We have mainly been staying at home and taking care of the guinea pigs and cooking because it has been raining almost every day.
But we have found some good weather during part of the day to do a little exploring. We went to Clandon Park, a home owned by the National Trust. It is an early 18th-century Palladian mansion. It caught fire in 2015 and the entire inside was destroyed. The Trust has decided to restore this mansion to its former glory. But right now you can only go in to see it with hard hats and a tour guide. They have photographs of what the inside looked like before the fire, and you can see what a precious historical house looks like now.
Here are some other photographs of the damage that the house sustained.
This statue must have fallen into the ashes (notice her broken knee) and was put back up into her niche with wooden safety bars.
You have to applaud the grit of the National Trust to tackle this extensive restoration. It is also important for people to see what happens to historical buildings when fire rips through them.
We also had time to go the the Watts Memorial chapel in Compton. This is an extraordinary example of Art Nouveau version of Celtic Revival style in the village cemetery. It was designed by Mary Fraser-Tytler,
the wife of the artist George Fredric Watts.
Amazingly, “A group of local amateurs and enthusiasts, many of whom later went on with Mary Fraser-Tytler to found the Compton’s Potter Guild, constructed the chapel from 1896 to 1898; virtually every village resident was involved. ” ( Wikipedia ). I think it is an incredible example of the Victorian sensibilities around a craft movement to inspire social improvement by using creative craft arts. Here are some of the angels that line the inside of the chapel.
These are all made from clay that was found on the Watts estate and hand crafted by Mary and the villagers. They painted and gilded the work in gold leaf. It is a truly stunning example of what ordinary people can do when their creative artistry is unleashed.