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The National Trust, formally the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, is a charity and membership organisation for heritage conservation in
England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separated from continental Europe b ...
,
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the ...
and
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label= Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom, situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, that is variously described as a country, province or region. Nort ...
. In Scotland, there is a separate and independent
National Trust for Scotland The National Trust for Scotland for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, commonly known as the National Trust for Scotland ( gd, Urras Nàiseanta na h-Alba), is a Scottish conservation organisation. It is the largest membership organi ...
. The Trust was founded in 1895 by Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and
Hardwicke Rawnsley Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley (29 September 1851 – 28 May 1920) was an Anglican priest, poet, local politician and conservationist. He became nationally and internationally known as one of the three founders of the National Trust for Places of H ...
to "promote the permanent preservation for the benefit of the Nation of lands and tenements (including buildings) of beauty or historic interest". It was given statutory powers, starting with the National Trust Act 1907. Historically, the Trust acquired land by gift and sometimes by public subscription and appeal, but after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—forming two opposin ...
the loss of
country houses An English country house is a large house or mansion in the English countryside. Such houses were often owned by individuals who also owned a town house. This allowed them to spend time in the country and in the city—hence, for these peopl ...
resulted in many such properties being acquired either by gift from the former owners or through the National Land Fund. Country houses and estates still make up a significant part of its holdings, but it is also known for its protection of wild landscapes such as in the
Lake District The Lake District, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes, forests, and mountains (or ''fells''), and its associations with William Wordswor ...
and
Peak District The Peak District is an upland area in England at the southern end of the Pennines. Mostly in Derbyshire Derbyshire ( ) is a ceremonial county in the East Midlands, England. It includes much of the Peak District National Park, the southe ...
. As well as the great estates of titled families, it has acquired smaller houses including some whose significance is not architectural but through their association with famous people, for example, the childhood homes of
John Lennon John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon; 9 October 19408 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist who achieved worldwide fame as founder, co-songwriter, co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of ...
and
Paul McCartney Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter and musician who gained worldwide fame with the Beatles, for whom he played bass guitar and shared primary songwriting and lead vocal duties with John Lennon. One ...
. One of the largest landowners in the United Kingdom, the Trust owns almost of land and 780 miles of coast. Its properties include over 500 historic houses, castles, archaeological and industrial monuments, gardens, parks and nature reserves. Most properties are open to the public for a charge (members have free entry), while open spaces are free to all. The Trust has an annual income of over £680 million, largely from membership subscriptions, donations and legacies, direct property income, profits from its shops and restaurants, and investments. It also receives grants from a variety of organisations including other charities, government departments, local authorities and the
National Lottery Heritage Fund The National Lottery Heritage Fund, formerly the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), distributes a share of National Lottery funding, supporting a wide range of heritage projects across the United Kingdom. History The fund's predecessor bodies were ...
.


History


Founders

The Trust was incorporated on 12 January 1895. The founders were social reformer Octavia Hill, solicitor Sir Robert Hunter and clergyman
Hardwicke Rawnsley Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley (29 September 1851 – 28 May 1920) was an Anglican priest, poet, local politician and conservationist. He became nationally and internationally known as one of the three founders of the National Trust for Places of H ...
. In 1876, Hill, together with her sister
Miranda Hill Miranda Hill (Wisbech 1836–1910) was an English social reformer. Biography Hill was a daughter of James Hill (died 1872), a corn merchant, banker and follower of Robert Owen, and his third wife, Caroline Southwood Smith (1809–1902), ...
had set up a society to "diffuse a love of beautiful things among our poor brethren". Named after
John Kyrle John Kyrle (22 May 1637 – 7 November 1724), known as "the Man of Ross", was an English philanthropist, remembered for his time in Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire. Education and legal background Born in the parish of Dymock, Gloucestershire, h ...
, the Kyrle Society campaigned for open spaces for the recreational use of urban dwellers, as well as having decorative, musical and literary branches. Hunter had been solicitor to the
Commons Preservation Society The Open Spaces Society is a campaign group that works to protect public rights of way and open spaces in the United Kingdom, such as common land and village greens. It is Britain's oldest national conservation body and a registered charity. Found ...
, while Rawnsley had campaigned for the protection of the
Lake District The Lake District, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes, forests, and mountains (or ''fells''), and its associations with William Wordswor ...
. The idea of a company with the power to acquire and hold buildings and land had been mooted by Hunter in 1894. In July 1894 a provisional council, headed by Hill, Hunter, Rawnsley and the
Duke of Westminster Duke of Westminster is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created by Queen Victoria in 1874 and bestowed upon Hugh Grosvenor, 3rd Marquess of Westminster. It is the most recent dukedom conferred on someone not related to the ...
met at
Grosvenor House Grosvenor House was one of the largest townhouses in London, home of the Grosvenor family (better known as the Dukes of Westminster) for more than a century. Their original London residence was on Millbank, but after the family had developed ...
and decided that the company should be named the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty.
Articles of association In corporate governance, a company's articles of association (AoA, called articles of incorporation in some jurisdictions) is a document which, along with the memorandum of association (in cases where it exists) form the company's constituti ...
were submitted to the
Board of Trade The Board of Trade is a British government body concerned with commerce and industry, currently within the Department for International Trade. Its full title is The Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council appointed for the consideration of ...
and on 12 January 1895, the Trust was registered under the
Companies Act Companies Act (with its variations) is a stock short title used for legislation in Botswana, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom in relation to company law. The Bill for an Act with this short title ...
. Its purpose was to "promote the permanent preservation for the benefit of the Nation of lands and tenements (including buildings) of beauty or historic interest".


