Preservation in the Pipelines at Charlecote

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.

There are several existing and essential improvement projects happening at Charlecote Park that will benefit the collection, the environment, and your visits.

** Full property closure dates in July **

Please note, that Charlecote Park will be completely closed all day, for 4 non-consecutive days on:

  • Wednesday 6 July
  • Wednesday 13 July
  • Thursday 14 July
  • Wednesday 20 July *

This is to allow the final phases of the car park resurfacing work to take place. We will reopen as normal from 9am - 5pm (last entry 4pm) for all the other days in between and over the summer.

* Please note that Wednesday 20 July is a provisional date as it is weather dependant. We need dry weather to lay the top surface of the car park and we may need to reschedule the work if it's wet. Please check the website and social media for updates or changes to this particular date before you set off or travel.

What's happening?

Things might looke a little messy as we make some improvements to Charlecote Park. Thanks to the support from your visits, memberships, and donations we are:

  • restoring the Victorian heating system in the house to better control the environmental conditions inside to combat mould and pests
  • improving the car park to reduce surface erosion and install electric vehicle charging points
  • installing a new biomass boiler to do our part in tackling climate change and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels
  • updating the fire alarm system in the house to future proof the care of the collection
  • enhancing the information in our records about our collection, to better care for their history and origins
  • building a new Visitor Reception building with additional toilets and a 'Changing Places' accessible toilet

Heating a Victorian home

*** Please note that the information in the handbook about the house opening times is now out of date. Please see our page on 'How to visit the house' for the most up to date opening days and times. ***

The house at Charlecote Park will be closed on week days until late summer 2022 while conservation work takes place inside, to enable a new conservation-controlled heating system to be installed. The new heating system will see the Victorian radiators restored to work more efficiently and additional heating will be added to some areas. 

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.

The current heating system cannot regulate the temperature effectively to control the environment within the house. This leaves the fabric of the building as well as the collection vulnerable to mould, pests and damage caused by fluctuating humidity and temperature (such as cracking, splitting and failure of joints in furniture).  

Before the work can start our collections team will need to prepare the house. With approximately 4000 items in the house all needing to be packed or protected this is no small task. 

Much of the collection is now packed away or covered up.
Collection items are coverd in white sheets and protective cloth placed on shelves inside a dimly lit room for safe storage.
Much of the collection is now packed away or covered up.

All items will be cleaned using special conservation techniques before being packed or covered. The furniture will additionally need be moved so that the historic carpets can be rolled to give access to the floorboards. Even the wall mounted items (E.g., Paintings/Stags heads) will need protecting from the dust produced by the works, so scaffolding will be erected to access them and they will be cleaned and covered. 

This new heating system will mean that the house and collection can be enjoyed by all for many years to come. It will also reduce our reliance on oil and electricity, helping Charlecote to play its part in the global fight against climate change.

This vital conservation work would not be possible without your support, thank you! We hope you can visit the house when we reopen later in 2022. 

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

 

Car park improvements & Visitor Reception

We've started work in the car park to create an all-weather surface to make parking easier for visitors to park all year round, especially in the winter, and to reduce erosion when it’s wet. We’ll also be installing electric vehicle charging points.

Later on, the project plan also includes installing a new Visitor Reception building and toilets, including a ‘Changing Places’ accessible toilet.

The car park improvement works will enable us to install electric vehicle charge points.
An orange digger sits on top of a large pile of stones, with a deep hole in the car park that's been dug out, that could be big enough to fit a swimming pool inside!
The car park improvement works will enable us to install electric vehicle charge points.


The accessible car park spaces and electric vehicle charging points will move closer to the new Visitor Reception building, which will be installed later in the project. So for a short while, until the new welcome space and toilets are built, the accessible parking spaces will be a little further away from the current Visitor Reception building. These improvements will also feed into our plans to reinstate the original approach to Charlecote.

If you need any assistance with access while we make these improvements please let us know, ahead of your visit by emailing charlecotepark@nationaltrust.org.uk

Biomass boiler

We're preparing for the future and playing our part in tackling climate change by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels by installing a biomass boiler near the Wood Yard cafe.

The biomass boiler will result in a nett reduction of 140 tonnes of CO2 per year (that’s the equivalent carbon saving as planting around 6,000 trees)!

Learn more about Charlecote's biomass boiler (PDF / 1.6MB) download

The biomass boiler will feed into the new heating system being installed in the house
Bright orange fencing sections off an area around some old, red bricked outbuildings with a large black, plastic barrel boiler waiting outside.
The biomass boiler will feed into the new heating system being installed in the house

It might look a bit messy for a while as we need to dig a trench for the pipes to connect up from the new boilers in the outbuildings, to deliver heat to the main house. When the work is complete, there will actually be very little to see. All the pipes will be hidden underground, and the new boilers will be hidden within an existing building.

The biomass boilers will use compressed wood pellets from sustainable sources, which are combusted to generate heat energy.

The switch to wood pellets for Charlecote, is not only better for the environment, but will save us money that we can then spend where is it much needed, in looking after our property.

Wood pellets, grown through sustainable means, are classified as a renewable source of energy because the CO2 released is largely offset by the amount of CO2 it absorbed from the atmosphere while it was growing.