We all love The National Trust, and here are a few reasons why. It’s the largest voluntary conservation organisation in Europe. They have over 4 million members, more than the present coalition ruling parties.
They own some of the best beaches in the land, 59 villages, 49 churches and a gold mine (The Dolaucothi Gold Mines). Their teams conserve butterflies, bats, wildlife and plants. It doesn’t stop there, they also own four coastal World Heritage Sites. So it’s a royal Hip Hip hooray for The National Trust.
Here are 5 properties that would like you to visit them, when you’re ready. They won’t be going anywhere, so don’t rush.
This is the last remaining galleried inn in London. Dating from the 17th century this public house, leased to a private company, is London’s last remaining galleried inn.
Did you know? The galleries which front the building were once common on inns, and that many other surviving examples were lost during the Second World War. The original George Inn was destroyed by fire in 1676. Charles Dickens visited the site when it was a coffee house…and it’s mentioned in Little Dorrit
The George Inn Yard, 77 Borough High Street, Southwark, London, SE1 1NH : Telephone: 020 7407 2056
2. 575 Wandsworth Road, London
575 Wandsworth Road was acquired by the National Trust in 2010, because of the rich and striking interiors created by Khadambi Asalache (1935-2006), a Kenyan-born poet, novelist, philosopher of mathematics and British civil servant. He bought the house in 1981 while working at the Treasury, and over a period of 20 years (from 1986) turned his home into a work of art.
Prompted by the need to disguise persistent damp in the basement dining room, he initially fixed pine floorboards to the damp wall. He went on to embellish almost every wall, ceiling and door in the house with exquisite fretwork patterns and motifs, which he hand-carved from reclaimed pine doors and floorboards found in skips.
The house stands as he left it, with his painted decoration on walls, doors and floors and with rooms furnished with his handmade fretwork furniture and carefully arranged collections of beautiful and functional objects, including pressed-glass inkwells, pink and copper lustreware, postcards and his typewriter.
Book a tour
Due to the delicate nature of the property, tours are limited to 54 visitors a week, in tours of a maximum of six people at a time. Admission charges and a booking fee apply, entry is free for National Trust members, but members still need to book a place. They are closed from from 3 November 2014 to 28 February 2015, and will be taking bookings for March to May from 1 February. You can call our bookings number from that date on 0844 249 1895.
Morden Hall Park is green oasis in the city, giving you a taste of a country estate with a glimpse of its agricultural and industrial history.
This tranquil former deer park is one of the few remaining estates that used to line the River Wandle during its industrial heyday. The river meanders through the park creating a haven for wildlife. The snuff mills, which generated the park’s income in the past, survive to this day. We’ve renovated the western mill, and it’s now used as a learning centre.
A much-loved rural idyll, the park lies in a built-up area, and some of the surviving estate buildings are used as workshops by local craftspeople and artisans. The renovated Stable Yard is the heart of the park with a café, second-hand bookshop and a living green centre with exhibitions.
Address: Morden Hall Road, Morden, London, SM4 5JD : Telephone: 020 8545 6850
4. Ham House and Garden (Surrey)
This rare and atmospheric 17th-century house sits on the banks of the River Thames in Richmond. It is the creation of the tenacious Duchess of Lauderdale and her husband, the Duke, who together transformed Ham into one of the grandest Stuart houses in England.
Ham House is internationally recognised for its superb collection of paintings, furniture and textiles, largely acquired 400 years ago. Some of our unique objects include a rare Chinese teapot, said to have been used by the Duchess herself, and the exotic ivory cabinet. The house is reputed to be one of the most haunted in Britain. Some visitors have reported the ghostly aroma of the sweet Virginia pipe tobacco that the Duke smoked after meals in the dining room.
Outside, the open and formal restored 17th-century gardens surround the house. It includes a productive kitchen garden containing many heritage crops, the maze-like ‘Wilderness’, complete with summerhouses, and many beautiful spots perfect for a picnic.
5. Fenton House and Garden, Hampstead
This beautiful 17th-century merchant’s house is a hidden gem in London, a place of unique charm and ambience.
Lady Binning bought the house in 1936 and filled it with her highly decorative collections of porcelain, Georgian furniture and 17th-century needlework.
The sound of early keyboard instruments and the colours of early 20th-century drawings and paintings add to a captivating experience.