Wall-Tile replacement at Max Gate

Max Gate wall tie work (c) National Trust Martin Stephen

Thomas Hardy’s Dorchester home, Max Gate, is having a facelift. The original wall ties, put in by the writer more than 130 years ago, have rusted through and are now causing the brickwork to crack and are being replaced by the National Trust building team.  The work will be happening on selected days throughout the summer and early autumn, giving visitors the opportunity to see this vital conservation work in action. Continue reading…

17th-century well restored at Coleridge Cottage

National Trust volunteer Ian Faris, stands next to the newly restored well at Coleridge Cottage (c) National Trust / Dave Wood

Visitors to Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey, Somerset, are now able to draw water from the building’s original Georgian well following its restoration. The well, which is 16 metres (over 52 feet) deep, was built in the 1640s at the same time as the cottage. Thanks to the help of visitors who bought raffle tickets to raise money, the well can now be returned to its former use. Continue reading…

A Spanish visitor to Kingston Lacy

A unique landscape by artist Diego Velázquez, painted for King Philip IV of Spain, has left the National Gallery in London for the first time, to be exhibited at the National Trust’s Kingston Lacy in Dorset. – Miranda Terry Conservation Assistant pictured

A unique landscape by artist Diego Velázquez, painted for King Philip IV of Spain, is on loan from the National Gallery in London for the first time, and is exhibited at the National Trust’s Kingston Lacy in Dorset. Continue reading…

Clouds Hill: Desert to Dorset

A visitor relaxing in the garden at Clouds Hill ©National Trust/Tony Gill

To mark 100 years since T E Lawrence’s part in the Great Arab Revolt, the National Trust team at Clouds Hill in Dorset will be hosting an array of events from 6-21 May which explore the life of this secretive and fascinating man.

Bronze bust of T E Lawrence by Eric Kennington in the Book Room at Clouds Hill ©National Trust/John Hammond

Bronze bust of T E Lawrence by Eric Kennington in the Book Room at Clouds Hill ©National Trust/John Hammond

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Rare handkerchief tree in bloom at National Trust’s Dunster Castle

Handkerchief in flower (c)National Trust/John Miller

A rarely found tree in the UK is currently in bloom in the tropical climate of the river garden at the National Trust’s Dunster Castle, near Minehead in Somerset.  The warm, dry weather over recent months has meant that the unusual handkerchief tree has started to bloom earlier than usual. 

When fluttering in the breeze, the flowers look like a collection of hankies or white birds ruffling their feathers, meaning it’s sometimes known as the Dove Tree or Davidia involucrate.  Visitors will be able to see the tree for around three weeks when it flowers, until the end of May.  Continue reading…

Making a house a home – volunteers needed at Max Gate, Hardy’s Cottage, and Clouds Hill, Dorset

National Trust volunteer, Annette Joyce, at Clouds Hill ©National Trust/Martin Stephen

The small cottages near Dorchester where Thomas Hardy and Lawrence of Arabia lived are charming to look at, but it’s the warm welcome of the volunteer guides there that turn them from houses into homes.  On 1 March the National Trust will be opening the doors of Hardy’s Cottage, Clouds Hill and Max Gate, Hardy’s other home in the area, to visitors and the conservation charity is looking for more volunteers to help them do it.

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Discover the benefits of volunteering at Snowshill Manor and Garden

Visitors and room guide in the Turquoise Room at Snowshill Manor and Garden ©National Trust Images/James Dobson

Would you like to make new friends?  Need a fresh challenge in your life?  Or want to develop your interests?

On 28 January, between 10am and 12.30pm, Snowshill Manor, just a couple of miles away from Broadway, will be hosting a drop in New Volunteer Day where you can discover what being a National Trust volunteer is all about and have an informal chat with staff and volunteers.

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