The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty was founded in January 1895, by three Victorian philanthropists: Miss Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley and was re-incorporated by a private Act of Parliament: The National Trust Act 1907. Since then, it has expanded into a great organisation, currently with 3.8 million members and 17 million annual visitors, 255,000 hectares of land, 709 miles of coastline, and more than 350 properties, from grand houses to back-to-backs and a workhouse, gardens and parks, ancient monuments and nature reserves, open to the public. What is perhaps less well-known – and is sometimes overlooked by visitors – is that it owns remarkable collections of pictures. The Trust has a great collection of over 12,000 oil paintings in its care, some of which are still privately-owned but on permanent public display.
25 January 2020
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