Ernest Christopher Dowson was an English poet, short-story writer associated with the Decadent movement. Ernest Dowson was born in Lee, London, in 1867, his great-uncle was Alfred Domett, a poet and politician who became Premier of New Zealand and had been the subject of Robert Browning's poem "Waring." Dowson attended The Queen's College, but left in March 1888 without obtaining a degree. In November 1888, he started work with his father at Dowson and Son, a dry-docking business in Limehouse, east London, established by the poet's grandfather, he led an active social life, carousing with medical students and law pupils, going to music halls and taking the performers to dinner. He was working assiduously at his writing during this time, he was a member of the Rhymers' Club, which included W. B. Yeats and Lionel Johnson, he was a contributor to such literary magazines as The Savoy. Dowson collaborated on two unsuccessful novels with Arthur Moore, worked on a novel of his own, Madame de Viole, wrote reviews for The Critic.
In his career, Dowson was a prolific translator of French fiction, including novels by Balzac and the Goncourt brothers, Les Liaisons dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos. In 1889, aged 23, Dowson became infatuated with the 11 year old Adelaide "Missie" Foltinowicz, daughter of a Polish restaurant owner. To Dowson's despair, Adelaide was to marry a tailor. In August 1894, Dowson's father, in the advanced stages of tuberculosis, died of an overdose of chloral hydrate, his mother, consumptive, hanged herself in February 1895. Soon after her death, Dowson began to decline rapidly; the publisher Leonard Smithers gave him an allowance to live in France and write translations, but he returned to London in 1897. In 1899, Robert Sherard found Dowson penniless in a wine bar and took him back to the cottage in Catford, where Sherard was living. Dowson spent the last six weeks of his life at Sherard's cottage where he died at age 32, he had become a Catholic in 1892 and was interred in the Roman Catholic section of nearby Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries.
After Dowson's death, Oscar Wilde wrote: "Poor wounded wonderful fellow that he was, a tragic reproduction of all tragic poetry, like a symbol, or a scene. I hope bay leaves will be laid on his tomb and rue and myrtle too for he knew what love was". Wilde himself was dead before the end of the year. Dowson is best remembered for such vivid phrases as "Days of Wine and Roses": and "Gone with the wind": This latter poem was first published in The Second Book of the Rhymer's Club in 1894, was noticed by Richard Le Gallienne in his "Wanderings in Bookland" column in The Idler, volume 9; this is the source of the phrase'I have been faithful..in my fashion'. Margaret Mitchell, touched by the "far away, faintly sad sound I wanted" of the third stanza's first line, chose that line as the title of her novel Gone with the Wind. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Dowson provides the earliest use of the word soccer in written language, his prose works include the short stories collected as Dilemmas, the two novels A Comedy of Masks and Adrian Rome.
A comedy of masks: a novel With Arthur Moore. Dilemmas and studies in sentiment Verses The Pierrot of the minute: a dramatic phantasy in one act Decorations in Verse and Prose Adrian Rome With Arthur Moore. Cynara: a little book of verse Studies in sentiment The Poems and Prose of Ernest Dowson, With a Memoir by Arthur Symons Letters of Ernest Dowson Collected shorter fiction His collaborator Arthur Moore wrote several witty comic novels about the young adult duo of Anthony'Tony' Wilder and Paul Morrow. Tony is based on Dowson. Frederick Delius set a number of Dowson's poems, in his Songs of Cynara. John Ireland included a setting of "I Was Not Sorrowful" from Verses in his 1912 song cycle Songs of a Wayfarer. T. E. Lawrence quotes from Dowson's poem, "Impenitentia Ultima," in Seven Pillars of Wisdom, chapter LIV. In anticipation of the anniversary of Dowson's birth on 2 August 2010, his grave, which had fallen derelict and been vandalized, was restored; the unveiling and memorial service were publicised in the local and national British press, dozens paid posthumous tribute to the poet 110 years after his death.
