How legacies are supporting our work in the North

Our work across the North has been supported in recent years by the support of people leaving us gifts in their will. Read on to see what these generous acts have allowed us to do.

Visitors exploring the gardens at Nunnington Hall, North Yorkshire.

Restoring Nunnington's bridge

Nunnington Hall is accessed via a beautiful wooden bridge over the River Wye. We received a generous legacy of £10,000 in 2015 which has paid for much needed repairs to the bridge. The work, which has just been completed, included replacing the oak on top of the hand rail, a new floor surface and LED lights in the floor so that visitors can safely cross in the evening.

Gibside's Avenue in autumn

Energy efficiency at Gibside

Thanks to a major gift in a will, we've made huge inroads into reducing energy consumption at Gibside, an 18th Century landscape garden. The whole place is now ‘off oil’ and the Trust has created new office and meeting space, and fully insulated them. Log burners and secondary glazing help to keep the place warm. There’s even a log burner in the café giving a warm welcoming glow.

Visitors walking outside the house at Wallington

The gift of Wallington

The whole of the Wallington estate was gifted to the National Trust in the will of Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan in 1942. Sir Charles regarded himself as a Trustee for the community. His socialist values meant that he didn't believe in private ownership of property and privilege for the few. He was also keenly aware that on his death, due to income tax and death duties, it was likely that the estate could be broken up and sold.

A carpet of bluebells in the woodland

Gibside's forest design

Gibside was designed by coal baron George Bowes who aimed to impress. But the grand Georgian estate suffered when it passed into the wrong hands. The villain was Stoney-Bowes, son-in law to George, who chopped down many of the veteran trees and mature oaks. Then in the 1950s timber crops were planted on the estate. Thanks to a legacy giftl, we're 12 years into a 40 year Forest Design Plan, working alongside the Forestry Commission to restore Gibside's native woodland.

View from Rievaulx Terrace with the remains of Rievaulx Abbey

Sit a while at Rievaulx

Rievaulx Terrace is a grade 1 listed landscape with woodland walks and a grassed terrace with two temples. Last year, thanks to a legacy, we installed ten benches and picnic benches dotted around the woodland, providing places to relax and enjoy the landscape. The benches are rustic in style, inspired by the woodland. Another legacy at Rievaulx Terrace has paid for a conservation management plan, which will give us a better understanding of the site and help us to make decisions about our future work.

A woodland path winding through trees

Broomhouse Farm

In 2011, Wallington received a major gift in will which made a project to restore 18th century woodland on the estate possible. Wallington is very lucky to have a fantastic collection of very old trees, but in a time of challenging climatic change with extreme weather events and the increasing threat of tree diseases, every year a number of these old giants are lost. In the past six years Wallington has planted 10,000 native trees and restored woodland at Rothley Lake.

A view of Quarry Bank House

Quarry Bank House

In 2006 the opportunity arose to purchase Quarry Bank House, home to Samuel and Hannah Greg, the creators and owners of Quarry Bank Mill. Situated directly next to the Mill, from here they were able to keep a close eye on their growing business but also to sculpt beautiful gardens, develop the village of Styal to house their workers and bring up their 13 children. By acquiring the last piece of the jigsaw, the National Trust had the opportunity to preserve Quarry Bank as a complete early industrial community, and to share the stories of the entire community with visitors. This was made possible thanks to the fact that many individuals chose to leave a gift to the National Trust in their wills, collectively they made the acquisition possible. Quarry Bank House opens to the public this autumn.

Aerial view of Grasmere Island in Cumbria

Grasmere Island

After more than a century in private ownership, Grasmere Island, which in part inspired Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley to form the National Trust, has been left to us by a generous donor in their will. The island, which has inspired many writers and poets over the years, forms part of the near view from Allan Bank house, a former home of William Wordsworth, which Canon Rawnsley purchased in 1915 before leaving it to the Trust in his will. Throughout 2017 visitors will be able to find out more about the story of ‘Rawnsley’s island’ over at Allan Bank.