House and outbuildings
Come in through the porch dedicated to Elizabeth I and you’ll find an Elizabethan-Revival interior created in Victorian times by Mary Elizabeth and George Hammond Lucy.
Begin your visit in the Great Hall surrounded by 400 years of Lucy family portraits and then discover more about what you see with one of our costume talks. Find out how the Lucy family lived in Victorian times, their European spending spree and family tragedy.
Our children's trails begin here too - collect a sheet from one of our friendly room guides.
Mary Elizabeth and George Hammond Lucy wanted to make Victorian Charlecote conform to their ideal of ‘Merrie England’ in the reign of ‘Good Queen Bess’.
So between 1829 and 1865, they refitted the main rooms with the advice of the designer and heraldic expert Thomas Willement. They filled their new rooms with stained glass, early editions of Shakespeare’s works and ebony furniture (which was then thought to be Tudor).
They also bought spectacular tables and cabinets from the Fonthill Abbey sale of items from the unique collection of William Beckford.
Three of the guest bedrooms upstairs are open to visitors and are shown according to a very detailed inventory of 1891. The furnishings are almost all original, with wallpaper and carpets remade from designs found here.
These rooms were generally used by visiting bachelor friends as they were a long way from the fitted plumbing.
You can see many delightful paintings here and other fascinating objects collected by Mary Elizabeth and George Hammond Lucy on their travels. You may find us carrying out some of our conservation work here too - do stop and chat with us.
A family home
Our visitors sometimes wonder why it’s not possible to see the whole house. This is because the Lucy family still live here.
Many of the items you see still belong to the family and are kindly loaned by them to the National Trust, so we have to keep some ropes in place.
You can stay at Charlecote: Part of the upper floor is also taken up with our self-catering holiday flat, The Turret. This is a delightful place to stay, with glorious views of the Warwickshire countryside.
Please note: Buggies and rucksacks just don’t mix with fragile artefacts and you will be asked to leave these in the porch (limited space on busy days).
A servant's life
You'll find a taste of Victorian England in our award-winning kitchen. Discover just how important Mrs Horton, the cook, was to the Lucy family.
Chat to our costumed guides about the recipes they're cooking today, the cooking techniques and the different utensils being used. Sample what we're cooking on the fire in the original range and perhaps join in too.
Children can try on mob caps and aprons and discover more about the hard life of a Victorian servant.
Help conserve our books
We're beginning a huge £35,000 project to conserve many of the rare books in our library.
They include some very special gems such as a Shakespeare Second Folio, an illuminated 14th-century Book of Hours and a work by Tudor scholar Erasmus given by him to King Henry VIII.
You can help by making a donation for one of the information leaflets in the library. Find out more with special library talks and tours later in the year - check our Events page soon for more details.
Complete the picture
Cross the courtyard to find the laundry, brewhouse and tackroom which were so vital to the efficient running of the house. You can gain a real sense of the physical hard work undertaken by the people employed here.
Imagine filling the washing coppers with hot water and hauling out the wet linen to dry, and see the huge range of implements that were regarded as essential for all aspects of cleaning the family’s riding equipment.
The comprehensive carriage collection of vehicles used by the Lucy family will fascinate lovers of romantic historical fiction – here you can compare the merits of a phaeton, a barouche or a brougham.
Access for all
Anyone who hasn’t been able to access the upstairs rooms in the house will want to find our Virtual Tour in the outbuildings too. Here you can sit at our computer screen and discover a wealth of information about the Lucy family and the history of Charlecote.
The Virtual Tour is available every day, including days when the house itself is closed.
The house is always closed on Wednesdays. (Don't forget, the park, garden, Victorian kitchen, outbuildings, shop and restaurant are open every day).
This is the day when we can undertake deep cleaning and work which can require ladders and scaffolding which could pose a danger to our visitors.
We also need to respect that this is still the Lucy family home. This also helps limit the number of hours of damaging light exposure on some of our fragile textiles and objects.
You can now view items from National Trust places everywhere and find out about the pieces that interest you at National Trust Collections.
Here you can discover a searchable treasure trove of hundreds of items from Charlecote's paintings, furniture and carriages.
Share your love of Charlecote and join our friendly team.
There's plenty of training, and it's a chance to learn something new or bring your knowledge to us.
We’ve plenty of opportunities for new volunteers - come along to one of our drop-in sessions. Could you help us to bring history to life?