Fire-ravaged Clandon Park 'to come back to life'

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Media captionFootage showed the extent of the blaze

An 18th Century mansion destroyed by fire will undergo a £30m reconstruction, it has been revealed.

Design teams are invited to submit plans for Clandon Park house in Surrey - reduced to a charred shell in 2015.

Owner the National Trust said plans would combine restoring state rooms with new galleries and visitor spaces, in a building that "reads as one".

The fire, thought to have been started by an electrical fault, left one room - the Speakers' Parlour - intact.

Image copyright National Trust
Image caption The Speakers' Parlour was the only room that survived

Several hundred artefacts were recovered and many found in the debris await conservation.

Dame Helen Ghosh, the trust's director general, said the building was "a masterwork of its time" and needed sensitive, thoughtful restoration.

She said the trust wanted to attract the freshest thinking "to help us bring it back to life".

Fire-ravaged stately home 'should stay ruin'

Clandon Park mansion to be restored

Image copyright National Trust / Ben Thomas
Image caption An 18th century Chinese porcelain rabbit was recovered and restored
Image copyright Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Image caption After the fire, pieces of antique furniture that survived were stored and catalogued

Project director Paul Cook said the Grade I-listed building had "an exceptional aura and history".

He said: "The trauma of the fire and sense of loss we feel heightens our determination to transform the visitor experience at Clandon and give the house a higher profile."

The trust said the high-profile project had a £30m construction value.

Image copyright National Trust
Image caption Sculptor John Michael Rysbrack's marble chimney pieces and over mantels survived in the Marble Hall
Image copyright National Trust
Image caption The Marble Hall is one of the rooms the National Trust wants to restore

The house near Guildford captured a moment in architecture when Baroque made way for Palladianism in England, the trust said.

Designed by Venice-born architect Giacomo Leoni, it concealed celebrated interiors, including a glistening white Marble Hall, within red brick walls.

The public will be able to comment on proposed designs this summer and a competition "jury" will be chaired by Sandy Nairne, trust board member and former director of the National Portrait Gallery.

Image copyright National Trust
Image caption Treasures were carefully lifted out of the rubble
Image copyright National Trust
Image caption Clandon Park was known for its 18th Century furniture, porcelain and textiles - including this gilt armchair

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