A history of the National Trust
- Pick decade
- 1880-1889 (2)
- 1890-1899 (2)
- 1900-1909 (3)
- 1910-1919 (1)
- 1920-1929 (4)
- 1930-1939 (2)
- 1940-1949 (3)
- 1960-1969 (3)
- 1970-1979 (2)
- 1980-1989 (2)
- 1990-1999 (3)
- 2000-2009 (8)
- 2010-2019 (2)
The idea of the National Trust is born when Octavia Hill, one of our founders, is asked to help preserve Sayes Court garden in south east London.
Within a few weeks of the National Trust being registered under the Companies Act, it was given its first place five acres of cliff top at Dinas Oleu in Wales.
Alfriston Clergy House in Sussex.
We acquire our first nature reserve with the purchase of two acres of Wicken Fen, near Cambridge.
Commitment to great buildings is confirmed with the gift of Kanturk Castle, in what was to become the Republic of Ireland.
Nationwide campaign launches to raise funds for the purchase of Brandelhow on Derwentwater. Many contribute to the appeal including the daughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Louise, and factory workers in the Midlands.
This year also saw us acquire Barrington Court, a sixteenth-century country house in Somerset.
Blakeney Point, Norfolk, acquired for its value as a coastal nature reserve.
Great Gable, in the Lake District, is presented to us by the Fell and Rock Climbing Club as a memorial to members who had been killed in the Great War.
Historian GM Trevelyan uses his friendship with the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, and with the author John Buchan, to gain support and boost falling membership numbers.
Under the chairmanship of critic and journalist John Bailey, we receive more sympathetic coverage from the press than at any time in our history, before or since. On 25 October a letter in The Times, appealing for funds for Ashridge in Hertfordshire, is signed by Stanley Baldwin, Ramsay MacDonald and Herbert Asquith.
Over 1,400 acres of farmland around Stonehenge is bought after a national appeal.
Beatrix Potter uses the income from her children's books to support our work in the Lake District. As a result, Monk Coniston Estate, near Coniston Water, is acquired.
It has similar statutory powers, but with an entirely independent constitution.
The Marquis of Lothian proposes that we should be able to accept the gift of country houses, with endowments in land or capital, which would be free of tax. These new powers are provided in the National Trust Act of 1937.
Following the gift of Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate in Cheshire, we get involved with sites of major importance for their industrial archaeology.
Lord Lothian bequeaths his Jacobean house, Blickling, in Norfolk.
Our 50th year and we own 112,000 acres of land and 93 historic buildings and have 7,850 members.
The National Land Fund is established by Dr Hugh Dalton, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as a memorial to those killed in the Second World War. Many great country houses are subsequently transferred to us with assistance from this Fund.
We join forces with the Royal Horticultural Society to launch the Gardens Scheme, to encourage and fund the acquisition of outstanding gardens.
Hidcote, Gloucestershire, is gifted by Major Lawrence Johnston.
A campaign with the aim of acquiring unspoilt coastline which might be at risk.
Our first Acorn camps (now named Working Holidays for young people) are held to assist with projects on the Stratford-on-Avon canal.
At an Extraordinary General Meeting, Sir Henry Benson is asked to chair an Advisory Committee to make recommendations on our future restructuring.
The Benson Report recommends that much of our administration be devolved to regions. Following this and other recommendations, we experience a decade of unprecedented growth.
Our 75th year and membership stands at 226,200.
We begin to sell items such as tea towels, leading to the formation of National Trust Enterprises.
We reach 500,000 members.
Our members total 1 million.
We reversed a decision to turn Sutton House, owned since 1936, into flats and devote it to cultural and educational uses for the benefit of the community in Hackney.
We hit the 2 million members mark more than the combined membership of all the political parties.
The Snowdonia appeal is launched by Sir Anthony Hopkins. The Lake District appeal, begun three years earlier, reaches its target of £2 million.
A modern-movement house in Hampstead, 2 Willow Road, designed by Erno Goldfinger in 1938, is acquired.
We celebrate our centenary with a service in St Paul's Cathedral. In our first 100 years we have become the guardian of 580,000 acres of countryside in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; 545 miles of coast; 230 historic houses and 130 important gardens.
We embark on another major structural review to enable us to work more effectively with other conservation bodies and to improve our internal processes.
Our Farming Forward initiative is launched, at the time of the foot & mouth crisis, reaffirming our commitment to preserving both natural beauty and a viable economy in rural areas.
The Victorian country house, Tyntesfield, near Bristol, is put up for sale. Within 100 days we raise £3 million from over 50,000 individual donors and secure a grant of £17.5 million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
We purchase Red House once owned by the designer William Morris, who was a friend and supporter of Octavia Hill.
We move to our new central office Heelis in Swindon, bringing staff from four central offices under one roof for the first time. A small office in London remains.
We celebrate membership figures hitting the 3.5 million mark.
The total number of volunteers working for the Trust, donating what Octavia Hill called gifts of time, exceeds 50,000.
Following a massive appeal that raised over £3 million from thousands of people, charitable trusts and companies across the country, Seaton Delaval Hall in Northumberland is saved for the nation.
Our membership reaches 4 million.
Dame Helen Ghosh takes over from Dame Fiona Reynolds in late 2012 as our new Director-General.