Claremont

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Blackhills

On the dark twin

Claremont.

Claremont House.  It was the first house built and owned by Sir John Vanbrugh 1708 and on a different site. In 1714 he passed it to Thomas Pelham-HoIles, Duke of Newcastle and Marquess of Clare, who renamed it ‘Claremont’.  On the death of the Marquess in 1768 the property was bought by Lord Clive of India, who spent over £100,000 in building a new house on the hill and laying out the grounds.  This house, finished in 1772 with the involvement of Henry Holland and the young John Soane, is said to be the only complete surviving work of 'Capability' Brown, the landscape gardener.  Clive never enjoyed his new property and he died in London. It was bought by the nation 1816 as a palace for Princess Charlotte, who died there.  Her husband Prince Leopold stayed on until he became the first King of the Belgians.  In 1882 the house became the private property of Queen Victoria, who had enjoyed girlhood holidays here with her uncle Leopold and spent every birthday here from her accession (1837) until 1849.  In 1848 it was the home of the exiled French Imperial family and Louis Phillippe died here in 1850 and his queen in 1866.  In 1882 Claremont was a wedding present for the Duke of Albany – he died two years later but the Duchess remained here until her death in 1922.  Their daughter, Princess Alice, was born here.  It is now owned by National Trust and is a girls ' boarding school.  It has a Classical façade and an Extensive basement area for the servants. 

Landscape garden, twenty years older than Stourhead, is the combined work of Vanbrugh, Bridgeman, Kent, and Brown.  Under the King of the Belgians it was Mackintosh.  On the Lion's foreleg.  One of the earliest surviving English landscape gardens; begun by Vanbrugh and Bridgeman before 1720. Vanburgh laid out formal gardens within massive walled defences; Bridgeman converted the walled parterre into a ha ha.  It was extended and naturalized by Kent who designed the lake and cascade and Brown. Lake; island with pavilion; grotto and turf amphitheatre; viewpoints and avenues.

Much of the park has been broken up into building plots. 

Amphitheatre is the only surviving example of its type. Designed by Bridgeman.

Bowling green.  18th-century.

Gateway and lodges 18th-century by Henry Holland.  Ample and reticent

Icehouse in the park

Obelisk in the grounds to Vanburgh

Gothic retreat.  Converted into a chapel after Princess Charlotte's death.

Temple on an island on the lake.

Obelisk to commemorate Princess Charlotte.

Belvedere Tower. 1717.  The first true folly.  By Vanbrugh. Restored.  Enclosed by the woods

Original house stood at the foot of the hill.  East of the present mansion, but all that survives of it is an ornamental tower, formerly the garden house, and the enclosing wall of the garden.

Milestone distanced to Newcastle House.  Has probably been moved.

Walls of the gardens 600 ft long.  Astonishing, by Vanburgh

White Cottage was the Gardener’s Cottage.

Stables with clock turret

Claremont Woods National Trust, laid out by William Kent about 1730, with an enchanting lake and any fine trees and rhododendrons.

Coppice Lane

Home Farm House.  Must be by Vanburgh.  White brick and walled garden.

Portsmouth Road

Milepost in south side of A3 SW of Claremont House.  Square.


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