The Landmark Trust: Giving New Life to Buildings at Risk

19th February 2024

The Landmark Trust take on historic places which may otherwise be lost. They faithfully restore them and let them out as holiday homes or historic places of interest. Here's some of our favourite Landmark Trust properties.

Founded in 1965 by philanthropist John Smith and his wife Christian, The Landmark Trust is built on the idea that historic buildings should not end up as museums, to simply be looked at. They should instead become properties in which people can spend time and gain a sense of what life was like for the former inhabitants. 


Property Restoration

When John and his wife take on a building, they ask: ‘Is it important - historically, architecturally or culturally?’, ‘Will it be lost without our help?’ and ‘Will it be a nice place to stay for a holiday?’

The Landmark Trust very rarely buys buildings, instead acquiring them through an agreement with an owner who is unable to save them. Alternatively its done through freehold tenures or long leases. The process of choosing is, therefore, always carried out very carefully.

landmark trust restarationlandmark trust restaration

"We seek to draw out the beauty of historic structures rather than simply to reorder for modern convenience."

The Landmark Trust


Just as much care and attention is paid to the interiors furnishings of a Landmark Trust properties as the exterior repair. Much of the furniture will be restored, adapted or specially designed and made to fit in with the original style of the building. For example, a motif from the architecture may be replicated on the curtains.

The unique and beautiful quality of the interiors is one of the most appealing things about staying in Landmark Trust properties. From door latches to paintings of the local area, each item is carefully selected to ensure it sits authentically within a room.

You can expect exposed beams, stained glass and much more. You won’t find a flat pack bookcase or mass produced lamp in sight!

Each property houses a selection of books chosen to highlight aspects of that particular building or locality. There's also a fascinating History Album, written for each landmark, which tells the story of the building and its rescue. 

Staying in a Landmark Trust Property

Staying in a Landmark Trust property is both relaxing and a wonderful opportunity to look at our history and the way our ancestors lived. It's a chance to step back in time while enjoying all the comforts of a lovingly restored property. All Landmark Trust buildings contain:

  •  A well-equipped kitchen
  • A modern bathroom and good quality bath and bed linen
  • All beds made up with sheets and blankets
  • A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaiting your arrival
  • A pint of milk in the fridge
  • Lavatory rolls and a bar of soap per basin

Most Landmark Trust properties will also have at least one open fire or stove. You may need to bring uour own kindling, logs and fire-lighters.

They do not, however, have a television, radio, phone or wi-fi so make the perfect retreat for switching off and starting that book you have never had time to begin...


Our Favourite Landmark Trust Properties...

With over 200 buildings to choose from in Britain, and several more in Italy, France and Belgium, you’re certainly spoilt for choice when looking for somewhere remarkable to spend a long weekend. You can browse them all on their webiste here, or take a look at a few of our personal favourites that will make for a very special stay...


The Prospect Tower, Belmont Park, Faversham, Kent (Sleeps Two)

A tiny, circular Tower standing on the boundary of a cricket pitch. The roof terrace gives a grandstand view of a slice of rural Kent.


St Winifred's Well, Woolston, near Oswestry (Sleeps Two)

It is miraculous that this tiny building has survived, being a medieval well chapel. It is built above an ancient and venerated spring that feeds three linked pools that is still flowing today.


The Ruin, Hackfall, Grewelthorpe (Sleeps Two)

This little pavilion is dramatically perched above a steep wooded gorge. It is in the remnants of an outstanding 18th century garden at Hackfall. Open the doors of its richly decorated sitting-room to see miles of Yorkshire countryside roll out before you.


Howthwaite, Grasmere, Cumbria (Sleeps Eight)

The Lake District has inspired generations of artists and poets and we believe Howthwaite will continue to stir the senses for many more. This solid, unaltered house shares the same views across Grasmere as Dove Cottage, William Wordsworth’s home in the Lakes. It was there that he was inspired to write some of his finest poetry.

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