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Charlecote Park

Charlecote Park has been the seat of the Lucy family since 1247; the house was built in the 1550s. It was extensively remodelled between 1826-67 for George Hammond Lucy and his wife Mary Elizabeth. The work was carried out by the couple in consultation with the designer Thomas Willement. Although little of the original Tudor house remained after George and Mary’s alterations, Charlecote’s connections with Elizabeth I, who visited in 1572, and with William Shakespeare, reputed to have been caught poaching deer in the park, are very much part of the property’s lore. These historical associations aside, the house and its 19th-century interiors are a landmark of the Romantic Elizabethan Revival. The park is the work of ‘Capability’ Brown and the garden now features a herbaceous border with planting inspired by roses, herbs, fruit trees and cottage perennials mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays.

Visitor Information

Address:
Wellesbourne,
Warwick,
Warwickshire,
England,
CV35 9ER

Telephone: 01789 470277

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/charlecote-park

Accredited Museum

Charlecote Park, Warwickshire (Accredited Museum)

This collection has 6,075 items online

Charlecote Park has one of the finest libraries in the care of the National Trust. The nucleus of the collection was formed in the early 17th century by Sir Thomas Lucy III (1585-1640) and his wife Alice (d. 1648), who were both book-lovers. Precious survivals from their time include a finely illuminated late 14th-century Book of Hours. In the 19th century George Hammond Lucy (1789-1845) built a new Elizabethan Revival library and he filled it with suitably Elizabethan books. There is a considerable collection of family portraits; nearly every generation of Lucy since Sir Thomas III's day is included. A group of portrait of Sir Thomas Lucy III and his Family of c.1625 by Cornelius Johnson (1593-1661) takes pride of place over the fireplace in the Great Hall. There are oval portraits by William Larkin (1585-1640) of Sir Thomas Lucy III and his close friend, the diplomat and philosopher Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1582-1648). Charlecote houses an important collection of furnishings once belonging to William Beckford (1759-1844) from the Fonthill Abbey sale of 1823. George Hammond Lucy (1789-1845) was one of the most enthusiastic buyers at this sale, acquiring fine pieces of furniture, ceramics and metalwork, much of which is still at Charlecote. The most expensive purchase was the arresting 16th-century Italian pietre dure table in the hall, known as The Borghese / Beckford table.

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