Charlecote House - A Victorian home
Welcome back to the house! There are some changes to your visit, so please keep reading to see what to expect.
House opening times for autumn
We’re thrilled to be able to welcome you back inside the house. The staff and volunteers have worked hard to reopen the ground floors safely after 14 months of being closed.
The house is open six mornings a week from 10am - 1pm (closed Wednesdays) throughout October, before it closes from 1st November until the spring, for winter conservation work.
Here's what you can expect when you visit this autumn:
- The house is open six mornings every week - every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am - 1pm (last entry 12:45pm).
- The house is closed on Wednesdays.
- A limited number of timed tickets for the house are available. These can be obtained from Visitor Reception when you arrive on a first come, first served basis. These tickets cannot be prebooked.
- House tickets are given out in fifteen-minute timed slots between 10am – 12:45pm. Please keep to your timed slot to ensure everyone can enjoy their visit in the house.
- Face coverings are no longer compulsory but we do encourage you to wear one inside if you are able, to help keep our staff and volunteers safe.
- The five downstairs rooms are open to view, while the two upstairs rooms will remain closed while we use them to complete on-going conservation work.
- Inside each room, we've focused on celebrating the work that's currently going on to care for Charlecote. If you would like to learn more specifically about our history, we recommend purchasing a guidebook from Visitor Reception or the Shop.
- There's plenty to explore and enjoy in the park, gardens, cafe and shop each day - check with our team at Visitor Reception to discover our recommended highlights.
Celebrating 75 years
2021 marks the 75th anniversary of Charlecote Park being open to the public and in the care of the National Trust.
It was gifted to the National Trust on 1 June 1945 and opened to welcome its first visitors a year later on 2 June 1946.
We'll be celebrating this anniversary throughout the year, especially in the house where in each room, you'll get a glimpse of some of the work that goes into keeping Charlecote's history alive for future generations.
Your journey through the house
As you walk through each room of the house to discover the different projects that are currently going on to look after the collection. If you'd like to learn more specifically about the history of Charlecote, we recommend purchasing a guidebook from Visitor Reception or the Shop.
- Enter the house through the porch Elizabethan porch and admire the freshly polished pietra dura table as you begin your visit in the Great Hall. There’s a brief introduction to the projects before you set off on a one-way route around the downstairs rooms.
- You'll then head into the Dining Room where you'll see some of the furniture is still covered over, like it has been since March 2020. You'll also discover how the Inventory Project is helping to uncover untold stories about items in our collection.
- Then wander through in to the Library to find out how we go about cleaning 3,000+ books and how the Heating Project will help look after our library and it's riverside location.
- Next you'll move into the Billiard Room, where you'll have a unique opportunity to view the helmets, swords and pistols that are usually out of reach.
- And finally, is the welcoming golden glow of the Drawing Room. But something here is missing... Find out why when you visit!
Please note that there are limited rooms open to the public as the Lucy family still lives in one wing of the house. Upstairs rooms are currently closed to ensure we have a safe one-way route around the house.
Buggies and rucksacks don't mix with fragile artefacts. We'll be asking visitors to carry their bags around with them, so please travel light! Prams will need to stay outdoors.
The Heating and Inventory Projects
We have started work towards a major and important project to replace our central heating system throughout the house. This is running alongside an on-going Inventory Project which is cruicial to enhancing the information we hold about the items in our collection.
This means that some objects and furnishings might be packed away to protect them, or other items have been moved to give you a unique chance to see some of the work that's being done.
A little bit of history
Mary Elizabeth and George Hammond Lucy wanted to make Victorian Charlecote conform to their fashionable idea of ‘Merrie England’ in the reign of ‘Good Queen Bess’. They spared no expense and spent lavishly on items from the Fonthill Abbey sale of items from the dissolute William Beckford.
Many of the objects in the house were also brought back from the Lucys' European spending spree of the 1840s.
If you'd like to know more about the paintings and artefacts that you see in the house, why not explore the National Trust Collections site? Or for more about the history of Charlecote, pick up a guidebook from Visitor Reception or one of our shops.
Currently still a home to the Lucy family
Our visitors sometimes wonder why it’s not possible to see the whole house. This is because the Lucy family still live here in one wing. Many of the items you see are kindly loaned to the National Trust by the family.
Learn about the Library
We have one of the best libraries in the National Trust's care and our room guides can tell you more if there's anything you want to know.
The books in our historic library are prone to mould and damp, due to the house's proximity to the river.
We use the funds raised by our second-hand bookshop to help with repairs and conservation work on the books in our library.