Charlecote Park's heating project

Charlecote Park's old central heating system is in need of renewal

Our antiquated heating system is inefficient, unreliable and very expensive to run. We need to replace the entire system and run it from a more efficient energy-efficient biomass boiler.

We're very excited that this means that for a few months in 2020 our visitors will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the house in a new light.


This project is being funded entirely from the money that we are able to raise from every rug or jar of honey that you buy in the shop, every coffee or cake you buy in the tea-room - every single penny counts.

Our raffle ticket sales last year and throughout 2020 will also be used to raise funds for the heating project. Every £1 raffle ticket you buy from our volunteers is match-funded centrally so it's worth £2 to us - and you could win a fabulous cash prize too!

Every time you show your National Trust membership card on your way in it generates £2.56 for us - your membership goes straight to the places you love to visit.

We know how important Charlecote is to some of our visitors, and if you would like to consider making a donation you can download a Gift Aid form here or contact us directly to find out how you can help.

Every scone counts!
Scones in Orangery tea room at Charlecote
Every scone counts!

Conserving the collection

Last year (2019) saw the designs for the new system drawn up. We've also been preparing a detailed timetable for the work and try to minimise disruption to staff, volunteers and visitors.

There are miles of pipework to replace, and the beautiful old cast iron radiators can be reconditioned and brought back into use.

This year (2020), our house and conservation team will be emptying rooms and temporarily packing away many of the objects in our precious collection. You'll be able to see these spaces as Mary Elizabeth and her husband would have viewed them before they filled the rooms with the items they bought on their European tour in the 1840s. How would you have furnished the house?

We have 6,995 items in our collection and we have to decide whether each one is packed carefully away in protective materials or if it's too large or fragile and will need to be protected in situ.

We need to prevent mould occurring throughout the library
Charlecote's conservation team have to remove mould from our precious books
We need to prevent mould occurring throughout the library


The benefits of the new heating system will last for many decades, enabling us to reduce the mould damage caused by our riverside location. 

The National Trust is Europe's largest conservation charity and it's vital that we minimise our environmental impact by getting off fossil fuels. The savings we make will all be spent on future conservation work at Charlecote.

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

Latest updates

13 Nov 19

A thing of beauty

The team have been looking at all the components that make up the heating system throughout the house.

The beautiful decorative radiators are thought to date back to the early part of the 20th century, possibly around 1904. The project aims to keep as many of these radiators as possible but it will cost around £1,800 to refurbish just one radiator. Fund-raising continues!

We plan to refurbish some of Charlecote's old radiators, they are over 100 years old

24 Oct 19

Below stairs

When heading into the basement earlier this year, the team discovered the original boiler that was installed in the 1800s. It's long redundant but it will remain in situ as it's historically important and part of the collection.

Making discoveries in Charlecote's basement as part of our major heating project

01 Jul 19

Under the floor boards

Our conservators and building conservation experts have lifted some floorboards to look at the historic pipework. They can now assess what we will need to do to install the new pipework and just what the scope of the project will be.

We might even think about going in from underneath - via the cellars - to keep work away from the collection.

Lifting the floorboards for Charlecote Park's major new heating project