Early years

The Trust acquired its first property in early 1895. Dinas Oleu, a piece of land on the clifftop above
Barmouth Barmouth ( cy, Abermaw (formal); ''Y Bermo'' (colloquial)) is a seaside town and community (Wales), community in the county of Gwynedd, northwestern Wales, lying on the estuary of the Afon Mawddach and Cardigan Bay. Located in the Historic coun ...
in Wales, was donated by
Fanny Talbot Fanny Talbot (née) Browne (1824–1917) was a landowner and philanthropist, and a friend and correspondent of the influential art critic John Ruskin. She is noted for donating the first property— of land known as Cliff of Light (''Dinas Oleu ...
, a friend of Rawnsley. The Trust's first building was acquired the following year.
Alfriston Clergy House Alfriston Clergy House in Alfriston, Polegate, East Sussex, England, was the first built property to be acquired by the National Trust. It was purchased in 1896 for £10. The house lies adjacent to the Church of St. Andrew. It is a Grade II* ...
was a fourteenth-century house in the Sussex village of
Alfriston Alfriston is a village and civil parish in the East Sussex district of Wealden, England. The village lies in the valley of the River Cuckmere, about four miles (6 km) north-east of Seaford and south of the main A27 trunk road and part ...
. It was bought for £10 and required a further £350 for repairs. In 1907 Hunter drafted the first National Trust Act, which was passed by
Parliament In modern politics, and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws, and overseeing ...
and gave the Trust the power to declare its land inalienable, meaning that it could not be sold without parliamentary approval. In addition, the Act enabled the Trust to make
by-law A by-law (bye-law, by(e)law, by(e) law), or as it is most commonly known in the United States bylaws, is a set of rules or law established by an organization or community so as to regulate itself, as allowed or provided for by some higher authorit ...
s. Further Acts would follow in 1919, 1937, 1939, 1953, and 1971. In the early days, the Trust was concerned primarily with the acquisition (by gift or purchase) of open spaces and a variety of threatened buildings. The buildings were generally of modest size, an exception being Barrington Court in
Somerset ( en, All The People of Somerset) , locator_map = , coordinates = , region = South West England , established_date = Ancient , established_by = , preceded_by = , origin = , lord_lieutenant_office =Lord Lieutenant of Somerset , lord_ ...
, the Trust's first large country house. Two of the sites acquired by the Trust in its early years later became nature reserves:
Wicken Fen Wicken Fen is a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest west of Wicken in Cambridgeshire. It is also a National Nature Reserve, and a Nature Conservation Review site. It is protected by international designations as a Ramsar wetland si ...
in
Cambridgeshire Cambridgeshire (abbreviated Cambs.) is a Counties of England, county in the East of England, bordering Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the north-east, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and North ...
and
Blakeney Point Blakeney Point (designated as Blakeney National Nature Reserve) is a national nature reserve situated near to the villages of Blakeney, Morston and Cley next the Sea on the north coast of Norfolk, England. Its main feature is a 6.4 km (4& ...
in
Norfolk Norfolk () is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in East Anglia in England. It borders Lincolnshire to the north-west, Cambridgeshire to the west and south-west, and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the No ...
, both purchased with the help of a donation by naturalist and banker
Charles Rothschild Nathaniel Charles Rothschild (9 May 1877 – 12 October 1923), known as "Charles", was an English banker and entomologist and a member of the Rothschild family. He is remembered for The Rothschild List, a list he made in 1915 of 284 sites acros ...
.
White Barrow White Barrow is a large Neolithic long barrow just below the crest of Copehill Down on Salisbury Plain, just south of the village of Tilshead in Wiltshire, England. It is a scheduled monument, and is owned by the National Trust. It was the fir ...
on
Salisbury Plain Salisbury Plain is a chalk plateau in the south western part of central southern England covering . It is part of a system of chalk downlands throughout eastern and southern England formed by the rocks of the Chalk Group and largely lies wi ...
was the Trust's first archaeological monument, purchased in 1909 for £60. By 1914 the Trust, operating out of a small office in London, had 725 members and had acquired sixty-three properties, covering 5814 acres.


Expansion

In 1920 the Trust lost the last of its three founders, Rawnsley. The Trust's 5000 acres of land in the Lake District were augmented by gifts in his memory, including part of the Great Wood on
Derwentwater Derwentwater, or Derwent Water, is one of the principal bodies of water in the Lake District National Park in north west England. It lies wholly within the Borough of Allerdale, in the county of Cumbria. The lake occupies part of Borrowda ...
. In 1923 literary critic John Bailey took over as chairman of the Trust. Under his chairmanship, the Trust saw an increase in funds, membership and properties. The 1920s saw the acquisition of more archaeological sites, including
Cissbury Ring Cissbury Ring is an biological Site of Special Scientific Interest north of Worthing in West Sussex. It is owned by the National Trust and is designated a Scheduled monument for its Neolithic flint mine and Iron Age hillfort. Cissbury Ring is ...
in
West Sussex West Sussex is a county in South East England on the English Channel coast. The ceremonial county comprises the shire districts of Adur, Arun, Chichester, Horsham, and Mid Sussex, and the boroughs of Crawley and Worthing. Covering an ar ...
, and early buildings, including two medieval castles (
Bodiam Castle Bodiam Castle () is a 14th-century moated castle near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, England. It was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, with the permission of Richard II, ostensibly to defend the area agai ...
in
East Sussex East Sussex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in South East England on the English Channel coast. It is bordered by Kent to the north and east, West Sussex to the west, and Surrey to the north-west. The largest settlement in East Su ...
and
Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire Tattershall Castle is a castle in Tattershall, Lincolnshire, England, about 12 miles (19 km) north east of Sleaford. Since 1925 it has been in the care of the National Trust. History Tattershall Castle has its origins in either a sto ...
) bequeathed to the Trust by
Lord Curzon George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, (11 January 1859 – 20 March 1925), styled Lord Curzon of Kedleston between 1898 and 1911 and then Earl Curzon of Kedleston between 1911 and 1921, was a British Conservative statesman ...
. In 1925 the Trust launched a national appeal to buy the
Ashridge Estate Ashridge is a country estate and stately home in Hertfordshire, England in the United Kingdom. It is situated in the Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, about north of Berkhamsted and north west of London. The estate com ...
in
Hertfordshire Hertfordshire ( or ; often abbreviated Herts) is one of the home counties in southern England. It borders Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For govern ...
, successfully raising a record £80,000. When Bailey died in 1931 ''
The Times ''The Times'' is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title ''The Daily Universal Register'', adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. ''The Times'' and its sister paper ''The Sunday Times'' (fou ...
'' paid tribute to him: "The strong position which the National Trust now occupies is largely due to him, and it will perhaps never be known how many generous gifts of rural beauty and historic interest the nation owes, directly or indirectly, to his persuasive enthusiasm." The Trust, which already owned a large area of the Lake District, acquired its first piece of land in the
Peak District The Peak District is an upland area in England at the southern end of the Pennines. Mostly in Derbyshire Derbyshire ( ) is a ceremonial county in the East Midlands, England. It includes much of the Peak District National Park, the southe ...
in 1930. Four years later,
Ilam Hall Ilam Park is a country park situated in Ilam, on both banks of the River Manifold five miles (8 km) north west of Ashbourne, England, and in the ownership of the National Trust. The property is managed as part of the Trust's White Peak E ...
was presented to the Trust for use as a
Youth Hostel A hostel is a form of low-cost, short-term shared sociable lodging where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed in a dormitory, with shared use of a lounge and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex and have private or shared ba ...
. The 1930s saw an expansion of the Trust's interest in coastal conservation, with more than thirty small coastal properties in
Devon Devon ( , historically known as Devonshire , ) is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in South West England. The most populous settlement in Devon is the city of Plymouth, followed by Devon's county town, the city of Exeter. Devon is ...
and
Cornwall Cornwall (; kw, Kernow ) is a historic county and ceremonial county in South West England. It is recognised as one of the Celtic nations, and is the homeland of the Cornish people. Cornwall is bordered to the north and west by the Atlantic ...
alone given to the Trust. In 1934 the Trust acquired its first village,
West Wycombe West Wycombe is a small village famed for its manor houses and its hills. It is three miles west of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. The historic village is largely a National Trust property and receives a large annual influx of touri ...
in
Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire (), abbreviated Bucks, is a ceremonial county in South East England that borders Greater London to the south-east, Berkshire to the south, Oxfordshire to the west, Northamptonshire to the north, Bedfordshire to the north-ea ...
, which was donated to the Trust by the
Royal Society of Arts The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), also known as the Royal Society of Arts, is a London-based organisation committed to finding practical solutions to social challenges. The RSA acronym is used m ...
who had bought it from Sir John Lindsay Dashwood five years previously.
Quarry Bank Mill Quarry Bank Mill (also known as Styal Mill) in Styal, Cheshire, England, is one of the best preserved textile factories of the Industrial Revolution. Built in 1784, the cotton mill is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a ...
in
Cheshire Cheshire ( ) is a ceremonial and historic county in North West England, bordered by Wales to the west, Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east, and Staffordshire and Shropshire to the south. Cheshire's county t ...
was donated to the Trust in 1939 with an estate including the village of
Styal Styal (, like ''style'') is a village and civil parish on the River Bollin near Wilmslow, Cheshire, England. History Styal village grew during the early years of the Industrial Revolution when industrialist Samuel Greg built a cotton mill and ...
, which had been built for the mill workers by
Samuel Greg Samuel Greg (26 March 1758 – 4 June 1834) was an Irish-born industrialist and entrepreneur of the early Industrial Revolution and a pioneer of the factory system. He built Quarry Bank Mill, which at his retirement was the largest textile mil ...
. During the 1930s and 1940s the Trust benefited from the unconventional fundraising tactics of
Ferguson's Gang Ferguson's Gang, formed during a picnic at Tothill Fields in London in 1927, was an anonymous and somewhat enigmatic group that raised funds for the National Trust from 1930 to 1947. The members hid their identities behind resplendent masks, punny ...
; a group of women with pseudonyms such as Bill Stickers and Red Biddy who wore disguises and carried out stunts when delivering money to the Trust. Their donations enabled the Trust to purchase various properties including
Shalford Mill Shalford Mill is an 18th-century Grade II* listed watermill located on the River Tillingbourne in Shalford, near Guildford, Surrey, England. In 1932, the mill was endowed to the National Trust by a group of eccentric young female philanthropis ...
, in
Surrey Surrey () is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in South East England, bordering Greater London to the south west. Surrey has a large rural area, and several significant urban areas which form part of the Greater London Built-up Area. ...
, and
Newtown Old Town Hall The Old Town Hall is a municipal building in the High Street in Town Lane, Newtown, Isle of Wight, England. The structure, which is used as a tourist attraction, is a Grade II* listed building. Newtown is now a small village, and its town hall ...
, on the
Isle of Wight The Isle of Wight ( ) is a county in the English Channel, off the coast of Hampshire, from which it is separated by the Solent. It is the largest and second-most populous island of England. Referred to as 'The Island' by residents, the Isle of ...
.


