How the site was saved
In 1911, One Tree Hill in Kent was purchased by the National Trust with funds given as a gift by Dr and Mrs Jamieson Hurry.
" Dr Hurry was particularly generous in his public gifts. He seemed to realize that it is a duty of those possessing wealth to spend much of it for the benefit of the public…"
As well as a medical practitioner, Dr Hurry was also an historian. His research and publications on Reading Abbey from 1901 inspired others to celebrate its history, and culminated in the site being granted Scheduled Ancient Monument status in 1951. However, the Jamieson’s generous donation was not for his memory, but in memory of Mrs Hurry’s father, Arthur Hill. Mayor of Reading four times, Arthur, or more correctly Alderman Arthur Hill, was half-brother of Octavia Hill, one of the founding members of the National Trust.
After the National Trust Act of 1907 gave us legal powers to look after Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, the Hurry's wanted to make sure that this prominent hill top, rising some 680ft (207m) above sea level was protected. The site was more open with large areas of arable and pasture land, and although back in 1893, G. Payne suggested that part of the site was once a Roman Cemetery, no records have been found.
A special site
Today, despite nearly 90% of the trees being felled by the storm of October 1987, the trees are recovering well. The site forms part of Kent’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is also a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI).
One Tree Hill is owned and managed for its nature conservation and public recreation value.