lord Onslow wishes to plant a raised area (a Capability Brown style landscaped hillock) is to create a Clandon Park Arboretum on the south & west boundary so as to screen the Merrow Park and Ride Car Park from view. There is no doubt that it is likely that this important Park and Ride Car Park will need to grow in size in the not so distant future as it is helping to keep cars in Guildford town to a minimum. Lady Onslow, a pilot, recently flew down the line of the avenue of trees and can confirm that the Park and Ride is directly in line of sight down the avenue from Clandon House. So here is the dilemma. If Clandon Park does not build a raised landscaped hillock and plant its Arboretum on it, as soon as the historic avenue of trees is restored, all that will be seen down the restored avenue of trees is the large new roundabout and the busy Merrow Park and Ride Car Park. The restoration of this avenue is underway so Clandon Park is inviting feedback from its neighbours prior to the main scrubbing out of unwanted undergrowth and brambles. This is a very important opportunity for the National Trust to work with the Earl of Onslow to create a beautiful view down this ancient feature. A landscape specialist, who is arguably the Worlds leading authority on the landscape style adopted by Capability Brown, is currently considering this forward thinking and exciting initiative.
Although there is a great deal of work yet to do to clear the recent profusion of Buddlia and infestation of brambles, this earlier image shows clearly what remains of the Henchley Gate end of this historic avenue. It is evidently pointing directly to the Epsom Road and the Henchley Gates. Beyond the Henchley Gates in line of site from Clandon House is the Merrow Park and Ride next to the new roundabout and the Cricket Club. The Avenue was planted at this angle because it is exactly square on to the front of Clandon House (which is also built at this angle). In fact, once Clandon House has been fully restored it may well be that the Merrow Park and Ride Car Park will be even more obvious to visitors of Clandon House and we feel this really would be a great shame. Restoring the avenue is necessary and has been planned for some time, however, sometimes the consequences of restoring such a beautiful landscape feature might require further landscape action (in this case the idea is a landscaped hillock and an Arboretum) so as to mitigate the loss of a countryside view (namely a view which has changed from countryside and trees to being an urban road, busy roundabout and a very large car park). Lord Onslow is prepared to utilise several acres of his own flat haymaking land to accommodate this Arboretum and raised landscaping screen if this initiative is supported.
This image shows a mature Beech Avenue. Creating a new Beech Avenue at Clandon Park, for future generations to enjoy, will be a very exciting project. The challenge to choose the correct individual specimen trees and ensure planting conditions and protection for these trees is provided for the future is now our main concern.
Up to date N E W S
Clandon Park Conservation Management Plan update:
CLANDON PARK CMP : CONTINUING THE MARRIAGE OF ENTERPRISE, AGRICULTURE AND CONSERVATION FOR THE FUTURE.
FULL CLANDON PARK 'NOTABLE TREE SURVEY'
SCHEDULE COMPLETED JULY 2017
FULL CLANDON PARK 'TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY' COMPLETED JULY 2017
Aside from improving the Henchley Gate View towards Guildford from Clandon House in West Clandon, it is also suggested, as part of our Conservation Management Plan, that some restoration and landscaping and the suggested Arboretum be extended to the North West of the Henchley Gates and immediately resuming gradually starting North of the Merrow Gates. As can be seen in this image, what was once open fields is now an urban fringe on the Western Boundary now very close to the Merrow Gates. This view in now line of site of Clandon House and Temple Court.
Some images used here have been screenshot from Google. Clandon Park would like to thank Google for enabling these images to be taken and used for private purpose. These images are only being utilised to explain a conservation dilemma and are not in any way being used elsewhere or for commercial purpose.