In the Poems and Prose of Ernest Dowson, a 1919 memoir written by Arthur Symons, Symons described Dowson as, "... a man, undoubtedly a man of genius... There never was a poet to whom verse came more naturally... He had the pure lyric gift, unweighed or unballasted by any other quality of mind or emotion..." Citations Sources Primary Works Ernest Dowson, The Stories of Ernest Dowson, ed. by Mark Longaker Ernest Dowson, The Poems of Ernest Dowson, ed. by Mark Longaker Ernest Dowson, The Letters of Ernest Dowson, ed. by Desmond Flower and Henry Maas Ernest Dowson, The Poetry of Ernest Dowson, ed. by Desmond Flower Ernest Dowson, The Pierrot of the Minute, restored edition with Aubrey Beardsley's illustrati
George Stanhope was a clergyman of the Church of England, rising to be Dean of Canterbury and a Royal Chaplain. He was amongst the commissioners responsible for the building of fifty new churches in London, a leading figure in church politics of the early 18th century. Stanhope founded the Stanhope School in 1715. George was born on 5 March 1660 at Hartshorne, near Swadlincote in south Derbyshire, son of Thomas Stanhope, rector of Hartshorne, vicar of St Margaret's Church and chaplain to the Earls of Chesterfield and Clare, his grandfather, George Stanhope, was canon and precentor of York from 1631, was rector of Wheldrake and chaplain to James I and Charles I. The younger George was educated at Uppingham School in Rutland, Eton College and King's College in Cambridge, he graduated in 1681 and obtained his Master of Arts in 1685 and entered into Holy Orders, however he remained three years longer at Cambridge. In 1687 he was appointed curate of Stow cum Quy, in 1688 he was appointed rector of Tewin, on 3 August 1689 of Lewisham, being presented to the latter by Lord Dartmouth, to whose son he was tutor and for five years afterwards.
He became a Doctor of Divinity in 1697, he was appointed chaplain to William III and Mary II. In 1701 he was appointed Boyle lecturer. In the year following he was presented to the vicarage of Deptford, was reappointed Royal chaplain by Queen Anne, on 23 March 1704 was made Dean of Canterbury, still retaining Lewisham and Deptford. Stanhope, as Dean, entered the lower house of Convocation at a period of bitter conflict with the upper house under Francis Atterbury's leadership; as a man of peace, in friendship with Robert Nelson on one side, with Edward Tenison and Gilbert Burnet on the other, Stanhope was proposed by the moderate party as prolocutor in 1705, but was defeated by the high churchman, Dr. William Binckes. In 1711, Stanhope was among the founding group that would organise the building of fifty new churches to replace those lost in the Great Fire of London, was re-appointed in 1715 after the accession of George I. After Atterbury's elevation to the see of Rochester in 1713 he succeeded him as prolocutor, was twice re-elected.
The most prominent incident of his presidency was the censure of the Arian doctrine of Samuel Clarke in 1714. Early in 1717 the lower house of Convocation censured a sermon by Bishop Benjamin Hoadly, preached before the king and published by royal command. To stop the matter from going to the upper house, convocation was hastily prorogued, it was thenceforth formally summoned from time to time, only to be prorogued. On the occasion of one of these prorogations Stanhope broke up the meeting in order to prevent Tenison from reading a protestation in favour of Hoadly, it was in consequence of this action that he lost the royal chaplaincy, which he had held in the first year of George I. From this date the Convocation of the English Clergy remained in abeyance until its revival in the province of Canterbury in 1852, in that of York in 1861. Stanhope was one of the great preachers of his time, preached before Queen Anne in St Paul's Cathedral in 1706 and 1710 on two of the great services of national thanksgiving for the Earl of Marlborough's victories.
