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The Temple of British Worthies at Stowe in Buckinghamshire with a series of stone busts sat in alcoves in a semicircular structure
The Temple of British Worthies at Stowe, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

History

Find out more about people from the past, discover remarkable art and collections and brush up on your knowledge of architecture and gardens. 

History highlights

An ornate teapot set on a low table with a plate of scones behind
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The history of tea 

Tea first arrived in Britain in the mid-17th century, when it was so expensive that only the incredibly wealthy could afford it. Find out the connections that the places in our care have to this simple brew.

An arrangement of autumn fruits and vegetables on a rustic bench outside Low Sizergh Barn farm shop, Lake District
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History of seasonal food 

Discover the origins of fruit and vegetables grown in the UK, from ancient potatoes in Peru to the Victorian 'rhubarb triangle' in Yorkshire.

People

Read the stories of people from history and learn about their connections to the historic places in our care, from Beatrix Potter to the Beatles.

The visitor staircase at Wightwick Manor, West Midlands, featuring Indian rush-work below the dado rail and William Morris' Willow Bough pattern wallpaper above
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Exploring LGBTQ+ history at National Trust places 

This LGBT+ History Month, learn more about the LGBTQ+ people with connections to the places we care for and why highlighting these stories is so important.

Black and white photo of the Churchills at breakfast in August 1927, at Chartwell, Kent. Photograph by Donald Ferguson, for the painting by Winston Churchill
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Places where people helped change the world 

From the first woman MP to sit in Parliament to the rural retreat of a wartime prime minister and the Liverpool terraces that changed music for ever, discover the places in our care where people made history.

Oval framed photographic portrait of Henry, Airmyne and Charles Jenney, aged about 8, 9 and 10. They're shown bust-length, wearing summer clothing. It's signed on the lower right; 'Debenham G.?/Bournemouth/1929'
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Disability histories at the places in our care 

Many of the places and collections we care for tell the stories of disabled people throughout history. Learn more about the people behind these connections.

Octavia Hill (1838 - 1912) (after John Singer Sargent) by Reginald Grenville Eves, RA (London 1876 ¿ Middleton in Teesdale 1941)
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Octavia Hill: her life and legacy 

One of three founders of the National Trust, Octavia Hill is among the greatest social entrepreneurs in British history and the impact of her life and work is still felt today.

Art and collections

Delve into one of the world's greatest collections of art and historical objects. From paintings to sculptures, there’s something for every art lover to discover.

Detail of the highly decorated ceiling of the Boudoir, attributed to Louis-Andre Delabriere at Attingham Park, Shropshire
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Collection items inspired by romance 

Many items in our collections have been inspired by historic romance and passionate real-life relationships. Take a look at this selection of works of art and tokens of love from the places we look after.

The doll's house in the Treasure Room at Hill Top, Cumbria, home of Beatrix Potter
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Rare and historical dolls' houses 

From 18th-century mini palaces to entire model villages, discover where to find rare and exquisite dolls’ houses in the National Trust’s collection here.

A painting of a young man casually lying on the ground in a green woodland glade. He wears ornate blue and white Elizabethan-style trousers and bodice and he has a dark brown beard and moustache. Behind him, in another woodland glade, there are two horses and another figure.
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Great masterpieces in our collections 

Masterpieces by Velázquez, Rembrandt, Hieronymus Bosch and El Greco can be seen in the collections at the properties in our care across the UK.

Architecture

Read up on architecture with in-depth articles about architectural styles, interior design through history and architectural structures.

The Library at Coleton Fishacre, Devon
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Interior design through the ages 

As fashions change over the eras, so do our homes. Explore the history of British interior design and learn about the centuries of design innovation at the places we care for.

Exterior of Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
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The history of architecture 

Learn how both social and technological change have influenced architecture throughout history, and find out where to see examples of each period at the places we look after.

The North Front of Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland
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What is Baroque? 

Explore the Baroque cultural movement and discover how its opulent, theatrical style swept across Europe in the 17th century, influencing art, architecture and music.

Gardens and landscapes

Discover the history of the natural landscapes around you. From glasshouses to sunken lanes, understand more about how these gardens and green spaces were formed.

Interior of a greenhouse with pelargoniums, succulents and other plants potted on a bench, and other larger houseplants on the floor
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A potted history of houseplants 

Wander through our collections and gardens to learn the high-society origins of the ferns, orchids and pelargoniums in your home.

A stag standing in grassy parkland, with trees and the house at Knole in the background
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What is a deer park? 

Status symbol, hunting ground and a source of building materials. Discover the important roles deer parks played in aristocratic and royal society.

The Palladian Bridge at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, spanning the Octagon Lake which is created to look like a river. The arches of the bridge are reflected in the water with a backdrop of green trees. It is one of only four Palladian Bridges in the world and the only one which allowed a carriage to be driven over.
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The development of the English garden landscape 

The history of the English landscape garden is infused with political meaning. Learn the history and political stories behind this garden style characterised by structured informality.

Sunny view of a glasshouse with flowering plants on either side
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History of glasshouses, orangeries and garden sheds 

Discover the evolution in garden buildings – from exclusive hothouses for rare new finds, to the cornerstones of every garden today.

Visitor watching wildlife at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire

Start your journey of discovery

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