The country house scheme

Bailey was followed as chairman of the Trust by the 2nd Marquess of Zetland, and in 1936 the Trust set up the Country Houses Committee, with
James Lees-Milne (George) James Henry Lees-Milne (6 August 1908 – 28 December 1997) was an English writer and expert on country houses, who worked for the National Trust from 1936 to 1973. He was an architectural historian, novelist and biographer. His extensi ...
as secretary, to look into ways of preserving country houses and gardens at a time when their owners could no longer afford to maintain them. A country house scheme was set up and the National Trust Acts of 1937 and 1939 facilitated the transfer of estates from private owners to the Trust. The scheme allowed owners to escape
estate duty An inheritance tax is a tax paid by a person who inherits money or property of a person who has died, whereas an estate tax is a levy on the estate (money and property) of a person who has died. International tax law distinguishes between an es ...
on their country house and on the endowment which was necessary for the upkeep of the house, while they and their heirs could continue to live in the property, providing the public were allowed some access. The first house offered under the scheme was
Stourhead Stourhead () is a 1,072-hectare (2,650-acre) estate at the source of the River Stour in the southwest of the English county of Wiltshire, extending into Somerset. The estate is about northwest of the town of Mere and includes a Grade I listed ...
in Wiltshire, although it was not acquired by the Trust until after the death in 1947 of the owners Sir Henry and Lady Hoare. The first property to be actually handed over to the Trust under the scheme was a relatively modern house;
Wightwick Manor The legacy of a family's passion for Victorian art and design, Wightwick Manor (pronounced "Wittick") is a Victorian manor house located on Wightwick Bank, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England. Owned by the National Trust since 1937, the Manor ...
near
Wolverhampton Wolverhampton () is a city, metropolitan borough and administrative centre in the West Midlands, England. The population size has increased by 5.7%, from around 249,500 in 2011 to 263,700 in 2021. People from the city are called "Wulfrunian ...
had been built just fifty years earlier.
Lacock Abbey Lacock Abbey in the village of Lacock, Wiltshire, England, was founded in the early 13th century by Ela, Countess of Salisbury, as a nunnery of the Augustinian order. The abbey remained a nunnery until the suppression of Roman Catholic inst ...
, also in Wiltshire, was another early acquisition, handed to the Trust by Matilda Talbot (granddaughter of
Henry Fox Talbot William Henry Fox Talbot FRS FRSE FRAS (; 11 February 180017 September 1877) was an English scientist, inventor, and photography pioneer who invented the salted paper and calotype processes, precursors to photographic processes of the later ...
) after nearly seven years of negotiations. The house came with the village of Lacock and an endowment of 300 acres.