In 1719 he had a correspondence with Atterbury, which dealt with the appointment of Thomas Sherlock, afterwards Bishop of London, to one of his curacies. Stanhope founded the Charity School in High Street, known as Dean Stanhope's School. Dean Stanhope's school merged and became part of the Addey and Stanhope School. Following the merger, the building was demolished to make way for shops in 1899.. He died at Bath on 18 March 1728, was buried in St. Mary's church, where a monument with a long inscription was erected to his memory. According to Daniel Lysons: His monument, the inscription on, given, deserved a better fate than to be thrown aside in the vault, where it now lies, when the church was rebuilt. A place should have been found within the new walls for the memorial of a man, for thirty-eight years so distinguished an ornament of the parish. There were two portraits of him in the Deanery at Canterbury, he married, first. Olivia, daughter of Charles Cotton of Beresford and had by her a son, who predeceased him, five daughters, of whom Mary married, in 1712, son of Bishop Burnet, died two years afterwards.
After his first wife's death in 1707 the dean married, Ann Parker, half-sister of Sir Charles Wager. Stanhope's literary works were chiefly adaptations, he translated Epictetus, Charron's'Books on Wisdom', Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. He modernised The Christian Directory of Robert Parsons the Jesuit. Hutton, who edited the posthumous edition of his translation of Andrewes, likened Stanhope's character to that of Andrewes, but the style of the translation is unlike the original. In place of the barbed point and abruptness of the Greek, the English is all smoothed out. Subsequent editions of the work appeared in 1808, 1811, 1815, 1818, 1826, 1832. Stanhope followed the same paraphrastic system in a translation of Thomas à Kempis's Imitatio Christi, which appeared in 1698 under the title
Lewisham Deptford (UK Parliament constituency)
Lewisham, Deptford is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2015 by Vicky Foxcroft of the Labour Party. This seat was created in 1974, it has remained urban in its constituent areas which have been altered on reform by the Boundary Commission lightly overall. The area of Deptford wholly within the seat was a major London dockyard and in its early history contained chandelries, repair yards, connected with the Royal Navy having a high concentration of London's expansive import and export wharves and warehouses. Political historyThe seat has been won by three Members of Parliament, all of which were and remained during their public service members of the Labour Party; the 2015 result made the seat the 23rd safest of Labour's 232 seats by percentage of majority and the 9th safest in the capital. This constituency takes in Lewisham's northern tip – a short stretch alongside the Thames – along with the Deptford and New Cross districts, the centre of Lewisham itself.
These are some of the more deprived in London with high crime rates and social problems, counter to this, more upmarket housing developments are springing up as former industrial sites are cleared away as part of an ongoing rejuvenation process. To the South East of the seat, Lewisham town centre fades imperceptibly into Ladywell; the area is affordable, given the short commuting distance to Central London and Canary Wharf, via the Docklands Light Railway and South East Main Line. Goldsmiths, University of London and wider halls of residence and this is a popular living area for those staying and studying in Greater London, giving a substantial student minority to the electorate. At the Western extremity of the seat, just inside the current boundaries, is the New Den, home to Millwall FC. Lewisham Deptford has been one of Labour's safest London seats since its 1974 creation – it was the party's 25th safest in Britain at the 2001 election – though social change in the last decade has seen things become a little more competitive.
In terms of share of the vote, it received the 44th largest Labour vote in 2010, of the 650 constituencies. 1974-1983: The London Borough of Lewisham wards of Brockley, Drake, Grinling Gibbons, Ladywell and Pepys. 1983-2010: The London Borough of Lewisham wards of Blythe Hill, Crofton Park, Evelyn, Grinling Gibbons, Ladywell and Pepys. 2010-present: The London Borough of Lewisham wards of Brockley, Crofton Park, Ladywell, Lewisham Central, New Cross, Telegraph Hill. The constituency covers the north-western parts of the London Borough of Lewisham; the Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies which redrew this seat in 2010 resulted in the creation of a new cross-borough constituency of Lewisham West and Penge which takes electoral wards from Lewisham and Bromley. List of Parliamentary constituencies in Greater London Notes References Politics Resources Electoral Calculus
A brick is building material used to make walls and other elements in masonry construction. Traditionally, the term brick referred to a unit composed of clay, but it is now used to denote any rectangular units laid in mortar. A brick can be composed of clay-bearing soil and lime, or concrete materials. Bricks are produced in numerous classes, types and sizes which vary with region and time period, are produced in bulk quantities. Two basic categories of bricks are non-fired bricks. Block is a similar term referring to a rectangular building unit composed of similar materials, but is larger than a brick. Lightweight bricks are made from expanded clay aggregate. Fired bricks are one of the longest-lasting and strongest building materials, sometimes referred to as artificial stone, have been used since circa 4000 BC. Air-dried bricks known as mudbricks, have a history older than fired bricks, have an additional ingredient of a mechanical binder such as straw. Bricks are laid in courses and numerous patterns known as bonds, collectively known as brickwork, may be laid in various kinds of mortar to hold the bricks together to make a durable structure.
