Last Thursday, the 28th of February, was my last day of visiting museums, and once again it was an interesting experience, as we were visiting two very different sites on the same day. Our first visit was to Charlecote Park, in Wellesbourne, Warwick. The estate has been home to the Lucy family since the 12th century, and is now a National Trust property. It also has an extensive deer park – they have lived on the estate since the 15th century.
As one of our last sites, the staff at Charlecote had been awaiting our visit for some time, and they welcomed us very warmly. We were especially delighted by their enthusiasm for the thermal image camera. The effectiveness of the images was unfortunately affected by the sunny weather, but the effect it had on us was much more positive. We could not resist a bit of tourist enjoyment, especially when we were able to climb up the bell-tower and get a beautiful view of the estate and its grounds. Equally interesting was the cellar – we’ve been getting to know a few cellars lately, but following the long tunnels underneath Charlecote was reminiscent of a spooky film.
All of the lights in Charlecote Park have recently been rewired, which has meant that all of the exhibits in the house have had to be moved and protected for the duration; for example, each of the 3500 books in the library had to be individually wrapped for preservation. This gives us an impression of the scale that some potential energy-saving changes would have to take. The inconvenience can be off-putting, and make it hard to think about the distant future. But that is why we intend to look both at quick fixes and at long-term solutions that will make a significant contribution to lowering Britain’s carbon footprint.