The postwar years

After
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—forming two opposin ...
the National Land Fund was set up by the government as a "thank-offering for victory" with the purpose of using money from the sale of surplus war stores to acquire property in the national interest. The scheme also allowed for the transfer to the Trust of historic houses and land left to the government in payment of estate duty. The first open space acquired by the Trust under the Land scheme was farmland at
Hartsop Hartsop is a small village in the English Lake District. It lies in the Patterdale valley, near Brothers Water, Hayeswater and Kirkstone Pass. It consists of 17th-century grey stone cottages, like so many of its neighbours. Hartsop retains ...
in the Lake District; the first country house was
Cotehele Cotehele ( kw, Kosheyl) is a medieval house with Tudor additions, situated in the parish of Calstock in the east of Cornwall, England, and now belonging to the National Trust. It is a rambling granite and slate-stone manor house on the banks ...
in Cornwall. Later acquisitions included
Hardwick Hall Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire is an architecturally significant country house from the Elizabethan era, a leading example of the Elizabethan prodigy house. Built between 1590 and 1597 for Bess of Hardwick, it was designed by the architect Ro ...
,
Ickworth House Ickworth House is a country house at Ickworth, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England. It is a neoclassical building set in parkland. The house was the residence of the Marquess of Bristol before being sold to the National Trust in 1998. H ...
,
Penrhyn Castle Penrhyn Castle ( cy, Castell Penrhyn) is a country house in Llandygai, Bangor, Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales, North Wales, constructed in the style of a Norman architecture, Norman castle. The Penrhyn estate was founded by Ednyfed Fychan. ...
and
Sissinghurst Castle Garden Sissinghurst Castle Garden, at Sissinghurst in the Weald of Kent in England, was created by Vita Sackville-West, poet and writer, and her husband Harold Nicolson, author and diplomat. It is among the most famous gardens in England and is design ...
. The Land Fund was replaced in 1980 by the
National Heritage Memorial Fund The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) was set up in 1980 to save the most outstanding parts of the British national heritage, in memory of those who have given their lives for the UK. It replaced the National Land Fund which had fulfilled the ...
. The work of the Trust was aided by further legislation during this period: the
Town and Country Planning Act 1947 The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 (10 & 11 Geo. VI c. 51) was an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom passed by the Labour government led by Clement Attlee. It came into effect on 1 July 1948, and along with the Town and Country Plannin ...
led to greater co-operation between local authorities and the Trust, while the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 allowed the Trust to receive government grants for the upkeep and maintenance of historic buildings on the same terms as other owners. A major project, begun in 1959 and completed in 1964, was the restoration of the southern section of the
Stratford-upon-Avon Canal The Stratford-upon-Avon Canal is a canal in the south Midlands of England. The canal, which was built between 1793 and 1816, runs for in total, and consists of two sections. The dividing line is at Kingswood Junction, which gives access to the ...
. The Trust was persuaded to take on the scheme by John Smith and the work was carried out by hundreds of volunteers. Between 1945 and 1965 the Trust, under the chairmanship of the Earl of Crawford, saw a growth in its membership from 7,850 to 157,581 and growth in its staff from 15 to 450. The number of acres owned by the Trust increased from 112,000 in 1945 to 328,000 in 1965, with a further 53,000 acres covenanted. In May 1945 the Trust's London headquarters had moved to premises in
Queen Anne's Gate Queen Anne’s Gate is a street in Westminster, London. Many of the buildings are Grade I listed, known for their Queen Anne architecture. Simon Bradley and Nikolaus Pevsner described the Gate’s early 18th century houses as “the best of thei ...
.


The Benson Report

In 1965 the Trust launched Enterprise Neptune, a campaign to raise funds to buy, or acquire covenants over, stretches of coastline and protect them from development. The project was successful, raising over £800,000 in its first year, but it had unforeseen consequences for the Trust as the project director, Conrad Rawnsley (a former naval commander and grandson of one of the Trusts' founders, Hardwicke Rawnsley), fell out with the administration of the Trust and conducted a public attack against it. An extraordinary general meeting was called in February 1967 and, although the reform group's resolutions were defeated, the Trust recognised the need for change and set up an advisory committee to look at their management and organisation. The committee was chaired by accountant Sir Henry Benson, who was independent of the Trust. The other three members, Len Clark, Sir William Hayter and Patrick Gibson, were all on the Trust's council. The Benson report was published in 1968 and, although broadly endorsing the Trust's policy, recommended a number of organisational changes, which were then embodied in the National Trust Act of 1971. Following the publication of the report, much of the administration of the Trust was devolved to the regions.


Centenary

The last three decades of the twentieth century saw a large increase of membership of the Trust from 160,000 in 1968 to over two million by the time of its centenary in 1995, much of it down to the Trust's employment of a director of public relations, as recommended by the Benson report, and regional information officers. Starting in the 1970s, tea rooms and souvenir shops were opened in Trust properties and in 1984 a company was set up to operate the trading activities. Programmes of events, including plays and concerts, and educational activities were organised at Trust properties. The Trust appointed its first female chairman, Dame Jennifer Jenkins, in 1986. When the Trust reached its centenary in 1995 it owned or looked after 223 houses, 159 gardens, 670,000 acres of open countryside, and 530 miles of coastline. In the 1990s, there was a dispute within the Trust over stag hunting, which was the subject of much debate at annual general meetings. The Trust banned stag hunting on its land in 1997.


