Landscape architect, Robert Myers Associates (RMA) has been appointed by the National Trust to join the restoration team at Clandon Park in Surrey, after a fire devastated the 18th-century Palladian house in 2015.
While the gardens were left untouched by the fire, they form part of the restoration brief for the design team, led by architect Allies and Morrison, to bring Clandon Park back to life. Following a joint tender process between the National Trust and the architect, RMA was the unanimous choice for this significant role.
Once completed, the gardens will provide a harmonious and beautiful setting for the restored mansion and a place for people to relax, recharge and play.
RMA, which has offices in Cambridge and Herefordshire, specialises in designing contemporary gardens in historically and culturally significant settings. The team is led by Robert Myers, winner of six gold medals and the People’s Choice Award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and now an RHS gardens show judge. The practice won a 2017 award from the Landscape Institute and two from the Society of Garden Designers – including the Grand Award – for the Magic Garden, a new family garden at Hampton Court Palace on the site of Henry VIII’s tournament ground.
The garden and landscape at Clandon has a rich history, influenced by many, including two of the greatest garden designers in English history, George London and Henry Wise, and Britain’s most famous landscape designer, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.
Sophie Chessum, Senior Curator at Clandon Park, commented: “We want our visitors to be enthralled from the moment they arrive at Clandon Park. To realise that, our plans for the house and gardens must complement each other, as was always intended throughout Clandon’s history. There was a time when Clandon’s gardens were much celebrated, and we hope to recapture this magic for all.
“Robert Myers and his team demonstrated a thoughtful and passionate approach to Clandon Park, with a clear understanding of the significance of the house and landscape, and a commitment to honour its history and archaeology.
“The strength of their experience in creating sensitive designs within significant historic landscapes is evident in their work at The Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace and at Rockingham Castle in Leicestershire, among others. We are delighted to have them on board.”
This appointment is the first major project that RMA has undertaken with the National Trust. In the coming months, the conservation charity will explore design ideas with both Allies and Morrison and RMA.
Robert Myers added: “We believe Clandon’s story can be brought to life by creating a contemporary garden which resonates with, and echoes, its historic antecedents, but does not seek to replicate them. We are honoured to be part of this next step in Clandon’s future.”
The house and gardens at Clandon Park are currently open to visitors. A new temporary walkway into the impressive vaulted basement rooms, with an exhibition on the restoration project, adds to existing access into the Saloon, State Bedroom and Marble Hall.