People’s Landscapes: Explore the places that have shaped the nation

An archive image of the people marching in the 1932 Kinder Scout trespass overlaid onto a modern day image of the landscape

This year we’re marking the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre with a programme called People’s Landscapes that explores the role our own places have played in social change. Through events, exhibitions and podcasts, we’ll bring you the stories of passion and protest that are connected to our landscapes.

No corner of the UK has been untouched by human activity. Whether it’s the towns and cities we live in or the wild places we go to escape, our landscapes have all been shaped by people and, in turn, have changed the course of our national histories.

Black and white image of Kinder mass trespass

How we’re uncovering the untold histories behind our places 

Many of our places have connections to protests, mass social movements and the development of the rights we enjoy today. This year you’ll be able to discover how these places helped shape the nation and transformed our lives, from Runnymede, where Magna Carta was sealed to Tolpuddle, where modern trade unionism was born.

The Jurors artwork by Hew Locke, at Runnymede in Surrey

Exhibitions, art installations and events 

Part of the People's Landscapes programme, many of our places are hosting exhibitions, art installations and events looking at the connections between our places and the rights and beliefs we hold dear.

A print depicting the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester.

What was the Peterloo Massacre? 

In 1819, tens of thousands gathered in St Peter’s Field, Manchester to campaign for parliamentary reform. When the military were called in, many were killed. The massacre became a critical moment in the fight for democracy and its reverberations can still be felt today. In 2019 we'll be shining a light on two places in the North West with connections to the Peterloo Massacre and discovering more about their stories through art.

The People's Landscapes guidebook resting on a bag

The People's Landscapes guidebook 

The People's Landscapes guidebook reveals more about the National Trust places where people came together to make their voices heard, how our land has been shaped by people and, in turn, shaped our communities and histories, and gives a glimpse in to some of the debates happening at these places today.