Charlecote Park was built in 1558 by Sir Thomas Lucy. The Lucy family, who came to this country with William the Conqueror, had owned the land since 1247.
It was in the park at Charlecote that Shakespeare is reputed to have been caught poaching deer which necessitated his quick departure to London.
The house seen today looks Elizabethan but is mostly Victorian.
In 1823 George Hammond Lucy inherited the house and set about removing the changes made by successive generations his family.
He then recreated the house in the original style using the services of a antiquarian specialist. The general outline of the Elizabethan house remains.
The Great Hall has a barrel-vaulted ceiling made of plaster painted to look like timber and is a fine setting for the splendid collection of family portraits.
Other rooms have richly coloured wallpaper, decorated plaster ceilings and wood panelling. There are magnificent pieces of furniture and fine works of art, including a contemporary painting of Queen Elizabeth I.
The original two-storey Elizabethan gateway that guards the approach to the house remains unaltered.
In 1946 Charlecote Park was given to the National Trust by Sir Montgomerie Fairfax-Lucy.
The house now is displayed as it would have been in the 19th century with a Victorian kitchen, scullery, laundry, brewhouse and family carriages in the coach house.
Charlecote Park has a beautiful setting backing on to the River Avon.
The park was laid out in its present form by 'Capability' Brown and has descendants of Sir Thomas Lucy's deer and Spanish sheep.