Trusted Source

Created in partnership with the University of Oxford, Trusted Source is a growing collection of short and easily understood articles about history, culture and the natural environment. Written by academics and National Trust experts, these articles explore all manner of subjects related to the special places and collections in our care. Explore the categories below or browse all Trusted Source articles at the bottom of the page.

Helping you understand the big ideas behind our special places...
Browse all Trusted Source articles...
Article

Who was TE Lawrence?

The man who would become known as Lawrence of Arabia was born Thomas Edward Lawrence in 1888. Lawrence was an archaeologist and historian, before working in the Middle East as an intelligence officer and liaison to forces participating in the Arab Revolt. He was later employed by Winston Churchill to help redraw the map of the modern Middle East.

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Why does LGBTQ heritage matter?

LGBTQ heritage is everywhere. Yet stories about Britain’s national and cultural heritage tend to reflect a ‘heterosexual past’; ‘queer’ history and heritage has been blighted by criminal persecution and moral condemnation of gender and sexual nonconformity.

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What is Romanticism?

Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement which took place in Europe between the late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries.

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What was the Imperial War Graves Commission?

The Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC) was the British institution that dealt with burying and commemorating First World War dead and missing soldiers. Today it is responsible for cemeteries and memorials of both World Wars in over 150 countries.

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What was the Armistice?

The Armistice was the ceasefire that ended hostilities between the Allies and Germany on the 11th of November 1918. The Armistice did not end the First World War itself, but it was the agreement which stopped the fighting on the Western Front.

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What is a deer park?

Deer parks are large, enclosed areas of land created for the purpose of housing deer and other game. They are usually associated with castles and great residences.

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Who was William John Bankes?

William John Bankes was one of nineteenth-century Britain’s most extravagant collectors of art and antiquities, which he amassed at his country estate at Kingston Lacy in Dorset.

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Who was Lady Mary Wortley Montagu?

Born in 1689, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu was an English aristocrat and lady of letters. More important than her literary achievements, however, she was responsible for the introduction of the smallpox inoculation to Britain and Western Europe.

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Who created the gardens at Acorn Bank?

Acorn Bank is a sixteenth- to eighteenth-century Westmorland gentry house surrounded by walled gardens containing orchards, nationally important herb garden and Italianate sunken garden.

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Why do we sing Christmas carols?

Christmas carols are at the very heart of seasonal tradition. But many of the texts, tunes, and conventions of today’s Christmas carols are younger than you might think...

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Who was Gerald of Wales?

Gerald of Wales (1146-1223) was a secular clerk and prolific author of Latin texts ranging from saints’ lives to natural history.

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Who was Ernö Goldfinger?

Born in Budapest in 1902, Ernö Goldfinger was a modernist architect and furniture designer instrumental in popularizing the modern movement in Britain.

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What are holy wells?

Holy wells are springs, pools, or small bodies of water associated with spiritual or religious beliefs and practices. Although some holy wells are said to be guarded by water nymphs or fairies, the vast majority have Christian associations.

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Jewish stories at our country houses

Being Jewish meant different things at different times. Taken together, the Jewish stories in our country houses speak to the integration of Jews into nineteenth and twentieth century British society, and the obstacles they encountered.

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What was the East India Company?

The East India Company was probably the most powerful corporation in history. At its height, it dominated global trade between Europe, South Asia and the Far East, and conquered and colonised modern day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma.

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What were Georgian and Victorian servants’ rooms like?

Servants were a vital part of every country house. Our image of them is based on the kitchens and other service rooms, yet we rarely consider the rooms in which servants lived and slept – our picture is dominated by their work, not the people.

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What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity is the amazing variety of wildlife. There are hundreds of species of plants and animals, and all of them are different. Each one plays a vital part in the patchwork of nature. Another way to think about it is simply, ‘big nature.’

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Who was Octavia Hill?

One of the founders of the National Trust, Octavia Hill helped us acquire some of our first places for the nation. Discover which places she helped to save.