Lothian's gift to the nation

You may have never heard of Philip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian, but he’s vital to the story of the National Trust. Without him, it’s unlikely Blickling Estate would still be around for you to explore, along with the hundreds of other places you love.

Back in 2015, we marked the 75th year since Philip’s untimely death and bequest of Blickling to the National Trust, by celebrating the life and times of this visionary man.
Lord Lothian was a leading statesman between the two wars, forging a career as secretary to the Prime Minster, Lloyd George, and as Ambassador to the USA. He played an important part in encouraging America to join the war effort.
He was also a member of the so-called ‘Cliveden Set’ of the 1930s and used Blickling to entertain the country’s first lady MP Nancy Astor, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, comedienne Joyce Grenfell and, controversially, German Ambassador Joachim Von Ribbentrop.
But he is chiefly celebrated as the driving force behind the National Trust Act of 1937 and the creation of the Country Houses Scheme, which enabled the first large-scale transfer of mansion houses to the Trust in lieu of death duties, preserving some of our most beautiful buildings for everyone to enjoy, forever.