To the south is Claremont Palace, built by the great Lord Clive (1769) on the site of a mansion of Sir John Vanbrugh.
He sold his share in the property in 1776 for £35,000, and took leave of the stage by playing a round of his favourite characters - Hamlet, Lear, Richard and Benedick, among Shakespearian parts; Lusignan in Zara, Aaron Hill's adaptation of Voltaire's Zaire; and Kitely in his own adaptation of Ben Jonson's Archer in Farquhar's Beaux' Stratagem; Abel Drugger in Ben Jonson's Alchemist; Sir John Brute in Vanbrugh's Provoked Wife; Leon in Fletcher's Rule a Wife and have a Wife.
The club originally consisted of thirty-nine, afterwards of forty-eight members, and included among others the duke of Marlborough, Lords Halifax and Somers, Sir Robert Walpole, Vanbrugh, Congreve, Steele and Addison.
His miscellanies, in some of which his satire made the nearest approach perhaps ever made to the methods of physical force, such as A Meditation upon a Broomstick, and the poems Sid Hamet's Rod, The City Shower, The Windsor Prophecy, The Prediction of Merlin, and The History of Vanbrugh's House, belong to this period.
The sum of £50o,000 was voted for the purchase of the manor and the erection of the building, a huge pile built by Sir John Vanbrugh, in a heavy Italo-Corinthian style.