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

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.

Article

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.

Article

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.’

Article

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.

Article

Who was Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley?

One of the founders of the National Trust, Hardwicke Rawnsley helped us acquire some of our first places for the nation. Discover which places he helped to save.

Article

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.

Article

What is archaeology?

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

Article

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.

Article

What was the Glorious Revolution?

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

Article

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.’

Article

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.

Article

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.

Article

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.

Article

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.

Article

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.

Article

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.

Article

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.

Article

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.