The National Trust’s latest book, “60 Remarkable Buildings of the National Trust,” presents a diverse collection of architectural wonders, encompassing both urban and rural structures, industrial and residential buildings, as well as places of spiritual significance. Unlike previous National Trust publications that often delved into the historical owners and their collections, this book shifts the focus to the buildings themselves.
In this book, readers gain fresh insights into the innovative work of historic British architects and their patrons. These buildings serve as showcases for a wide range of architectural styles, materials, and techniques found throughout England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, preserving the skills and traditions passed down through generations.
Within its pages, the book features five notable buildings from across Wales, spanning various centuries of the nation’s history. Tredegar House in Newport boasts magnificent stables, constructed during the Restoration rebuild in the mid-late 1660s, adorned with intricate carvings and reflecting the owner William Morgan’s appreciation for equestrian pursuits.
Thomas Telford’s suspension bridge over the Conwy Estuary, built during the Industrial Revolution in 1826, stands as one of the world’s pioneering suspension bridges. Meanwhile, the majority of buildings under the National Trust’s care are vernacular, representing rural life’s historical aspects. Treleddyd Fawr in Pembrokeshire, a former farmhouse, underwent an extensive 18-month restoration to protect it from the elements.
Buildings also serve as records of evolving lifestyles, social divisions, and political and religious conflicts. Powis Castle, with its stunning Baroque Italian terraced gardens, bears witness to the tumultuous 17th-century history of William Herbert, 3rd Baron Powis, who significantly improved the castle. Penrhyn Castle in Bangor showcases a blend of medieval and industrial foundations, with a Neo-Norman castle designed by architect Thomas Hopper in the early 19th century, showcasing its Romanesque style and Penmon limestone cladding.
Rhian Sula, the General Manager for Pembrokeshire at National Trust Cymru, expresses her delight in Treleddyd Fawr’s inclusion in “60 Remarkable Buildings of the National Trust” and its Welsh counterpart. She emphasizes how this book highlights the significance of buildings in understanding social and political history, with Treleddyd Fawr playing a vital role in narrating the unique story of the area and its communities.
The National Trust now focuses on addressing the challenges posed by climate change to their buildings, landscapes, and habitats, with an aim to ensure these places benefit the well-being of all. George Clarke, in his introduction, expresses his deep appreciation for the National Trust’s role in preserving architectural heritage and scenic landscapes.
The book also features surprising structures, such as Cushendun in Northern Ireland, transformed by architect Clough Williams-Ellis, and Horton Court in Gloucestershire, the oldest inhabited house in the Trust’s care. Additionally, it explores the impact of the post-World War I housing boom, featuring Mendips in Liverpool, the former home of John Lennon.
Both “60 Remarkable Buildings of the National Trust” and its Welsh-language edition will be available for purchase starting from September 7, 2023, through various channels, including the National Trust website, their shops, and other online and brick-and-mortar retailers.