21st century

In 2002 the Trust bought its first country house in more than a decade.
Tyntesfield Tyntesfield is a Victorian Gothic Revival house and estate near Wraxall, North Somerset, England. The house is a Grade I listed building named after the Tynte baronets, who had owned estates in the area since about 1500. The location was form ...
, a
Victorian Gothic Gothic Revival (also referred to as Victorian Gothic, neo-Gothic, or Gothick) is an architectural movement that began in the late 1740s in England. The movement gained momentum and expanded in the first half of the 19th century, as increasingly ...
mansion in Somerset, was acquired with donations from the
National Heritage Memorial Fund The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) was set up in 1980 to save the most outstanding parts of the British national heritage, in memory of those who have given their lives for the UK. It replaced the National Land Fund which had fulfilled the ...
and the
Heritage Lottery Fund The National Lottery Heritage Fund, formerly the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), distributes a share of National Lottery funding, supporting a wide range of heritage projects across the United Kingdom. History The fund's predecessor bodies were ...
as well as members of the public. Three years later, in 2005, the Trust acquired another country house,
Seaton Delaval Hall Seaton Delaval Hall is a Grade I listed country house in Northumberland, England, near the coast just north of Newcastle upon Tyne. Located between Seaton Sluice and Seaton Delaval, it was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh in 1718 for Admiral George ...
in Northumberland. In 2005, the Trust moved to a new head office in
Swindon Swindon () is a town and unitary authority with Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough status in Wiltshire, England. As of the 2021 Census, the population of Swindon was 201,669, making it the largest town in the county. The Swindon un ...
, Wiltshire. The building was constructed on an abandoned railway yard and is intended as a model of
brownfield In urban planning, brownfield land is any previously developed land that is not currently in use. It may be potentially contaminated, but this is not required for the area to be considered brownfield. The term is also used to describe land prev ...
renewal. It is named
Heelis Heelis is the central office of the National Trust, in Swindon, Wiltshire, England. Heelis was the married name of Beatrix Potter, one of the key figures in the early history of the National Trust. It was built in 2005 by Feilden Clegg Bradley St ...
, taken from the married name of children's author
Beatrix Potter Helen Beatrix Potter (, 28 July 186622 December 1943) was an English writer, illustrator, natural scientist, and conservationist. She is best known for her children's books featuring animals, such as ''The Tale of Peter Rabbit'', which was he ...
, a supporter of, and donor to, the Trust, which now owns the land she formerly owned in
Cumbria Cumbria ( ) is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in North West England, bordering Scotland. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local government, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumb ...
. A refit of the premises to accommodate increasing staff numbers was announced in June 2019. In 2007, the bicentenary of the official
abolition of the slave trade Abolitionism, or the abolitionist movement, is the movement to end slavery. In Western Europe and the Americas, abolitionism was a historic movement that sought to end the Atlantic slave trade and liberate the enslaved people. The British ...
, the Trust published the article "Addressing the Past" in its quarterly magazine, examining aspects of the Trust's "hidden history" and finding ways of "reinterpreting some of its properties and collections". Research carried out by the Trust revealed in 2020 that 93, nearly one third, of their houses and gardens had connections with colonialism and historic slavery: 'this includes the global slave trades, goods and products of enslaved labour, abolition and protest, and the East India Company'. The report attracted controversy and the
Charity Commission , type = Non-ministerial government department , seal = , seal_caption = , logo = Charity Commission for England and Wales logo.svg , logo_caption = , formed = , preceding1 = , ...
opened a regulatory compliance case into the Trust in September 2020 to examine the trustees' decision making. The Charity Commission concluded that there were no grounds for regulatory action against the Trust. A group of members started a campaign, Restore Trust, to debate concerns about the future of the charity. The
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identif ...
led to the closure in March 2020 of National Trust houses, shops and cafes, closely followed by all gated parks and gardens. At the same time, the Trust launched the #
BlossomWatch #BlossomWatch is a British environmental campaign designed to raise awareness of the first signs of Spring by encouraging people to share images of blossoms via social media. The campaign was begun by the National Trust in 2020, during the COVI ...
campaign which encouraged people to share images on
social media Social media are interactive media technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, interests, and other forms of expression through virtual communities and networks. While challenges to the definition of ''social medi ...
of blossoms seen on lockdown walks. Parks and gardens started to re-open from June 2020. In October 2020 the Trust announced 1,300 job losses. In May 2021, it was announced that
Tim Parker Timothy Charles Parker (born 19 June 1955) is a British executive. As of 2020 he was the chairman of the National Trust, Post Office Ltd, and Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS). He was replaced in February 2022 as chairman of th ...
would step down as chairman.


Governance

The trust is an independent charity (no. 205846). It was founded as a not-for-profit company in 1895 but was later re-incorporated by a
private Act of Parliament Proposed bills are often categorized into public bills and private bills. A public bill is a proposed law which would apply to everyone within its jurisdiction. This is unlike a private bill which is a proposal for a law affecting only a single p ...
, the National Trust Act 1907. Subsequent acts of Parliament between 1919 and 1971 amended and extended the Trust's powers and remit. The governance of the Trust was amended by the Charities (National Trust) Order 2005. The Trust is governed by a board of
trustee Trustee (or the holding of a trusteeship) is a legal term which, in its broadest sense, is a synonym for anyone in a position of trust and so can refer to any individual who holds property, authority, or a position of trust or responsibility to t ...
s (of between nine and fifteen members), appointed and overseen by a council consisting of eighteen people elected by the members of the Trust and eighteen appointed by other organisations whose work is related to that of the Trust, such as the
Soil Association The Soil Association is a British registered charity. The organisation activities include campaigning – against intensive farming, for local purchasing and public education on nutrition – and certification of organic foods. It was establis ...
, the
Royal Horticultural Society The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), founded in 1804 as the Horticultural Society of London, is the UK's leading gardening charity. The RHS promotes horticulture through its five gardens at Wisley (Surrey), Hyde Hall (Essex), Harlow Carr (Nort ...
and the
Council for British Archaeology The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) is an educational charity established in 1944 in the UK. It works to involve people in archaeology and to promote the appreciation and care of the historic environment for the benefit of present and futu ...
. The members periodically vote on the organisations which may appoint half of the council. Members may also propose and vote on motions at the annual general meeting. At an operational level, the Trust is organised into regions which are aligned with the official local government regions of the UK. Its headquarters are in Swindon.''National Trust handbook 2020''. In 2019/20 the Trust was employing 14,000 staff, including about 4,000 seasonal workers. Since 2009, customer services have been outsourced to
Capita Capita plc, commonly known as Capita, is an international business process outsourcing and professional services company headquartered in London. It is the largest business process outsourcing and professional services company in the United K ...
. The director-general of the Trust, Hilary McGrady, is paid an annual salary of £195,700, with a further eight executives being paid over £100,000 a year. The Trust is not a real living wage employer. In July 2020 the Trust announced that 1,200 jobs were at risk due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Funding

For the year ended February 2020, total income of the Trust was £680.95 million. The largest sources of income were membership subscriptions (£269.7 million), direct property income (£196.9 million), enterprise and renewable energy income (£79.3 million) and legacies (£61.6 million). The Trust also received £20.8 million in grants, including £5.6 million from
Natural England Natural England is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It is responsible for ensuring that England's natural environment, including its land, flora and fauna, ...
, £4.3 million from the
National Lottery Heritage Fund The National Lottery Heritage Fund, formerly the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), distributes a share of National Lottery funding, supporting a wide range of heritage projects across the United Kingdom. History The fund's predecessor bodies were ...
, and £3.5 million from the
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is a department of His Majesty's Government responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the United K ...
. In recognition of National Lottery funding, the Trust invited lottery ticket holders to visit over 100 properties free of charge for a few days in November 2017, 2018 and 2019. The Trust also takes part in the annual Heritage Open Days programme, when non-members can visit selected properties free of charge.


Membership and volunteering

In the year ending February 2020, the Trust had 5.95 million members (2.78 million memberships). Members are entitled to free entry to trust properties that are open to the public for a charge. There is a separate organisation called the
Royal Oak Foundation The Royal Oak Foundation is an alliance of American citizens supporting the mission of the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which is Britain's largest heritage organisation. The foundation is headquartered in New York City ...
for American supporters. The trust is supported by volunteers, who, as of 2020, numbered over 53,000.


