The National Trust - West Wycombe Village Green Open Homes

30 May 2014

The National Trust is undertaking a comprehensive refurbishment of the historic West Wycombe Village. A key aim of the project is to improve the energy efficiency of the cottages - many of which are listed.

3 homes

Energy-saving improvements key

  • Low-cost improvements
    Low-cost improvements
  • 'Big' insulation works
    'Big' insulation works
  • Glazing
  • Lighting systems and electrical appliances
    Lighting systems and electrical appliances
  • High spec heating
    High spec heating
  • Renewables: heat
    Renewables: heat
  • Renewables: electricity
    Renewables: electricity
  • Water management
    Water management
  • Sustainable building materials
    Sustainable building materials
  • Lifestyle change
    Lifestyle change
  • Recommended

Please note that this event has now finished.


This event will showcase low carbon improvements made to a number of National Trust cottages, in the beautiful historic village at West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Whilst there has been a settlement at West Wycombe for over a thousand years, the village developed as an important staging post along the coaching route from London to Oxford from the 15th Century.

Today the busy A40 runs through the village, bringing challenges to the conservation of this unique place. Aquired by the National Trust in 1934, many of the cottages date from the 17th and 18th Centuries - some having 15th Century origins.

As a landlord the National Trust has a duty of care for both its properties and Tenants. Reconciling the often conflicting needs of conservation of significant historic fabric with provision of energy efficient, compliant homes is a major challenge. The National Trust is responding to the challenge by undertaking major refurbishments of many cottages, including 58 historic homes in West Wycombe Village. Many of the cottages at West Wycombe are being re-roofed. Due to the inherent difficulties of insulating traditionally constructed solid walls and floors, the roofs are being altered to incorporate significant insulation upgrades. Other improvements include secondary double glazing, upgrading of boilers and heating systems and installation of woodburners to some cottages.

This major project has recently won an LABC award for craftsmanship (Local Authority Building Control Awards). The works are being undertaken by main contractor Fairhurst Ward Abbotts, in accordance with National Trust conservation principles, and supervised by NT project manager Mark Wells MRICS.

Visitors will be able to see the refurbishment work in progress at Blackboy Cottage on a scaffold tour (limited spaces / booking essential), as well as visiting several completed cottages. The addresses of the open homes will be revealed on the day, all are within a few minutes walk of the meeting point.  

You'll be able to talk to the occupiers and project manager, hear about their experiences first hand, and see the innovative techniques and traditional skills actually in progress. 

All visitors should find their way to Blackboy yard, where they will be met by a National Trust staff member and given directions to the tour / open homes. Blackboy Yard is located on the south side of West Wycombe High Street, almost opposite the post office. Enter through the archway next to No 15A, Brocklehurst Architects.

Get in touch / find out more

Please contact Louise Barcroft ( at the National Trust directly to book on a scaffold tour of the cottage works in progress. Because building work is involved, we need to know visitor names and numbers in advance.

Visitors on the scaffold tour will need to be suitably dressed, with stout, sensible shoes or boots (strictly no trainers or heels). You will be given a brief Health & Safety induction, and provided with hard hats and hi-visibility vests. Sorry, but we cannot allow anyone under the age of 16 years on the scaffold tour.

To visit the other open homes taking part in this event, feel free to drop in any time between 11am and 4pm on Friday 30th May.

Free Parking is available at the National Trust West Wycombe Park (House and Grounds) HP14 3AJ. The Park is located at the west end of the village, on the A40 at the junction with Chorley Road. Just enter through the gates and use the visitors parking.  It is just a short stroll from there to Blackboy Yard, where you will be met by a National Trust staff member, who will direct you to the open homes and scaffold tour.

Further free parking is available at West Wycombe Garden Centre, Chorley Road, Buckinghamshire HP14 3AP.

You can see more about the refurbishment project on our blogspot and on the National Trust website .


Part of the Green Open Homes network