The earliest bricks were dried brick, meaning that they were formed from clay-bearing earth or mud and dried until they were strong enough for use. The oldest discovered bricks made from shaped mud and dating before 7500 BC, were found at Tell Aswad, in the upper Tigris region and in southeast Anatolia close to Diyarbakir; the South Asian inhabitants of Mehrgarh constructed, lived in, airdried mudbrick houses between 7000–3300 BC. Other more recent findings, dated between 7,000 and 6,395 BC, come from Jericho, Catal Hüyük, the ancient Egyptian fortress of Buhen, the ancient Indus Valley cities of Mohenjo-daro and Mehrgarh. Ceramic, or fired brick was used as early as 3000 BC in early Indus Valley cities like Kalibangan; the earliest fired bricks appeared in Neolithic China around 4400 BC at Chengtoushan, a walled settlement of the Daxi culture. These bricks were made of red clay, fired on all sides to above 600 °C, used as flooring for houses. By the Qujialing period, fired bricks were being used to pave roads and as building foundations at Chengtoushan.
Bricks continued to be used during 2nd millennium BC at a site near Xi'an. Fired bricks were found in Western Zhou ruins; the carpenter's manual Yingzao Fashi, published in 1103 at the time of the Song dynasty described the brick making process and glazing techniques in use. Using the 17th-century encyclopaedic text Tiangong Kaiwu, historian Timothy Brook outlined the brick production process of Ming Dynasty China: "...the kilnmaster had to make sure that the temperature inside the kiln stayed at a level that caused the clay to shimmer with the colour of molten gold or silver. He had to know when to quench the kiln with water so as to produce the surface glaze. To anonymous labourers fell the less skilled stages of brick production: mixing clay and water, driving oxen over the mixture to trample it into a thick paste, scooping the paste into standardised wooden frames, smoothing the surfaces with a wire-strung bow, removing them from the frames, printing the fronts and backs with stamps that indicated where the bricks came from and who made them, loading the kilns with fuel, stacking the bricks in the kiln, removing them to cool while the kilns were still hot, bundling them into pallets for transportation.
It was hot, filthy work." Early civilisations around the Mediterranean adopted the use of fired bricks, including the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The Roman legions operated mobile kilns, built large brick structures throughout the Roman Empire, stamping the bricks with the seal of the legion. During the Early Middle Ages the use of bricks in construction became popular in Northern Europe, after being introduced there from Northern-Western Italy. An independent style of brick architecture, known as brick Gothic flourished in places that lacked indigenous sources of rocks. Examples of this architectural style can be found in modern-day Denmark, Germany and Russia; this style evolved into Brick Renaissance as the stylistic changes associated with the Italian Renaissance spread to northern Europe, leading to the adoption of Renaissance elements into brick building. A clear distinction between the two styles only developed at the transition to Baroque architecture. In Lübeck, for example, Brick Renaissance is recognisable in buildings equipped with terracotta reliefs by the artist Statius von Düren, active at Schwerin and Wismar.
