Part of the rear elevation of Charlecote Park overlooking the River Avon and the wider estate beyond.
Looking like something out of the Hammer House of Horrors, even though this shot was taken on a summers day, although I will admit to darkeing the sky a little.
The house follows much of the original Elizabethan footprint, was remodelled by several generations of the Lucy family, and then had a Victorian restoration back to the Elizabethan style by George Lucy from around 1823.
The gate house is in a lovely red brick and mellow sandstone. Judging by the use of plywood sheets around the top of this building, I would say that some of the hand carved balustrade panels are a little fragile.
The carved balustrades around the gardens are a work of art, here framing the croquet lawn backed by herbaceous borders.
A rose and lavender border running along stone balustrading around the parterre garden. Just the other side of the balustrade gently flows the River Avon, widened here by Capability Brown to enhance the view, which extends for miles.
Behind the orangery lies an enclosed woodland garden. The orangery is the National Trust's restaurant.
I'm afraid I don't have any historic information on this tiny thatched cottage, but it certainly is a peculiar building. Despite its compact size it has at least two rooms inside, one of which has a fireplace and a strange window which opens up into, what appear to be, aviaries on the outside of the cottage. At least one of the rooms had oak panelling, as I recall.
This is the south wing which I believe was part of the Victorian additions by George Lucy from 1923. The Victorian kitchen is located in this wing.
The gatehouse is the only building at Charlecote Park that retains its complete Elizabethan structure. The gateway entices you down the 300 yard, tree lined avenue from the entrance gates, obscuring your view of the house until you pass through the archway (the view seen at the start of the virtual tour above). This photograph was taken on one of those wonderful summer days (2009)! I actually lightened the sky in this photo!
Wellesbourne, Warwick, Warwickshire, England CV35 9ER
PHONE: 01789 470277
Charlecote 0.3 miles, Alveston 1.8 miles, Sherbourne 3.1 miles, Ashorne 3.2 miles
- Licensed Restaurant
- Disabled Access
- Baby Changing Facilities
- Disabled Toilets
- Free Parking
Dating from the 1550's, Charlecote is a Tudor house of immense character set in a 180 acre park, and home to the Lucy family for over 700 years. The property sits on the banks of the River Avon and enjoys views across a landscape massaged by Capability Brown during the mid 1700's.
Although Elizabethan in appearance and dating from the period, much of the external fabric of this National Trust property is actually Victorian. When George Lucy inherited Charlecote in 1823, he set about removing the modifications made by successive generations of Lucy's, to restore the building to the Elizabethan style. He also extended and added outbuildings. The gatehouse is the only original Elizabethan building at this historic estate. Explore the grounds in the 12 panorama virtual tour above.
Queen Elizabeth stayed at Charlecote for two nights in 1572, staying in what is now the drawing room. The Queen's arms are carved on the entrance porch celebrating her visit.
It is claimed that William Shakespeare also had an association with this estate, in-so-much that he was caught poaching by the first owner of the property, Sir Thomas Lucy.
The early Victorian interior has many paintings, sculptures and fine furniture, along with some very ornate ceilings. The great hall, originally used for banqueting - but now displaying family portraits, has a barrel vaulted ceiling.
You can also visit the Victorian kitchen, brewhouse, tack room and laundry at Charlecote, as well as seeing a collection of period horse drawn carriages.
A formal parterre garden terrace enclosed by beautifully carved balustrades, lies to the west elevation, overlooking the River Avon and the flood plain beyond. To the north is a well manicured croquet lawn with full and colourful borders. North east is the woodland garden where you'll also find the orangery, now the National Trust restaurant. Adjacent to the coach house is a small sensory garden. Just south of this historic attraction, the River Dene runs into the Avon across an attractive, stepped waterfall.
Beyond the boundaries of the house and garden, the park is extensive, with miles of footpaths, stunning views along the river and across the estate, where you'll see deer and rare breeds sheep. The park is ideal for picnics and benches are scattered around the park.