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...
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What is archaeology?

Archaeology is the study of human society and life in the past through physical remains.

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Who was Queen Adelaide?

Born in Germany in 1792, Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen later became the wife of King William IV and queen consort of Great Britain between 1830-1837.

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What was the Glorious Revolution?

Between 1688-89, England ended up ousting her king, aided by foreign invasion. Why did it happen?

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The Great Beast 666: who was Aleister Crowley?

The Great Beast 666, Perabduro, Ankh-f-n-khonsu, the wickedest man in the world, Aleister Crowley was a noted – and controversial – occultist. Defiantly unconventional in every respect, he lived life according to his own dictum: ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.’

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Who was Susan Horner?

Susan Horner was a Scottish nineteenth-century writer and translator who published works on history, architecture, art, and the politics of Italy.

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How do you become a Welsh bard?

There's a well-known story about Cadair Idris, a mountain in southern Snowdonia: if you sleep one night on its summit, it's said you'll wake either a bard or a madman. However, bards – or beirdd as they're usually called in Welsh – are not just figments of folklore.

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Who was William Morris?

Born in Walthamstow in March 1834, William Morris founded the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and designed some of the most recognisable textile patterns of the 19th century.

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Who were the Whigs?

The Whigs were an association of aristocratic men who in the 1670s demanded the exclusion of Charles II’s Catholic brother, James, from the royal succession.

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What is a World Heritage Site?

A World Heritage Site is a cultural or natural landmark that has been recognized by UNESCO due to its universal value to humanity, both in the present and for future generations.

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What were Humphry Repton’s Red Books?

The famous ‘Red Books’ were produced by the landscape designer Humphry Repton for his clients to showcase his designs. They were small, filled with handwritten text and watercolours, and bound with the red Morocco leather that gives them their name.

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What are sunken lanes?

Sunken lanes are roads or tracks that are incised below the general level of the surrounding land, often by several metres. They are formed by the passage of people, vehicles and animals and running water, and are often hundreds of years old.

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Who was Samuel Taylor Coleridge?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was one of the great Romantic poets. He was a writer of visionary imagination, lyric intensity and philosophical profundity.

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Who was Alice de Rothschild?

In many respects a typical Rothschild, Alice had a powerful and independent personality which has left its mark on Waddesdon Manor.

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What is Palladianism?

Palladianism was an approach to architecture strongly influenced by the sixteenth century architect Andrea Palladio. Characterised by Classical forms, symmetry, and strict proportion, the exteriors of Palladian buildings were often austere. Inside, however, elaborate decoration, gilding and ornamentation created a lavish, opulent environment.

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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 were Edith Craig and Christopher St John?

Actress, producer and designer, Edith Craig was a suffragette and socialist, and later director of the feminist Pioneer Players. Her partner, Christopher St John, born Christabel Marshall, was a feminist playwright, suffragette, and author.

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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 Alfred, Lord Tennyson?

Born in 1809, Alfred Tennyson’s poetic career spans much of the nineteenth century. After his death in 1892, he left a literary legacy which includes many of the most popular nineteenth century poems.