Charlecote House - A Victorian home

The library but with all the paintings, collection and fireplace covered in white sheets, with staff and volunteers at a table working on book cleaning.

*** The 5 ground floor rooms of the house are open in the mornings on weekends and bank holidays by timed ticket.

Please note that much of the collection is now packed away or covered up while conservation work takes place. The experience inside focuses on how different the rooms feel with fewer collection pieces on show, and how the conservation project will help to protect the collection for generations to come. ***

How to visit the house

The 5 ground floor rooms of the house are open in the mornings, on weekends and bank holidays between 10.30am – 1.30pm by timed ticket (last entry at 12.45pm). 
 
Tickets are handed out in 15-minute intervals on a first come, first serve basis at Visitor Reception, and cannot be prebooked.  The number of tickets is limited each day, to help with the conservation of the house and collection.  

If tickets sell out before you arrive, then there’s still plenty to enjoy in the parkland this time of year. With spring delights around every corner, you can explore the park until 5pm each day (last admission at 4pm).  
 

Much of the collection has been packed away or protected while the conservation work takes place.
The dining room at Charlecote with paintings covered in white protective cloth, carpets rolled out and the furniture removed, with large wooden floors exposed.
Much of the collection has been packed away or protected while the conservation work takes place.

What’s happening in the house?

Inside the house at Charlecote, things are looking quite different from a typical National Trust property this year. You’ll quickly spot that we’re in the middle of a huge project, that will see the old Victorian heating system refurbished and restored. This long-awaited work will help protect the collection against fluctuating environmental conditions, mould and other pests, for future generations. 

 

Things look very different inside the house while work for the heating project takes place.
Looking into the Great Hall with it's high ceilings, the paintings lining the walls are covered up in with white sheets and the furniture is stacked in the centre of the room by the large fireplace with a scaffold tower nearby.
Things look very different inside the house while work for the heating project takes place.

 
So what’s different?

Inside you’ll see that much of the collection is being covered or carefully packed away to prepare for the restoration work to begin. Each weekend, we’ll pause these preparations and open the ground floor of the house, so that you can see behind-the-scenes.  
 
Wandering through each room, you’ll see these preparations temporarily paused, with a personal highlight from the team about the project work – from tips and tricks, to discoveries and the many challenges they face.   
 

With lots of the collection hidden or covered, our volunteers will be on-hand and happy to help if you have questions about the house, its history, and the collection. Or you can delve into the history of Charlecote, through a guidebook in the shop.  

The team have been trained to erect a scaffold tower to reach and clean the ceiling and paintings
The team have been trained to erect a scaffold tower to reach and clean the ceiling and paintings
The team have been trained to erect a scaffold tower to reach and clean the ceiling and paintings

What is the heating project?
 

The Heating Project will see the old Victorian heating system in the house, refurbished and restored. This project is huge!

  • The project is planned to take place over 10 – 12 months
  • It covers all 4 floors of the house
  • That around 65 different areas in the house to work on
  • And a further 11 spaces in the stable block will also see work taking place

We’ve already begun the preparations for the work to start. With no external storage available, we’ve got to protect the entire collection in situ. This means we’ll be constantly packing, protecting, and rotating the collection throughout the year to accommodate the work as it moves through the house – it’s a bit like a collection conservation coursel!

Parts of the old, Victorian heating system are being refurbished to help look after the collection.
An old metal radiator has been exposed from it's cover. It's original colour was black but it's now almost grey, yellow as it's covered in dust. A step ladder is placed next to it and there is dark wooden panelling behind it.
Parts of the old, Victorian heating system are being refurbished to help look after the collection.

How will this work help?
 

The current, old heating system is very patchy and we struggle to monitor and control the environmental conditions properly in each room. The fluctuating temperatures and humidity puts the collection under a lot of stress, and creates conditions for mould and pests to thrive in.

The heating project will see many of the original radiators refurbished, additional ones will also be added, and a new intelligent building management system will be installed.

This technology will monitor the conditions in each of the rooms, and adjust the heating accordingly – so each room will have it’s own unique requirements met. This stablisation of the environmental conditions will remove much of the stress to the collection that the current fluctuating condition create, and allow our team to carry out more proactive conservation work, rather than needing to react to the constantly changing temperatures and humidity each day.

 

Removing mould is an ongoing part of our conservation work
Charlecote's conservation assistants constantly work at keeping mould at bay
Removing mould is an ongoing part of our conservation work

 


We couldn’t do it without you


This is no small project! We began fundraising for it back in 2019 and it has been delayed due to the pandemic. We’re excited to see it get under way – but we couldn’t have gotten to this point without your help.

Every donation, visit, membership, cup of tea, slice of cake, and shop purchase that you make at Charlecote Park, goes directly back to the property to help us with projects like this. You help us to continue looking after nature, beauty and history for everyone, for ever – thank you.