National Trusts

This map of  National Trust offers places of interest in the UK. Gawthorpe Hall is one of the few National Trusts in the UK that still benefits from a link with the Roman occupation of Britain, which began in 43 AD during Emperor Claudius' rule.  This is known as "Roman Road" and "Roman Ridge"; both are situated within Gawthorpe Hall's grounds. You can see them by taking a walk around the perimeter wall or walking behind the stables and turning left. You can't miss them!

The Clifford family owned the hall for centuries, which became known as "Clifford of Gawthorpe Hall" and, in turn, gave their name to a village near Burnley where they also had another estate called Holme Bleak. Hugh Clifford (c.1528-1602) was the most famous family member who fought for Queen Elizabeth I during her War against Catholic Spain and was knighted in 1588 by Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex. This is ironic as he is known to have been a staunch Catholic, and his son would later become involved with the Gun powder Plot

The National Trust has been operating the estate since 1946 when it was purchased for £5,000 from Colonel and Mrs W.H. Raffety, who were direct descendants of Sir Hugh Clifford. Many events take place in Gawthorpe Hall throughout the year, including the "Christmas at Gawthorpe."

Maister House is another National Trust-owned property created on the 7th November 1790 by William Maister.  Spanning over 4 acres of land, it is a very large house indeed. It has been built in a classical Georgian style with gothic touches. It is an obvious example (if you look at my photos) of how numerous palatial houses were built during the period.

In 1854, Sir John Gladstone purchased Maister House from the heirs and moved in with his wife, Lady Sarah Elizabeth Stewart, daughter of William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire. They also had another home called Easton Lodge on the outskirts of Chipping Norton, which they shared with the tenant farmer of Maister House.

During World War 2, Maister house was used as a home for evacuated children due to its large space and seclusion. The Gladstones lived in this property until Sir John's death on the 29th January 1913, when it then passed down to his eldest son Frank who lived there until the 6th January 1949. The property was then sold to Major Francis Williams and his wife, but they could not possess it as the National Trust had placed a preservation order in 1948.

The property is still owned by the National Trust today and is open to members of the public who wish to visit for a small fee of £8. The best time to visit is during the Autumn period when there are lots of colour changes on view from the surrounding trees.

National Trusts owned various properties across the UK and were formed by Octavia Hill and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley in 1895. Their main aim was to preserve the areas and buildings that the public grew to love from damage and decay.

Their first property was Cockermouth Castle which they purchased in 1896 (we are lucky enough to have this castle on our doorstep here in Cumbria).

The structure of these properties is similar across the UK with an entrance hall, a gift shop, a building with displays and a tearoom. You can find more information about the National Trust on their website.

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