Fascinating facts & figures

Fascinating things you never knew about us

  • Woolsthorpe Manor, with Newton's apple tree in foreground © Tessa Musgrave

    Gravity was discovered on our land

    Sir Isaac Newton’s apple tree at Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire, is believed to be the very one that inspired him in 1665, when the 'notion of gravitation came to mind' after he watched an apple fall. The tree, a rare variety Flower of Kent, fell down in 1820, but is still growing well, having rooted where the trunk touched the ground.

  • Ripples on water at Bodnant Garden, Conwy. © Arnhel de Serra

    We love a wet day

    Over 43 per cent of rainwater in England and Wales drains through National Trust places and spaces.

  • Enjoy a freshly made coffee at Cliveden. © Arnhel de Serra

    We love a cuppa

    Each year, we serve over 3.5 million cups of tea. That's quite a lot of tea.

  • We're film stars

    The cloisters at Lacock Abbey were transformed into Hogwarts classrooms for the filming of the 'Harry Potter' series of movies.

  • The Holy Austin Rock dwellings at Kinver Edge © Joe Cornish

    One of our wardens lives in a cave

    One of our wardens lives in a cave dwelling (Rock House at Kinver, South Staffs). The warden lives in one of the houses built into rock and we open the others to the public.

  • Baling hay at harvest time at Blaenglyn Farm © Paul Harris

    We're one big farming family

    We’re the nation's largest farmer, with more than 618,000 acres of land and about 2,000 tenants.

  • Theatre Royal, Suffolk. © David Levenson

    We like to tread the boards

    We look after an important and historical theatre – the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

  • The table in the Dining Room set for a meal, Uppark. © Nadia Mackenzie

    We like a bit of table dancing

    The dining table at Uppark in West Sussex is where Nelson’s future lover, the beautiful Emma Hamilton, is said once to have danced naked by way of an hors d’oeuvre during her tenure as Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh’s fiesty mistress.

  • The George Inn, Southwark © Michael Caldwell

    The drinks are on us

    We own and run 61 pubs and inns, including the George Inn in Southwark, featured in Dickens' Little Dorrit.

  • The hexagonal columns are a startling reminder of the wonders of nature © John Millar

    We've got the whole world in our hands

    Four World Heritage Sites exist on our land by the coast. They are the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast, Dorset and East Devon Coast, Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscapes and Hadrian’s Wall.

  • Gateholm, on the Marloes Peninsula © Sid Howells

    Flooding is a big issue for us

    126 of our coastal sites are at risk from tidal flooding and 606km (60 per cent) of our coastline is at risk of erosion.

  • Countryfile Presenters Julia Bradbury and Matt Baker at Wicken Fen © NT Wicken Fen

    We own the UK's oldest nature reserve

    We own Britain’s oldest nature reserve, Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire, acquired in 1899. More recently, Orford Ness reserve was the site of Britain’s nuclear weapon testing programme in the 1950’s.

  • A Frog surveys life from the pond © northeastwilldlifephotography.co.uk

    We protect all kinds of wildlife

    Some 45 volunteer toad patrollers help save toads on the North Yorkshire Moors.

  • medieval hall © Holly Jones

    Our first house was...

    Alfriston Clergy House in East Sussex, a dilapidated medieval meeting house, acquired in 1896.

  • Showing you round our houses

    We have 12,000 volunteer room stewards, almost 100 of whom have given more than 50 years service.

  • We offer lots of unusual jobs

    We have 120 volunteer firefighters, 15 volunteer pilots, two beekeepers and one shepherd.

  • We depend on your donations

    Almost £45 million was gifted to the Trust in legacies alone during 2011/12, plus over £12 million from appeals and gifts.

  • We're pretty BIG!

    We are the largest voluntary conservation organisation in Europe (recruiting more than one member every minute during the summer months). The only organisation in the UK to have a larger membership is the AA.

  • 18th-century insulation techinique © National Trust

    Tapestry tales

    A 1m sq of tapestry costs £4,333 to conserve, whereas it costs approximately £26,500 per m sq to weave a new tapestry (according to trials carried out by West Dean College).

  • Lesser celandine is usually one of the first woodland plants to flower © Gareth Wilson

    Plants rule

    We have 32 Plant Heritage National Plant Collections – making us the largest single collection holder in the UK.

  • Members at an AGM © James Dobson

    We beat Cameron, Clegg & Miliband

    With 4 million members, we are proud to have about six times more members than all the main political parties put together.

  • The grand Palladian mansion at Stourhead is certainly impressive © Nick Meers

    Stourhead inspired Thunderbirds

    Stourhead house was the inspiration for Lady Penelope’s residence in the original Thunderbirds puppet series in the 1960’s.

  • Family visitors at the Guildhall of Corpus Christi, Lavenham © John Millar

    We love museums

    We look after one in 10 of all the museums in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • Marconi's Wireless Station, Lizard Point. © NTPL

    We own the place radio was invented at

    The Marconi Centre in Podhu, Cornwall, received the world’s first transatlantic radio transmission in 1901 – an experimental SOS was sent by Marconi himself from Newfoundland to the lonely site on the Cornish coast.

  • Collard Hill's most famous resident © Joe Mayled

    We helped the Large Blue flourish

    We successfully helped re-introduce the beautiful large blue butterfly to England after it was declared extinct in the UK in 1979.

  • We have over 60,000 volunteers

    We have 60,000 volunteers contributing 3.1 million hours of their time – the equivalent of 1,590 full-time staff.

  • Look out for bat droppings in the North Bath House at the Villa © Christopher Jones

    Bats love our houses

    All 17 species of UK bat have been recorded as roosting or breeding in our places, making us the single most important landowner for bat conservation.

  • Beautifuly colourful Peacock basking in the sun © Jess Tyler

    Butterflies also love us

    With 96 per cent of all resident species of UK butterfly occurring on our land we have a huge responsibility for their conservation.

  • An artist's watercolour map of Lacock © Michael Goddard

    Village people

    We own 59 villages, such as Buttermere in Cumbria and Lacock in Wiltshire.

  • Sir Arthur Onslow, who was a keen Angler © NTPL/ John Hammond

    We give wigs their own space

    We have four closets for wig powdering. Wigs needed dedicated powdering rooms to limit the mess.

  • The Entrance Hall at Mompesson House © Peter Cook

    Sense & Sensibility

    Our places were the setting for many scenes in the 1995 film version Sense and Sensibility, featuring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant. Compton Castle in Devon was used as the exterior of Mr. Willoughby’s home, Mompesson in Wiltshire was Mrs Jennings’ London residence, Saltram in Devon was Norland Park, the home of the Dashwoods and Montacute House in Somerset was Cleveland, the Palmers' country home.

  • Underground tour at Dolaucothi © Keith Morris

    All that glitters

    We own a gold mine - The Dolaucothi Gold Mines in
    Pumsaint, Carmarthenshire to be exact!

  • Felbrigg Church © Robert Truman

    We love eclectic collections

    We own 49 churches, nine monasteries and eight billiard tables - the one at Tyntesfield is electronically heated.

  • Miles of coastline

    We own 742 miles of coastline, including some of the best beaches and coastal paths in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.