National Trust properties

As of 2020, the Trust owns almost of land, 780 miles of coast, more than 200 historic houses, 41 castles and chapels, 47 industrial monuments and mills, the sites of factories and mines, 9 lighthouses, 56 villages, 39 public houses, and 25 medieval barns. Most of the land is farmed, either in-hand or by tenant farmers.


Historic houses and gardens

The Trust owns more than 200 historic houses that are open to the public. Most of them are large country houses or stately homes set in gardens and parks. They contain collections of pictures, furniture, books, metalwork, ceramics and textiles that have remained in their historic context. Service wings are preserved at many houses.
Attingham Park Attingham Park is an English country house and estate in Shropshire. Located near the village of Atcham, on the B4380 Shrewsbury to Wellington road. It is owned by the National Trust. It is a Grade I listed building. Attingham Park was bu ...
in Shropshire, the most visited National Trust country house in 2019/20, is set in typical grounds with a walled garden and extensive parkland planted with trees to the designs of
Humphry Repton Humphry Repton (21 April 1752 – 24 March 1818) was the last great English landscape designer of the eighteenth century, often regarded as the successor to Capability Brown; he also sowed the seeds of the more intricate and eclectic styles of ...
. The most visited National Trust property in England in 2019/20 for which an admission charge is made was
Clumber Park Clumber Park is a country park in The Dukeries near Worksop in Nottinghamshire, England. The estate, which was the seat of the Pelham-Clintons, Dukes of Newcastle, was purchased by the National Trust in 1946. It is listed Grade I on the Register ...
in Nottinghamshire, a park without a country house. Clumber House was largely demolished in 1938, leaving a nineteenth-century chapel as the focus of the park, which also contains a lake with wooded islands, a stable block, glasshouses and two classical temples. The first country house to be acquired by the Trust, the Elizabethan manor house Barrington Court in Somerset, was bought in 1907 and came in a dilapidated state and devoid of contents. The experience taught the Trust a salutary lesson about the need for endowments to cover the costs of upkeep of country houses. The Trust acquired the majority of its country houses in the mid 20th century, when
death duties An inheritance tax is a tax paid by a person who inherits money or property of a person who has died, whereas an estate tax is a levy on the estate (money and property) of a person who has died. International tax law distinguishes between an es ...
were at their highest and many country houses were being demolished. The arrangements made with families bequeathing their homes to the Trust often allowed them to continue to live in the property. Since the 1980s, the Trust has been increasingly reluctant to take over large houses without substantial accompanying endowment funds, and its acquisitions in this category have been less frequent, with only two,
Tyntesfield Tyntesfield is a Victorian Gothic Revival house and estate near Wraxall, North Somerset, England. The house is a Grade I listed building named after the Tynte baronets, who had owned estates in the area since about 1500. The location was form ...
and
Seaton Delaval Hall Seaton Delaval Hall is a Grade I listed country house in Northumberland, England, near the coast just north of Newcastle upon Tyne. Located between Seaton Sluice and Seaton Delaval, it was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh in 1718 for Admiral George ...
, since 2000. As well as great country houses, the Trust also owns smaller properties, many of them associated with famous people. Examples include:
Cherryburn Cherryburn is a cottage in Mickley, Northumberland, England. It was the birthplace of Thomas Bewick, an English wood engraver and ornithologist. The cottage, its adjacent farmhouse and large grounds, have been managed by the National Trust since ...
, the cottage in Northumberland where
Thomas Bewick Thomas Bewick (c. 11 August 17538 November 1828) was an English wood-engraver and natural history author. Early in his career he took on all kinds of work such as engraving cutlery, making the wood blocks for advertisements, and illustrating ch ...
was born;
Smallhythe Place Smallhythe Place in Small Hythe, near Tenterden in Kent, is a half-timbered house built in the late 15th or early 16th century and since 1947 cared for by the National Trust. The house was originally called 'Port House' and before the River ...
in Kent, home to
Ellen Terry Dame Alice Ellen Terry, (27 February 184721 July 1928), was a leading English actress of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born into a family of actors, Terry began performing as a child, acting in Shakespeare plays in London, and tour ...
;
Shaw's Corner Shaw's Corner was the primary residence of the renowned Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw; it is now a National Trust property open to the public as a writer's house museum. Inside the house, the rooms remain much as Shaw left them, and the ga ...
in Hertfordshire, the country home of
George Bernard Shaw George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950), known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from ...
. The home of architect
Ernő Goldfinger Ernő Goldfinger (11 September 1902 – 15 November 1987) was a Hungarian-born architect and designer of furniture. He moved to the United Kingdom in the 1930s, and became a key member of the Modernist architectural movement. He is most prom ...
,
2 Willow Road 2 Willow Road is part of a terrace of three houses in Hampstead, London designed by architect Ernő Goldfinger and completed in 1939. It has been managed by the National Trust since 1995 and is open to the public. It was one of the first Moder ...
in
Hampstead Hampstead () is an area in London, which lies northwest of Charing Cross, and extends from Watling Street, the A5 road (Roman Watling Street) to Hampstead Heath, a large, hilly expanse of parkland. The area forms the northwest part of the Lon ...
, London, was the first example of
Modernist architecture Modern architecture, or modernist architecture, was an architectural movement or architectural style based upon new and innovative technologies of construction, particularly the use of glass, steel, and reinforced concrete; the idea that form ...
to be acquired by the Trust. In 1995 the Trust bought
20 Forthlin Road 20 Forthlin Road is a National Trust property in Allerton in south Liverpool, Merseyside, England. It is the house in which Paul McCartney lived for several years before he rose to fame with the Beatles, and it is labelled by the National Tru ...
in
Liverpool Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. With a population of in 2019, it is the 10th largest English district by population and its metropolitan area is the fifth largest in the United Kingdom, with a popul ...
, the childhood home of
Paul McCartney Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter and musician who gained worldwide fame with the Beatles, for whom he played bass guitar and shared primary songwriting and lead vocal duties with John Lennon. One ...
; 251 Menlove Avenue, the childhood home of
John Lennon John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon; 9 October 19408 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist who achieved worldwide fame as founder, co-songwriter, co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of ...
, was bought by
Yoko Ono Yoko Ono ( ; ja, 小野 洋子, Ono Yōko, usually spelled in katakana ; born February 18, 1933) is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter, and peace activist. Her work also encompasses performance art and filmmaking. Ono grew up i ...
in 2002 and donated to the Trust. The Birmingham Back to Backs are an example of working-class housing preserved by the Trust. Some properties have individual arrangements with the Trust, so for example
Wakehurst Place Wakehurst, previously known as Wakehurst Place, is a house and botanic gardens in West Sussex, England, owned by the National Trust but used and managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It is near Ardingly, West Sussex in the High Weald (g ...
is managed by the
Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. An internationally important botanical research and education institution, it employs 1,100 ...
and
Waddesdon Manor Waddesdon Manor is a country house in the village of Waddesdon, in Buckinghamshire, England. Owned by National Trust and managed by the Rothschild Foundation, it is one of the National Trust's most visited properties, with over 463,000 visitors i ...
by a private foundation; both are open to the public.


