NT Coughton Court

NT Sissinghurst Castle

NT Hidcote

The National Trust

The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty is one of Europe’s leading conservation charities. It was founded over 100 years ago by three people of great vision – Miss Octavia Hill, a social worker, Sir Robert Hunter, a solicitor, and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, a parson – who formed the trust in 1895 to acquire and preserve beautiful and historic places “for the benefit of the nation”.

In 1907 the Trust was incorporated by an Act of Parliament which contained a unique provision enabling it to declare its property ‘inalienable’, which means it cannot be sold, mortgaged or compulsorily purchased without the express will of Parliament.

The Trust is administered from a head office in London and 16 regional offices, covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is supported as a charity completely independent of government by 4 million members and 60,000 volunteers, as well as by donations, gifts and legacies.

Since 1894, growth of the Trust has far exceeded what the founders could have imagined. It now owns and manages well over 618,000 acres of countryside, more than 775 miles of coastline, over 300 historic houses and 200 gardens. Over 13 million people visit National Trust properties, parks and gardens each year.

The National Trust for Scotland was brought into being in 1931 by a few prominent Scots concerned at the destruction of much of the country’s heritage of landscape and architecture. Its task, set forth in various private Acts of Parliament, is to promote the care of fine buildings, historic places and beautiful countryside. Now it is an influential body, with more than 100 properties in its care covering over 100,000 acres. They include castles, gardens, historic sites, islands, countryside, little houses, coastline, waterfalls and the birthplaces of several famous Scots. The Trust is administered from its head office in Edinburgh and 5 regional offices.

National Trust (NT) fascinating facts:

  • Over 43 per cent of rainwater in England and Wales drains through National Trust places and spaces.
  • NT serves over 3.5 million cups of tea each year
  • Harry Potter, Poldark and Downton Abbey have all been filmed at National Trust Properties
  • NT is Britain’s largest farmer – they farm over 618,000 acres of land and have 2,000 tenants
  • NT owns 61 pubs and inns
  • NT has 60,000 volunteers, contributing 3.1 million hours of time
  • NT has 4 million members
  • NT cares for over 775 miles of coastline
  • NT owns 59 villages, over 300 historic houses and 200 gardens
  • NT owns Britain’s oldest nature reserve – Wicken Fen
  • NT is the largest voluntary conservation organisation in Europe
  • NT has 32 Plant Heritage National Plant Collections
  • NT owns 49 churches and nine monasteries


The National Trust

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