Barrington Court gets fresh burst of energy

Published : 27 Apr 2016 Last update : 12 Jul 2019

It was once saved from ruin by the sugar magnate Abram Lyle's family. Now we're giving Barrington Court a fresh burst of energy with a new greener heating system.

Powered by wood

The 17th-century manor in Somerset was using more than 34,000 litres of oil each year for heating. Now it will be powered by sustainably grown, locally sourced wood.

Barrington Court was one of the first houses that we took over in 1907. We leased it to the Lyle family of Tate & Lyle fame in the 1920s, who lovingly restored it. The influential horticulturalist Gertrude Jekyll also designed its three formal gardens which visitors can enjoy today.

Saving money for conservation

The new greener biomass system will save us £10,000 per year on energy bills. These savings can be spent on other vital projects. Crucially, it will also prevent 94 tonnes of CO2 emissions – the equivalent to filling 94 hot air balloons.

It marks another key milestone in our £33 million investment programme in renewable energy.

Energy from renewable sources
Sustainable energy
Energy from renewable sources

Switching to cleaner fuel

Sarah Jack, project manager for the installation, said: 'Staff and volunteers at Barrington Court are working hard to reduce their energy consumption and use of fossil fuels. It has been a privilege to help them realise their ambitions to switch to cleaner and renewable fuel.'

The mansion’s two oil powered boilers, aged 20 and 28 years, have been replaced with biomass boilers that will be powered on locally and sustainably-sourced wood pellets.  The cleaner energy system will provide hot water and heat to the Court House as well as the restaurant, offices, residential flats and holiday cottage at Strode House.  

Beautiful and healthy environment

Sarah added: 'It was always going to be a challenge installing two boilers and their flues into a beautiful and historic setting such as Barrington Court but we are all pleased with the outcome. Coaxing the aged and complex plumbing in the mansions to accept the newcomers has turned out to be one of the biggest hurdles and it was a great day for us all when we said goodbye to the old oil boilers.'

Mike Hudson, our renewable energy investment programme director, said: 'The work at Barrington Court is an example of what support from the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme is enabling us to do.

'Schemes like these help to create a healthier, more beautiful environment and support the local economy as well as national energy and climate change ambitions.'