Art collection

Since its founding in 1895, the trust has gradually expanded its collection of art, mostly through whole property acquisitions. From 1956 until the post was removed in 2021, there was a curator of pictures and sculpture. The first was St John (Bobby) Gore, who was appointed "Adviser on Paintings" in 1956. He published catalogues of the pictures at Upton House,
Polesden Lacey Polesden Lacey is an Edwardian house and estate, located on the North Downs at Great Bookham, near Dorking, Surrey, England. It is owned and run by the National Trust and is one of the Trust's most popular properties. This Regency house was exp ...
,
Buscot Park Buscot Park is a country house at Buscot near the town of Faringdon in Oxfordshire within the historic boundaries of Berkshire. It is a Grade II* listed building. It was built in an austere neoclassical style between 1780 and 1783 for Edward ...
,
Saltram House Saltram House is a grade I listed George II era mansion house located in the parish of Plympton, near Plymouth in Devon, England. It was deemed by the architectural critic Pevsner to be "the most impressive country house in Devon". The ho ...
, and
Ascott House Ascott House, sometimes referred to as simply Ascott, is a Grade II* listed building in the hamlet of Ascott near Wing in Buckinghamshire, England. It is set in a 32-acre / 13 hectare estate. Ascott House was originally a farm house, built in ...
. His successor in 1986 was Alastair Laing, who cared for the works of art at 120 properties and created the exhibition ''In Trust for the Nation'', held at the
National Gallery The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, in Central London, England. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The current Director o ...
in 1995–96. From 2009 until 2021, the curator was David Taylor, who approved photographs of the Trust's 12,567 oil paintings to be included in the
Public Catalogue Foundation Art UK is a cultural, education charity in the United Kingdom, previously known as the Public Catalogue Foundation. Since 2003, it has digitised more than 220,000 paintings by more than 40,000 artists and is now expanding the digital collection t ...
's searchable online archive of oil paintings, available since 2012. Artists represented in the Trust's collections include
Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669), usually simply known as Rembrandt, was a Dutch Golden Age painter, printmaker and draughtsman. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally consid ...
(whose '' Self-portrait wearing a white feathered bonnet'' which is now displayed at
Buckland Abbey Buckland Abbey is a Grade I listed 700-year-old house in Buckland Monachorum, near Yelverton, Devon, England, noted for its connection with Sir Richard Grenville the Younger and Sir Francis Drake. It is owned by the National Trust. Monastic ...
was recently re-attributed to the artist),
Hieronymous Bosch Hieronymus Bosch (, ; born Jheronimus van Aken ;  – 9 August 1516) was a Dutch/Netherlandish painter from Brabant. He is one of the most notable representatives of the Early Netherlandish painting school. His work, generally oil on oak ...
,
El Greco Domḗnikos Theotokópoulos ( el, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος ; 1 October 1541 7 April 1614), most widely known as El Greco ("The Greek"), was a Greek painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. "El G ...
,
Peter Paul Rubens Sir Peter Paul Rubens (; ; 28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish artist and diplomat from the Duchy of Brabant in the Southern Netherlands (modern-day Belgium). He is considered the most influential artist of the Flemish Baroque traditio ...
,
Angelica Kauffmann Maria Anna Angelika Kauffmann ( ; 30 October 1741 – 5 November 1807), usually known in English as Angelica Kauffman, was a Swiss Neoclassical painter who had a successful career in London and Rome. Remembered primarily as a history painter, K ...
, and
Stanley Spencer Sir Stanley Spencer, CBE RA (30 June 1891 – 14 December 1959) was an English painter. Shortly after leaving the Slade School of Art, Spencer became well known for his paintings depicting Biblical scenes occurring as if in Cookham, the small ...
. From the 1980s to 2001 the Trust commissioned artists to create works depicting National Trust places with their "Foundation for Art", and in 2009 launched its
contemporary art Contemporary art is the art of today, produced in the second half of the 20th century or in the 21st century. Contemporary artists work in a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world. Their art is a dynamic com ...
programme entitled "Trust New Art" in a joint venture with
Arts Council England Arts Council England is an arm's length non-departmental public body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It is also a registered charity. It was formed in 1994 when the Arts Council of Great Britain was divided into three s ...
and
Arts Council of Wales The Arts Council of Wales (ACW; cy, Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru) is a Welsh Government-sponsored body, responsible for funding and developing the arts in Wales. Established within the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1946, as the Welsh Arts ...
. As part of this programme the Trust has worked with over 200 artists to create new artworks inspired by their places including:
Jeremy Deller Jeremy Deller (born 30 March 1966) is an English people, English conceptual, video and installation artist. Much of Deller's work is Collaboration, collaborative; it has a strong political aspect, in the subjects dealt with and also the Idealiz ...
,
Anya Gallaccio Anya Gallaccio (born 1963) is a British artist, who creates site-specific, minimalist installations and often works with organic matter (including chocolate, sugar, flowers and ice). Her use of organic materials results in natural processes ...
,
Antony Gormley Sir Antony Mark David Gormley (born 30 August 1950) is a British sculptor. His works include the ''Angel of the North'', a public sculpture in Gateshead in the north of England, commissioned in 1994 and erected in February 1998; ''Another Pla ...
, Sir Richard Long,
Serena Korda Serena Korda (born 1979) is a British visual artist. She has made work across a number of disciplines including performance, sculpture, ceramics and public art. Her work is interactive and encourages people to explore everyday rituals found from ...
,
Marcus Coates Marcus Coates is a contemporary artist and ornithologist living in London. His works, including performances and installations that have been recorded as video art, employ shamanistic rituals in communication with "the lower world", and contrast ...
and
Katie Paterson Katie Paterson (born 1981) is a Fife-based visual artist from Glasgow, Scotland, having previously lived and worked in Berlin whose artworks concern translation, distance, and scale. Paterson holds a BA from Edinburgh College of Art (2004) and a ...
.


