75 years of looking after Stourhead

In 2021 we are marking 75 years of looking after Stourhead which was gifted to the National Trust by the Hoare family on 7 March 1946.

75 years on we continue to care for the the nature, beauty and history of Stourhead for the nation to enjoy. It’s all thanks to the millions of members, volunteers and staff that support us. Without your help, we wouldn't be able to care for this special place.

A generous gift

Stourhead was created in the 18th century by a banking family, the Hoares. After eight generations of family ownership, Henry Hoare gave the house, landscape gardens, and about 3,000 acres of surrounding land to the National Trust in 1946.  This decision was triggered by the tragic death of his only son and heir, Harry in the first world war.

In part due to the outbreak of the Second World War, these negotiations took 10 years – but the paperwork was eventually signed on 7 March 1946 and the gift was made – a gift still cherished by the nation today.

" I feel about gifts of time even more than about gifts of money; that they are such a good thing they ought to be a joy to the giver."

Delve into Stourhead's stories

Our work today

The front of Stourhead House at sunset

Looking after this world famous landscape garden and Palladian Mansion

With hills, water and classical architecture overlaid by a fabulous collection of trees and shrubs, Stourhead was described as ‘a living work of art’ when first opened in the 1740s. Today the house and garden continue to be enjoyed by over 400,000 visitors every year.

Gatekeeper butterfly on a leaf

Standing up for nature

The estate at Stourhead is home to thousands of different species. From ancient trees to birds and butterflies, the outdoor spaces in our care are full of life and we're working hard to safeguard nature for years to come.

A long view over the lake towards the Pantheon at Stourhead, Wiltshire

Stourhead 75 community art project

We are working with Creativity Works to deliver a community-led, mass participation arts project to celebrate all the things we cherish the most about the green spaces, like Stourhead, that have been there for us during this extraordinary time. Find out how you can get involved.