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

How new is the 'modern dad'?

When we think about fathers in the past and present, many of us assume that the ‘hands on dad’ is an entirely modern invention. However, historians have shown that there have always been loving and caring fathers.

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Who was Thomas Carlyle?

When Thomas Carlyle turned eighty in 1875, he received a birthday tribute from over one hundred eminent Victorians. Philosopher, historian, biographer, translator, novelist and essayist, he was hailed as the voice of the age.

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Who was Octavia Hill?

A social reformer, public figure, artist and activist, Octavia Hill was also a key figure in the foundation of the National Trust.

Article

Who were the Pre-Raphaelites?

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a nineteenth century art movement founded in 1848 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and several of their friends.

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What is a dovecote?

Dovecotes are structures designed to house pigeons or doves. They are also referred to as ‘culverhouses’ (English), ‘columbaria’ (Latin) and ‘doocots’ (Scots).

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What is a pilgrimage?

A pilgrimage is a devotional practice consisting of a prolonged journey, often undertaken on foot or on horseback, toward a specific destination of significance. The means or motivations in undertaking a pilgrimage might vary, but the act, however performed, blends the physical and the spiritual into a unified experience.

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When were country house guidebooks invented?

Britain’s first country house guidebooks were published in the middle of the eighteenth century, primarily because of the increasing – and unprecedented – numbers of tourists.

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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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What are maiolica and majolica?

Maiolica and majolica are names used for different types of ceramics produced from the late-medieval period onwards. The names are sometimes used interchangeably which can lead to confusion.

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Why did Giuseppe Garibaldi become a Victorian celebrity?

Giuseppe Garibaldi is perhaps best known for helping to unify the various states of the Italian peninsula under one monarchy in 1860. However, Garibaldi’s heroic exploits also earned him considerable admiration in England in the 1860s.

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Who was Jane Carlyle?

Celebrity couples are nothing new. Victorian literary luminaries clustered at the home of writer Thomas Carlyle and his wife, but there was more to the woman known as Mrs Carlyle than her husband.

Article

What does ‘baroque’ mean?

Originating in Rome, the baroque was a cultural movement in Europe throughout the seventeenth century. Baroque style can be seen across many forms of art including painting, sculpture, architecture, music, literature and theatre.

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Who was Elizabeth Murray, Duchess of Lauderdale?

Baptised on 28 September 1626 in London, Elizabeth was the eldest of the five daughters of William Murray, first earl of Dysart, and Catherine Murray (née Bruce).

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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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Who was Laura McLaren, Lady Aberconwy?

Laura McLaren, Lady Aberconwy (1854–1933), was a leading Liberal suffragist. She became an activist in the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies and founded the Liberal Women’s Suffrage Union.

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Why was Magna Carta sealed at Runnymede?

Runnymede – from Old English runieg (council island) and mede (meadow) – was the location for the sealing of the Magna Carta by King John on the fifteenth of June 1215, with the 1225 version becoming the definitive version.

Article

What is the Anthropocene?

The Anthropocene is the idea that the Earth is entering a new epoch in its geological history, in which human beings have for the first time become the primary agents of change on a planetary scale.

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What is the Peerage?

The Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom is comprised of the Lords Spiritual - the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and twenty-four other bishops - and five ranks of secular peers.