Clandon is located immediately west of the village of West Clandon in the Borough of Guildford in Surrey, England. Guildford is the county town of Surrey, and the nearest urban area to Clandon, with a population of approximately 140,000. The city has a thriving cultural scene, with a cathedral, a university, and a number of art galleries, as well as many historic links with the Onslow family. Clandon is ten minutes by train from Guildford, and approximately 45 minutes from London.
The house, which is Grade I listed, sits within a designed landscape that has changed enormously over time, reflecting evolving fashions and the interests of the Onslow family. While this National Trust property is called Clandon Park, the property actually includes only the house and 3.2 hectares of gardens. The Trust also owns the Merrow Lodges and their gates.
The competition site covers the house and its immediate setting. Clandon is set on lawns of c. 1780 to the south and east, bordered by gardens mainly laid out in the late 19th century but with some surviving late 18th-century tree and shrub planting. The house and gardens lie within the West Clandon Conservation Area.
The Onslow family continue to own the wider park (c. 200 hectares), which was designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, and is registered Grade II on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Interest. Its importance was principally recognised as an 18th-century landscape park by Brown, although the subsequent late 19th-century gardens advised by William Andrews Nesfield are also noted. The park is currently on the Historic England ‘Heritage at Risk’ register and considered to be of high vulnerability and in a declining condition.
In proximity to the house are a number of other listed structures, including the Merrow Lodges and their gates (Grade II*), the Grotto to the south of Clandon Park (Grade II), and Hinemihi, the Maori Meeting House (150 metres east of Clandon Park) (Grade II).
Alongside the competition project, but outside of the competition scope, the Trust is embarking on a conservation project for Hinemihi, the Maori Meeting House.