Coastline and countryside

The National Trust is the largest private landowner in the United Kingdom. The Trust's land holdings account for almost , mostly of countryside. A large part of this consists of parks and agricultural estates attached to country houses, but there are many countryside properties which were acquired specifically for their scenic or scientific value. The Trust owns or has covenant over about a quarter of the
Lake District The Lake District, also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes, forests, and mountains (or ''fells''), and its associations with William Wordswor ...
; it has similar control over about 12% of the
Peak District National Park Peak or The Peak may refer to: Basic meanings Geology * Mountain peak ** Pyramidal peak, a mountaintop that has been sculpted by erosion to form a point Mathematics * Peak hour or rush hour, in traffic congestion * Peak (geometry), an (''n''-3)-di ...
(e.g.
South Peak Estate The White Peak Estate (previously known as the South Peak Estate) of the National Trust comprises several land holdings in the Southern Peak District. The holdings, totaling some , are managed from the estate office in Ilam and comprise: *Ilam ...
and
High Peak Estate The High Peak Estate is an area of Pennine moorland in the ownership of the National Trust in the Dark Peak area of Derbyshire, England. The National Trust High Peak Estate is to be known as the 'Dark Peak Area' from summer 2010 which is now ...
). Most National Trust land, about , consists of tenant or in-hand farms, where public access is restricted to
rights of way Right of way is the legal right, established by grant from a landowner or long usage (i.e. by Easement#Easement by prescription, prescription), to pass along a specific route through property belonging to another. A similar ''right of access'' ...
and sometimes additional routes. At
Wimpole Estate Wimpole Estate is a large estate containing Wimpole Hall, a country house located within the civil parish of Wimpole, Cambridgeshire, England, about southwest of Cambridge. The house, begun in 1640, and its of parkland and farmland are owned ...
in Cambridgeshire, the home farm is open to the public. The Trust also owns forests, woods, downs and moorland. These areas are generally open to the public free of charge, as are some of the parks attached to country houses (others have an admission charge). The Trust owns or protects roughly one-fifth of the coastline in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (), and has a long-term campaign, Project Neptune, which seeks to acquire more.


Protection of National Trust property

The National Trust Acts grant the Trust the unique statutory power to declare land
inalienable ''InAlienable'' is a 2007 science fiction film with horror and comic elements, written and executive produced by Walter Koenig, and directed by Robert Dyke. It was the first collaboration of Koenig and Dyke since their 1989 production of ''Moont ...
. This prevents the land from being sold or mortgaged against the Trust's wishes without special parliamentary procedure. The inalienability of trust land was over-ridden by Parliament in the case of proposals to construct a section of the
Plympton Plympton is a suburb of the city of Plymouth in Devon, England. It is in origin an ancient stannary town. It was an important trading centre for locally mined tin, and a seaport before the River Plym silted up and trade moved down river to Plym ...
bypass through the park at
Saltram Saltram House is a grade I listed George II era mansion house located in the parish of Plympton, near Plymouth in Devon, England. It was deemed by the architectural critic Pevsner to be "the most impressive country house in Devon". The ho ...
, on the grounds that the road proposal had been known about before the park at Saltram was declared inalienable. In 2017 the Trust, in spite of criticism by members, supported the government's scheme to build a
road tunnel A tunnel is an underground passageway, dug through surrounding soil, earth or rock, and enclosed except for the entrance and exit, commonly at each end. A pipeline is not a tunnel, though some recent tunnels have used immersed tube cons ...
under the
Stonehenge World Heritage Site Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) in Wiltshire, England. The WHS covers two large areas of land separated by about , rather than a specific monument or building. The sites were inscribed as co-listi ...
as part of the plans to upgrade the A303 road. The scheme would involve the compulsory purchase of land held inalienably by the Trust.


Most visited properties

The 2020/21 annual report lists the National Trust properties for which an admission charge is made that attracted more than 50,000 visitors. The figures in the annual report reflected the effect of the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identif ...
, which caused a decrease in visitors due to closures. The 10 most visited properties are:


See also

*
An Taisce An Taisce – The National Trust for Ireland (; meaning "the store" or "the treasury"), established in June 1948, is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) active in the areas of the environment and built heritage in Ireland. It considers itself t ...
(Republic of Ireland) *
English Heritage English Heritage (officially the English Heritage Trust) is a charity that manages over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places. These include prehistoric sites, medieval castles, Roman forts and country houses. The charity states that i ...
, a similar charity that manages places of historic interest in England *
Historic Houses Association Historic Houses (formerly, and still for legal purposes, known as the Historic Houses Association or HHA) is a not-for-profit organisation that represents more than 1,650 privately owned historic country houses, castles and gardens throughout th ...
*
Landmark Trust The Landmark Trust is a British building conservation charity, founded in 1965 by Sir John and Lady Smith, that rescues buildings of historic interest or architectural merit and then makes them available for holiday rental. The Trust's headqua ...
*
List of National Trust properties in England This is a list of National Trust properties in England, including any stately home, historic house, castle, abbey, museum or other property in the care of the National Trust in England. Bedfordshire *Dunstable Downs *Whipsnade Tree Cathedral ...
*
List of National Trust properties in Northern Ireland National Trust properties in Northern Ireland is a list of National Trust properties in Northern Ireland. County Antrim * Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge *The Crown Liquor Saloon *Divis and Black Mountain, Belfast *Dunseverick Castle *Fair Head Coa ...
*
List of National Trust properties in Wales Below is a list of the stately homes, historic houses, castles, abbeys, museums, estates, coastline and open country in the care of the National Trust in Wales, grouped into the unitary authority areas. Many areas of land owned by the trust, both ...
*
National Trust (typeface) National Trust is a humanist sans-serif typeface designed by Paul Barnes for the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is a corporate font family and not available for licensing. National Trust is based on an inscription d ...
*
National Trust for Scotland The National Trust for Scotland for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, commonly known as the National Trust for Scotland ( gd, Urras Nàiseanta na h-Alba), is a Scottish conservation organisation. It is the largest membership organi ...


References


External links

* '' The Preservation of Places of Interest or Beauty'' (1907 speech by Sir Robert Hunter)
Official website

National Trust Land Map (online mapping tool)

National Trust Images

National Trust Vimeo channel

National Trust YouTube channel

National Trust on the BBC
{{DEFAULTSORT:National Trust For Places Of Historic Interest Or Natural Beauty * * * National trusts Organizations established in 1895 1895 establishments in the United Kingdom Organisations based in Swindon Environmental charities based in the United Kingdom Nature conservation organisations based in the United Kingdom Heritage organisations in the United Kingdom Conservation in England Conservation in Northern Ireland Conservation in Wales Historic preservation organizations Land management in the United Kingdom Tourism in England Tourism in Northern Ireland Tourism in the United Kingdom Tourism in Wales Charities based in Wiltshire British landowners