Long-distance bulk transport of bricks and other construction equipment remained prohibitively expensive until the development of modern transportation infrastructure, with the construction of canal and railways. Production of bricks increased massively with the onset of the Industrial Revolution and the rise in factory building in England. For reasons of speed and economy, bricks were preferred as building material to stone in areas where the stone was available, it was at this time in London that bright red brick was chosen for construction to make the buildings more visible in the heavy fog and to help prevent traffic accidents. The transition from the traditional method of production known as hand-moulding to a mechanised form of mass-production took place during the first half of the nineteenth century; the first successful brick-making machine was patented by Henry Clayton, employed at the
Ladywell Fields Ladywell Recreation Ground is a public park in the London Borough of Lewisham created from three historic fields. It is located near Ladywell railway station at the northern end of the park, Catford Bridge at the southern end; the site is mentioned as meadows in the manor of Lewisham. A medicinal well – ‘our lady’s well’ – said to be named after nearby St Mary the Virgin Church was first recorded in 1472, it was reputed to be effective for curing eye complaints. The well is now underneath the access road to Ladywell station and a further well lies to the west of it. Ladywell began to develop as a suburb of London with the arrival of the railway station in 1857, in 1889 land between the River Ravensbourne and the station was bought by London County Council and Lewisham District Board of Works. Further parcels of land were bought in 1891 and ’94 and the whole area was laid out as a public amenity and named Ladywell Recreation Ground; the park, which consists of three adjoining fields, extends to 22 hectares and follows the course of the River Ravensbourne.
It includes a wide range of recreation facilities, including play areas, skate park and ball courts, bowling green and football pitch. There is a café on site, the park is part of the Waterlink Way cycling and walking route that extends from the River Thames at Creekside, Deptford to Sydenham. There are a variety of mature trees on the site, including field maple, hybrid black poplar and a rare surviving elm on the river bank, which bears a Great Trees of London plaque, denoting trees considered of importance to the capital; the northern part of the park features a small nature reserve. The original park design featured rustic bridges over the Ravensbourne. Since the land was water meadows, therefore liable to flooding, extensive work was done prior to the park’s opening and, over time, the river channel was straightened and weirs added; the River Ravensbourne is the major natural feature of the park's three fields, but previous work to reduce flooding had affected its aesthetic and environmental value.
There were substantial works in 2007/8 in the northern field to divert the river into its centre and create an area for river dipping and paddling. A major £2m project two years was funded by the London Development Agency and won ‘best new public space’ in the London Planning Awards 2011. Renovation, undertaken by BDP and East Architecture, included redesigned footpaths, river viewing platforms, an orchard and meadows; the river channel was modified to create a more naturalistic setting incorporating backwaters and riverside tree planting – all designed to create more sustainable drainage and reduce flooding. This restoration gave the park a new entrance, adventure playground and tennis courts. PDF map showing Waterlink Way and including Ladywell Fields History and maps on Ideal Homes
Lewisham is an area of south London, England, 5.9 miles south-east of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London. Lewisham had a population of 60,573 in 2011, it is most to have been founded by a pagan Jute, who settled near St Mary's Church where the ground was drier, in the 6th century. As to the etymology of the name, Daniel Lysons wrote: "In the most ancient Saxon records this place is called Levesham, that is, the house among the meadows. A Latin legal record, dated 1440, mentions a place in Kent as Levesham, it is now written, as well in parochial and other records as in common usage, Lewisham.""Leofshema" was an important settlement at the confluence of the rivers Quaggy and Ravensbourne, so the village expanded north into the wetter area as drainage techniques improved. King Alfred was Lord of the Manor of Lewisham; the Manor of Lewisham, with its appendages of Greenwich and Combe, was given by Elthruda, King Alfred's niece, to the abbey of St. Peter at Ghent, of which Lewisham became a cell, or an alien priory.
