I spent the day at a conference to discuss the future of Charlton House (hence my visit last weekend): a Jacobean mansion which was given to the Council in 1925 and been used by the local community for nearly a hundred years, with a branch of the local library in the ground floor chapel, a cafeteria in the great hall, a rental arrangement for the middle floor, the Grand Saloon used for meetings of the local bridge club and the long gallery for event hire. Should it be turned back into a historic house when all the original furniture has been dispersed and most surviving Jacobean furniture is apparently fake ? How does one retain community use ? Could the original Jacobean gardens be restored ? And what about the banqueting house ? For the answer, we were recommended to read the Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums.