16 Facts About National Trust


In 1907 Hunter drafted the first National Trust Act, which was passed by Parliament and gave the Trust the power to declare its land inalienable, meaning that it could not be sold without parliamentary approval.

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Under his chairmanship, the National Trust saw an increase in funds, membership and properties.

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In 1934 the National Trust acquired its first village, West Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, which was donated to the National Trust by the Royal Society of Arts who had bought it from Sir John Lindsay Dashwood five years previously.

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The National Trust was persuaded to take on the scheme by John Smith and the work was carried out by hundreds of volunteers.

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In 1965 the National Trust launched Enterprise Neptune, a campaign to raise funds to buy, or acquire covenants over, stretches of coastline and protect them from development.

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An extraordinary general meeting was called in February 1967 and, although the reform group's resolutions were defeated, the National Trust recognised the need for change and set up an advisory committee to look at their management and organisation.

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The National Trust appointed its first female chairman, Dame Jennifer Jenkins, in 1986.

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In 2002 the National Trust bought its first country house in more than a decade.

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Three years later, in 2005, the National Trust acquired another country house, Seaton Delaval Hall in Northumberland.

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Research carried out by the National 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'.

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At an operational level, the National Trust is organised into regions which are aligned with the official local government regions of the UK.

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The National Trust takes part in the annual Heritage Open Days programme, when non-members can visit selected properties free of charge.

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The arrangements made with families bequeathing their homes to the National Trust often allowed them to continue to live in the property.

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Since the 1980s, the National 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 and Seaton Delaval Hall, since 2000.

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In 1995 the National Trust bought 20 Forthlin Road in Liverpool, the childhood home of Paul McCartney; 251 Menlove Avenue, the childhood home of John Lennon, was bought by Yoko Ono in 2002 and donated to the National Trust.

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Artists represented in the National Trust's collections include Rembrandt, Hieronymous Bosch, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Angelica Kauffmann, and Stanley Spencer.

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