Charleston Manor Case Study


Charleston Manor is a 12th century Grade 11 listed manor house in East Sussex, once home to the famous Bloomsbury set of artists and philosophers, including the painter Sir Oswald Birley. It is now managed by the Charleston Trust and is open to the public between March and November. 

The dated heating and hot water systems were inefficient by modern standards and in need of an upgrade and the heating contractors, PJ Clifford Ltd, specified Flexenergy’s Flexalen pipe work for the transformation project. 

Work Involved 

The upgrade to the heating system for two of the buildings at the property involved the installation of a new central boiler located 100 metres from the property. Underfloor heating, radiator circuits and unvented hot water were installed with BMS and WiFi control. 

Approximately 110 metres of 50mm Flexalen pre-insulated pipe was used for primary flow and returns installed in a metre depth trench. Flexenergy’s V-Flex valves were also used to split the system serving the two properties, which were also easy to install with pre-fabricated joint connections – the only fully-plastic welded system available in the UK. 


Charleston Manor now benefits from a modern, efficient heating and hot water system. 

The Flexalen pipework and V-Flex valve system were very well suited to the new heating system, being lightweight, highly flexible and thermally efficient. This is a sustainable solution that will not corrode and which will certainly out-live an equivalent steel pipe network. In addition, the fact that the polybutene pipework can be fusion welded reduces the possibility of any leakage over time. 


“The ease of installation saved a lot of time on the project and resulted in minimal disturbance to access to the property; once the pipe work was installed, it was pressure tested and back-filled within a few hours.” 

Russell Haggerty, PJ Clifford Ltd 

Products Used 

  • Flexalen 50mm pre-insulated pipe 

  • Prefabricated joints 

  • V-Flex Valves