The west front at Claydon, Buckinghamshire.

    Angharad Moran

    In the 1750s at his family seat in Buckinghamshire, Sir Ralph Verney set out to create a country house of extraordinary grandeur that would dazzle his wealthy neighbours and outdo his political rivals. Thirty years on he was facing financial ruin.

    Today the interiors that remain are among the most ambitious and lavish ever created in the 18th century. Claydon has been occupied by the Verney family for more than 550 years; the place is a testament to their fascinating fluctuating fortunes, from their close involvement in the English Civil War to the family connection with Florence Nightingale.

    Claydon, Middle Claydon, near Buckingham, Buckinghamshire MK18 2EY

    Tel: 01296 730 349


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