Charlecote Park has undergone a £1.8 million refurbishment
One of Warwickshire’s historical Victorian gems has undergone a £1.8 million refurbishment to help preserve its future - and the environment - for future generations.
The National Trust’s Charlecote Park in Wellesbourne, which features a Victorian home set in a 180-acre landscaped deer park, has made significant infrastructural upgrades to the property, which was built in 1558.
The building’s original Victorian heating system has been transformed into a conservation-focused set-up that will only heat selected rooms as and when it is needed – as opposed to the whole building – which will also help to protect the venue’s 4,000 artefacts from fluctuating temperatures.
The National Trust property’s existing Victorian style radiators have also been restored, and used as templates to cast additional radiators to retain the historical heritage of the building.
The new heating system has been connected to a new biomass boiler, which uses sustainably-grown wooden pellets, that will see Charlecote Park reducing its CO2 emissions by 140 tonnes a year – which is the equivalent carbon saving as planting 6,000 trees.
Eight electric vehicle charging points are also being installed in the visitor car park – and an all-weather vehicle surface has also been laid to improve visitor access on the main approach to the venue.
A cloud-based fire alarm system which alerts staff remotely has also been introduced to improve response times, as well as the installation of new hatches in the property’s attic space, along with new fitted fire doors, to improve the building’s fire resistance.
Rebecca Watson, General Manager at Charlecote Park, said:
Climate change is the single biggest threat to precious properties like ours due to the fluctuating temperatures, so we are thrilled to have benefited from this investment as it will also reduce our reliance on using gas and oil.
“Many of the paintings and other cultural artefacts that were collected by our initial Victorian owners George Hammond Lucy and his wife, Mary Elizabeth, on their European travels were at risk of becoming damaged by mould and pests, as the old heating system could not regulate the temperatures in each room accurately.
However, our new intelligent heating system now means our staff can adjust climate conditions in each room quickly as opposed to heating up the whole building.
This, combined with the biomass boiler, will also enable us to make a consistent, tangible difference to the environment as we look to explore how we can further help to protect our planet.”
The investment comes as Charlecote Park is working with south Warwickshire’s tourism body, Shakespeare’s England, to prepare for its busiest summer since before the pandemic, which will see a jam-packed six weeks of activities for families, including weekly craft and wildlife workshops in the parkland.
Darren Tosh, Operations & Marketing Director at Shakespeare’s England, added:
“Historical attractions such as Charlecote Park play an instrumental role in attracting thousands of visitors to our region every year – which has a positive knock-on effect for our wider economy, not to mention their importance in educating future generations – so it is fantastic to see this level of investment being made to preserve its offering."
Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important consideration for families when they are choosing a destination for a day out or a longer break, and we are looking forward to working with our members to highlight the great work they are doing in this space.
For more information about Charlecote Park visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/charlecote-park