National Trust to favour terraced houses over stately homes because visitors are fascinated by 'real people's lives'


National Trust to favour terraced houses over stately homes because visitors are fascinated by ‘real people’s lives’

The trust already has a large portfolio of internationally renowned stately homes, managing more than 300 historic buildings, many of which were bequeathed as families couldn’t pay for the upkeep.

But as the demand for properties from the super-rich increases they are more likely to end up on the market.

“The likelihood of us being given, or actually the opportunity arising to acquire larger estates is becoming a dimmer prospect as time goes by,” Mr Parker, the former boss of Kwikfit, said.

“I think the truth is that our future acquisitions are more likely to be either basically land, coastal property or to be based in in or nearer towns and cities.”

A “good example” is mills and they are looking to get involved in some that are part of the earliest industrial revolution. They already own “fascinating places” such as the Quarry Bank textile mill in Cheshire.

“To many people the early engineering of this machinery is more interesting than a portrait from the 17th century as there’s a lot of real life there,” Mr Parker said.

“Of course people are interested in how the aristocracy were living, but there’s also perhaps an even greater interest in how real people lived.

“You can see that in stately homes, where over the last sort of 50 years we have opened a lot of servants’ quarters and kitchens and people are just as interested in what the Butler was doing as what the Lord was up to, and I think that’s true of industrial heritage as well.”

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