Alfriston Clergy House, our first building bought for £10 in 1896 © Keith Lloyd

Alfriston Clergy House, our first building bought for £10 in 1896

Our constitution

The National Trust was first incorporated in 1884 as an Association not for profit under the Companies Acts 1862-1890.

The first National Trust Act was passed by Parliament in 1907. A number of successive Acts have since been introduced to update and, where necessary, revise our constitution to ensure the National Trust continues to be well governed and remains true to its cause.

The National Trust Acts

Starting with The Charities (National Trust) Order 2005. This describes our current governance arrangements and is the starting point for the arrangements in the Governance Handbook.