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Claydon House

In close proximity to Steeple Claydon is Claydon House, which is situated in Middle Claydon. Leave Steeple Claydon via Queen Catherine Road following the signs to Middle Claydon. A brown National Trust sign indicates the permitted entrance on the north side of the property. 

Claydon House was built in the mid-1700s by the 2nd Lord Verney on a piece of land, which had been in his family's possession since the 15th century. Construction took place in three stages: the stable block was constructed first and then followed by modifications to the old Jacobean manor house. Finally the 75-metre long west wing was constructed which was designed by Thomas Robinson. Part of the original design included a ballroom and a hall incorporating an observatory above. Unfortunately the 2nd Lord Verney ran out of money before they could be completed. When the 2nd Lord Verney's niece inherited the property, she arranged for the demolition of some of the unfinished parts of the building. 

What we can see today is one block of the original house. The exterior of the house is relatively plain and gives little hint of the remarkable interior, which has few if any rivals elsewhere in Britain. Luke Lightfoot was responsible for the wood carving of intricately detailed motifs of oriental birds, pagodas and summerhouses. 

The Chinese Room is probably the most amazing. Joseph Rose, who was a famous stuccoist in his time, was responsible for plasterwork that can be seen in the library, saloon and stairway. The stairs themselves are also decorated with mahogany, ebony and ivory parquetry. The ironwork balustrade has a garland of corn ears that is almost life-like. 

Some of the exhibits on display are objects associated with Florence Nightingale and her work in the Crimean War. She became a frequent visitor to Claydon House after her sister married Sir Henry Verney in 1858. 

Claydon House also houses a fine example of a Javanese Gamelan, and like all old houses; Claydon House is not without its ghost stories. You can find links to articles on these at the foot of the page. 

The Verney family donated Claydon House to the National Trust in 1956. 

One of the three churches of The Parish of The Claydons', All Saints' can also be found in the grounds of the house. 

Links: -[The Claydon House Gamelan] [Claydon House Ghosts] [Letter written by Florence Nightingale]

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