The next generation

This section of the page features an image gallery, so if you're using a screen reader you may wish to jump to the main content.

My favourite object

Staff favourites:

Regional Director, Mark Harold, is a keen cyclist 

What better way of exploring our collections than by asking our staff and volunteers to tell us about their favourite objects.

As the South West's Regional Director, Mark Harold has visited all the properties in the region and seemed the natural person to ask first. But surely, being a regional director is much like being a parent - you're not supposed to have favourites. Click through the tabs alongside to find out what they are.

An amber elephant

null © NTPL/National Trust / Elsie Rolfe

Despite being only 16cm high this little elephant regularly catches Mark's eye for 'the beautiful way light shines through the amber and because the amber itself brings to mind the perfection of insects preserved for millions of years.'


Delicate carvings

null © NTPL/National Trust Images/James Mortimer

The shutters in the Dining Room at Kingston Lacy are neither plain nor simple but intricate garlands of fruit, game birds and lobsters. On the walls are more panels of finely detailed birds, berries and flowers.

It's their quality and detail that appeal to Mark especially as they are carved out of wood, where even the slightest slip of the chisel could cause a rethink of the design, or the need to start again.

An amazing invention

null © NTPL/National Trust / Lynda Aiano

Otto Overbeck's rejuvenator 'looks so Heath Robinson and daft in conception, but made Otto enough money to eventually leave Overbeck's to the Trust.'

The 'electrical rejuvenator' was patented in the 1920s and Otto claimed that users could defy the ageing process by applying the electrodes to their skin.


Scary Samurai

Regional Director, Mark Harold, is a keen cyclist © NTPL/National Trust Images/Stuart Cox

Nowadays Mark champions the National Trust across the South West and has even biked 750 miles in just 12 days visiting 35 National Trust properties along the way - nothing scares him! As a child, he wasn't quite up to the challenge of the Samurai armour, which terrified him when he visited Snowshill Manor.

They have obviously left a lasting impression.

All the oils

The Public Catalogue Foundation have attempted to photograph the entire UK national collection of oil paintings from thousands of museums and other public institutions around the country.

Our entire collection

You can now explore over 700,000 objects from our entire collection, ranging from artistic treasures to the every-day, quirky and bizarre on our collections site.

Beyond the houses

It's not just our houses that are full of collections, it's the landscape too.

Find out what our archaeologists are discovering by following their blog.

A year on the South West Coast © Wild Bear Design

A year on the South West Coast

Coastal collections

Travel back in time through our collection to see postcards, photographs and paintings showing beaches through the ages, and see how the South West coast has inspired artists.

Celebrate the South West coast