The National Trust was founded in 1895, largely by Octavia Hill
, Sir Robert Hunter, and Canon H. D. Rawnsley of Westmorland. Its object was to preserve buildings or land of historic interest and beauty. The trust was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1907 and a separate trust for Scotland
established in 1931. The first acquisition was cliffs overlooking Cardigan Bay and the first large appeal in 1901 was to buy Friar's Crag at Derwentwater. The trust is now custodian for more than 350 stately homes and places, and the National Trust for Scotland for another 100, including the battlefields of Bannockburn and Culloden, Cliveden, Cragside, Culzean castle, Knole, Petworth, Powys castle, Wallington, and West Wycombe.
J. A. Cannon
National Trust, British association to preserve for the nation places of natural beauty or buildings of architectural or historic interest in the British Isles; founded 1894, chartered 1895. By act of Parliament (1907) the Trust was empowered to acquire land inalienably and to be exempt from duties on property given or willed. In 1934 the Trust received special powers to protect by covenant privately owned property. The owner retains such property and its income, but may neither build on it nor alter its use without permission.
British charitable organization formed in 1895 in order to permanently preserve lands and buildings of natural beauty or historic interest. In 1907, the trust was given the power to declare its land inalienable. Today, it protects c.
420,000ha (590,000 acres) of countryside, 885km (550mi) of coastline, and owns 230 houses and gardens.