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The 5th Marquess of Anglesey, Henry Cyril Paget, posing on a chair in fancy costume, with winged helmet and adorned in jewels.
Henry Cyril Paget, 5th Marquis of Anglesey in one of his theatrical costumes at Plas Newydd, Anglesey | © National Trust Images/John Wickens (1864-1936)

People

Uncover the fascinating stories and lasting legacies of the people who helped shape the places we care for.

The people behind the National Trust

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.

Black and white image of Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley (1851-1920)
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Hardwicke Rawnsley: 'Defender of the Lakes' 

As well as a founder of the National Trust, Hardwicke Rawnsley was a religious man, writer, social reformer and active campaigner for the protection of the Lake District.

A portrait of Robert Hunter (later Sir) as a young man taken in the mid 1860's. Robert Hunter (1844-1913) was a founder of the National Trust.
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Robert Hunter: legal mastermind behind the National Trust 

Find out about the work of Robert Hunter and how his job as a solicitor helped shape the National Trust.

Inclusive histories

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 

Learn more about the LGBTQ+ people with connections to the places we care for and why highlighting these stories is so important.

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.

A white teapot on a stand with other china ware in the background at 575 Wandsworth Road
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Black histories and the National Trust 

Discover the places and collections we care for that have connections to black histories. Learn more about the people behind these connections, including the lady of the house at Dyrham Park and a Kenyan-born poet, novelist and civil servant at 575 Wandsworth Road.

Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury, also known as Bess of Hardwick' by Rowland Lockey. Hanging in the Long Gallery at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
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Remarkable women in history 

Learn about remarkable women in history linked to the places in our care, from the first black woman to publish her story of slavery to the circus performer who became a countess.

Famous figures

Paul McCartney and John Lennon writing 'I Saw her Standing There' in the front room of 20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool
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History of the Beatles' Childhood Homes 

Two ordinary houses in suburban Liverpool saw the birth of a revolution in music and identity that would shape a generation.

Visitors looking at a copy of Two Bad Mice at Hill Top, near Sawrey, Lake District
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Who was Beatrix Potter? 

Discover how Beatrix Potter’s Victorian upbringing and fascination with animals culminated in a successful career as an author and illustrator and a passion for conservation.

A curator holding a miniature silver paintbox among various collections items at Chartwell
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A history of Winston Churchill in 50 objects 

Discover more about the extraordinary life of Sir Winston Churchill in this permanent exhibition at Chartwell, including five must-see items from the curator.

Art and literature

An oil painting showing a female painter next to a canvas of a painting of herself
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Great women artists 

Throughout history women artists have had many obstacles to overcome in order to pursue careers in the fine arts. Discover great women artists and their artworks in the National Trust collections.

The garden path leading to the Hardy's Cottage, Dorset
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Where is Thomas Hardy's Wessex? 

Thomas Hardy’s vividly imagined Wessex has enchanted readers of his novels for decades. Discover how the author brought the fictional county to life.

The Daisy Room at Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton, West Midlands
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Who was William Morris? 

Learn how William Morris, founder of the Arts and Crafts movement, brought the natural world indoors with his wallpapers and textiles, which are still instantly recognisable today.

Part of a frieze painted around the top of the walls in the library at Greenway in 1944 when the house was requisitioned by the U.S. Coast Guard. The murals depict incidents which occurred during the journey the men took to get to Greenway. They were painted by Lt Marshall Lee.
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History of Agatha Christie's Greenway 

Agatha Christie spent time at Greenway for holidays and for time to relax as a family. Find out how she came to purchase the property and how it became requisitioned during the Second World War.

History and politics

Portrait of Disraeli as a young man
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Who was Benjamin Disraeli? 

Find out about the life of Benjamin Disraeli, including his journey from charismatic young politician to twice-serving Prime Minister and his move to Hughenden Manor in Buckinghamshire.

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.

A black and white photograph of a woman in an Edwardian-style striped dress with her hair parted in the middle and tied in a bun. She wears a thick, black fabric necklace with a heart locket hanging from it. Below her locket is a large brooch. She is holding something in both her hands but it's unclear as to what it might be.
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Fighting for (and against) women’s suffrage 

Many of the places we care for were home to impassioned people who campaigned both for and against women’s suffrage. Find out about these campaigners, from Laura McLaren and George Bernard Shaw in favour, to Lord Curzon who was against it.

Landscape detail of a portrait of George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, wearing a brown wig and red and white peer's clothes
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Criminal or minister: who was George Villiers? 

Learn about George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, a powerful courtier and politician during the reign of Charles II.

Overhead view of an octagonal table with the figure of Silenus, a drunken follower of Bacchu, in The Library at Claydon House in Buckinghamshire

Immerse yourself in history

Meet people from the centuries gone by, learn about the unique artworks in our care and understand more about historic traditions.