Preparation advice for turfing on clay ground

Hi all
I'm after some advice on the best way to prepare heavy clay soil fo turfing.
The back garden is approx 36ft wide (level in this direction), and 30f long - sloping downhill away from the house (overall approx 2ft drop) Over the last 4-5 weekends I've been levelling it into terraces, an now it looks like this (starting nearest the house):-
- First 6ft will eventually be paved - then 1ft drop onto lawn area (will eventually have a retaining wall) - Approx 15ft of lawn - further 1ft drop onto barked area
I've got the lawn area level, but in the process I've dug out most o the topsoil from the "high part" nearest the house, and used it to fil up the "low part" of the lawn area to get it level. Where I've remove this topsoil I've hit red/brown clay, which runs in a strip the ful width of the garden - approx 1-2ft wide at one end, but more like 4 f once you reach the other end. As you move away from the house the cla layer slopes down, so the topsoil therefore gets deeper and is probabl a foot deep at the far end of the lawn area. I've spread 2-3 inches of topsoil back over the clay, but after an rain we see a lot of small puddles on this area of the ground, an walking on it feels like quicksand in places.
I've read various articles on what's best, these include:
- rotavating in grit sand, but needs huge amounts to make a differenc - s! - create soakaways, but I've read that they silt up and aren't wort the effort - just turf it, then aerate and topdress with sand each year - spread 2 inches of "turfing sand" on the ground then lay turf ont that (never found out what turfing sand is!)
I also read an article on this site about putting drainage along th top edge of the lawn to stop water from higher ground ever reaching i in the first place. This makes sense, but will it help in my situation The highest terrace (nearest the house) is only 6ft wide, so I can't se there being that much water coming from up there? If I do go with thi drainage idea, what sort of drain is best?
After the jubilation of finishing the garden levelling (by hand!), I' starting to get disheartened after seeing it turn into mush with th recent rain! Or am I worrying unnecessarily - we wouldn't go out int the garden at this time of year? We've only been in the house a fe months so what would we expect in the summer - will we have th opposite problem of having the ground turn to concrete instead?
So many questions! Thanks in advance
And
-- TallAndy
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Read up on gypsum. It is supposed to break up clay.

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wrote:

Gypsum as the guy said, sometimes works, but it's most likely if the soil is held together by excess salt. There's a few web pages about it.
To my experience, mixing sand with clay doesn't break up the clay so much as it generates concrete.
I've not found any better fix than mixing in large quantities of compost, or compost like material. LARGE quantities. A friend of mine had fantastic results just going outside the fence into the woods and bringing back weelbarrow after wheelbarrow of leaf litter uncomposted and digging it in like 2-3 feet deep. I wouldn't have guessed the uncomposted stuff would have worked, but it did.
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