Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal, Garden, Historic Ruins, Yorkshire
Founded in 1895, the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty is the largest independent conservation charity in the world. As a registered charity, not a government body, it relies almost entirely on voluntary contributions to help protect the best of England, Wales and Northern Ireland's heritage for the benefit of everyone.
To care for 600,000 acres (242,820ha) of countryside, over 550 miles of coastline and 300 historic houses and gardens, the National Trust depends on the generosity of the public and more than 2 million subscribing members, plus its friends and supporters.
The Trust was founded by Miss Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley. All were involved in campaigns to improve social conditions. The Trust's first property was a gift of 4.5 acres (1.82ha) of sea cliff overlooking Cardigan Bay. Its second, bought for just £10, was the 14th century timber-framed Clergy House at Alfriston in East Sussex.