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Athelhampton is one of England's finest Tudor Manor Houses, the Grade 1 listed house is surrounded by Grade 1 listed gardens, with upkeep, maintenance, and improvements funded by the commercial activities of the Estate.

Athelhampton is one of Dorset's favourite heritage attractions. We work hard to showcase the history, the fabulous rooms and the beautiful gardens make Athelhampton a great family day out in Dorset or a fabulous destination for an event or exquisite wedding.


Maintaining the historic buildings, creating a warm, safe environment for our staff and visitors come at an environmental cost.

Athelhampton Zero​

man and pannels
A Year in Energy

In 2019 we started to study our environmental impact, we found distinct areas where we could reduce Athelhampton's impact. We immediately started work on small but important changes to the way we work.

A New Way Forward

However, the primary focus was energy usage. Athelhampton is in a rural location, with only a limited electrical supply, and therefore reliant on fuel sources that could be stored onsite.

 LPG & Oil heating systems, LPG Water Heating, LPG commercial kitchen range, and a Diesel backup electric generator were all found on the estate.

 2019, A Year in Energy 













over 100 tonnes of carbon emissions.

It is a staggering amount, and it does not include the travel for many of tanker deliveries.

Many Historic properties have carried out studies on how to become carbon-neutral, but often the massive upgrade to infrastructure required stops the project from proceeding. With Athelhampton's particular set of challenges and requirements, we started our own study, working closely with some superb partners to achieve our goal of a carbon-neutral future.

At Athelhampton, we needed to stop burning fossil fuels. To achieve this we would have to remove all the LPG and Oil boilers, commercial & domestic cooking equipment and rely on electricity alone. We would need to replace Boilers with Heat Pumps, Gas Ovens with Electric Ovens, Gas Cooking Ranges with Induction Hobs.

The Study​

The Study

With our partners, the modelling showed that a 130kW Solar PV array would provide Athelhampton with sufficient power, though only during the day. We would harness the innovative work of TESLA with cutting edge battery technology to store power and run Athelhampton overnight. 

This would provide a bonus, the removal of the diesel generator, which with a 7.6litre V8 diesel engine would provide backup in case of a power cut.

In place of boilers, Ground and Air Source Heatpumps would be installed, powered by electricity, this innovative technology that absorbs heat from the ground or air, only uses 1kW of electricity to produce 3.5kW of heat.



Our plans could not proceed until we had carefully considered the impact on the Grade 1 listed Historic House and its award-winning gardens. We utilised the skills of Stefan Pitman and his architectural and building surveying practice SPASE Ltd who work with listed buildings.

Working through the winter of 2020, using innovative underground drilling to provide a new network of pipe and cable infrastructure, we were able to leave the gardens with little sign of our works.

We contracted Empower Energy Ltd for our ground-mounted Solar PV arrays and SolarEdge inverters in our Paddock and the Kitchen Garden yard, where they benefit from direct sunlight, but can't be seen from any part of the house or garden.

Our Tesla batteries, Daikin Air & Kensa Ground source plant rooms were installed by H2Eco Ltd, who relished the challenges of working in our heritage buildings. The Tudor Great Hall and Elizabthen West Wing have an innovative heating plant room hidden away from the historic building almost 100 metres away.

Impact on a Heritage Estate

The financial cost of Athelhampton Zero project was significant, partly due to the complex and unique site characteristics. To provide a figure here would not be a fair representation of the normal cost of such a system, we want to encourage the change to renewable energy.

For comparison an average family home could consider a Solar PV and battery installation.

16 Solar PV panels, and an 8kW battery will cost around £12,000 installed

and generates about 4500 kWh of electricity, about 75% of the family home annual requirements*

The same average family home could consider a Air Source Heating installation.

An Air Source Heat Pump, new Radiators and Hot Water storage will cost around £12,000 installed

and creates enough heat and hot water for the household saving around 12,000kWh of Gas annually*

For our example based on the equipment installed at Athelhampton, we could be considered 25 times larger than the average family home.

If you are considering an installation large or small and would like a greater understanding of the infrastructure and detailed finances then why not book a tour of Athelhampton Zero

*based on homes in the DT postcode

Financial Cost

 2023, A Year in Energy*













Athelhampton generated 114,000 kWh of electricity from our Solar PV

Athelhampton imported 10,400 kWh of off-peak electricity from the National Grid

Athelhampton exported 4,200 kWh of electricty to the National Grid

Athelhampton sold 6,100 kWh of electricity to others

Net usage 100kWh, barely enough to boil a kettle twice a day.

*energy from 20th November 2022 to 13th September 23

30 Gallons diesel used in our garden tractor

In the Media


Architecture Today

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