'The need of quiet, the need of air, the need of exercise, and…the sight of sky and of things growing seem human needs, common to all men'.
The National Trust reaches back to 1895, when it was founded by three Victorian philanthropists, Miss Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, who were concerned about the impact of uncontrolled development and industrialisation. The Trust was set up as a guardian for the nation in the acquisition and protection of threatened coastline, countryside and buildings.
Now, over a century later, we care for some 250,000 hectares of beautiful countryside in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, over 700 miles of coastline and more than 350 buildings and gardens of outstanding interest and importance. From ancient stone circles and Victorian cotton mills, to gardens, village streets and castles, we secure the future of our special places, connecting the present and the future with the past.
Looking after our places for the next generation is a creative, not a static, activity. It means being able to move with the times, embrace change, and create new ideas of what is historically significant. A registered charity and independent of Government, we’re responsible for ensuring a never-ending dialogue between the past and the people of today. Heritage is more than bricks and mortar, paint and canvas: it is how each generation discovers fresh meaning and value through interacting with these physical things.