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A Little Bit Nuts

There are some houses in this world that you visit and wonder ‘WHY?’ Claydon House in Buckinghamshire is one such. Rebuilt by Ralph, 2nd Earl Verney between 1757 and 1771 to rival the nearby Stowe house in magnificence, it is almost as if he got so carried away by his obsessions that he didn’t know where to stop. And indeed this singleminded ‘mania’ led to his financial downfall and after his death in 1791, the demolition of more than two-thirds of the house by a disapproving niece – as a lesson on the perils of excess. I can’t imagine many families putting up with such extreme behaviour – of either generation – for very long!

North Hall Claydon House

I’d wanted to visit Claydon for such a long time because I’d seen pictures of the exuberant Rococo and Chinoiserie styling but I didn’t realise that Lord Verney had not been…

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