This grant is said to have been confirmed by King Edgar in 964, by Edward the Confessor in 1044, with the addition of many privileges. In the mid-17th century, the vicar of Lewisham, Abraham Colfe, built a grammar school, a primary school and six almshouses for the inhabitants. In the 17th century the Manor of Lewisham was purchased by George Legge Baron Dartmouth, his son William was raised by Queen Anne to several positions of honour and trust, was a member of her privy council. His grandson George, Lord Dartmouth, obtained the privilege of holding a fair twice a year, a market twice a week, upon Blackheath in the parish; the fair used to be held on 12 May and 11 October, but in 1772 it was discontinued, by the Earl of Dartmouth, as lord of the manor. The village of Lewisham had its nucleus in its southern part, around the parish church of St Mary, towards the present site of University Hospital Lewisham; the centre migrated north with the coming of the North Kent railway line to Dartford in 1849, encouraging commuter housing.
The Official Illustrated Guide to South-Eastern and North and Mid-Kent Railways of June 1863, by George Measom, describes Lewisham as follows:'Lewisham Station, situated on the slope of an eminence admist picturesque scenery, beautiful green meadows rising abruptly to the summit of the hill on the left, dotted with handsome residences and gardens, while the Common is seen intersected by various cross roads and studded with country inns and houses on the low ground or valley to the right. The area of the parish is 5,789 acres... Lord of the manor, the Earl of Dartmouth to whom it gives the title Viscount'. Lewisham was administratively part of Kent until 1889, formed part of the Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham in the County of London until 1965; the town centre was hit by a V-1 flying bomb in 1944: there were over 300 casualties including 51 fatalities, it devastated the high street, restored by the mid-1950s. This horrific event is commemorated by a plaque outside the Lewisham Shopping Centre.
The plaque was on the pavement outside the Marks and Spencers store in the main shopping precinct. However, suffering wear and tear, the local authority arranged. In 1955 Sainsbury's opened a store in Lewisham, reported to be Europe's largest self-service supermarket, with 7,500 square feet of retail space, although the one now incorporated in the 1977 shopping centre is much smaller; the area at the north end of the High Street was pedestrianised in 1994. It is home to a daily street market and a local landmark, the clock tower, completed in 1900 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897; the police station, opened in 2004 to replace the station in Ladywell, is the largest in Europe. Lewisham Cricket Club was one of the most prestigious London sides during the Victorian era. From 1864 they played at Lewisham Cricket Ground, which lay north of Ladywell Road, until its closure in the 19th century. Lewisham Swimming Club was very successful, with several of its members representing England at water polo and other gymkhana events.
During the First World War, Lewisham Hospital's infirmary became the Lewisham Military Hospital, during the Second World War the hospital was hit by a V-1 flying bomb, which destroyed two wards, injured 70 people and killed one nurse. Lewisham is the site of one of the worst disasters on British Railways in the 20th century. On 4 December 1957 a crowded steam-hauled passenger express headed for the Kent coast overran signals at danger in thick fog near St. John's station and crashed into a stationary electric train for the Hayes branch line; the force of the impact brought down an overhead railway bridge onto the wreckage below. An electric multiple unit about to cross the bridge towards Nunhead managed to pull up in time. Ninety passengers and crew died in the accident. In 1977, the Battle of Lewisham saw the biggest street battle against fascists since the Battle of Cable Street in 1936. Over 10,000 people turned out to oppose a National Front march, organised on the back of increasing electoral success at that time.
The Docklands Light Railway was extended to Lewisham in 1999. In the 21st century, Lewisham has seen regeneration including the construction of several high-rise residential buildings around Lo
National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty known as the National Trust, is an independent charity and membership organisation for environmental and heritage conservation in England and Northern Ireland. It is the largest membership organisation in the United Kingdom; the trust describes itself as "a charity that works to preserve and protect historic places and spaces—for for everyone". The trust was founded in 1895 and given statutory powers, starting with the National Trust Act 1907; the trust tended to focus on English country houses, which still make up the largest part of its holdings, but it protects historic landscapes such as in the Lake District, historic urban properties, nature reserves. In Scotland, there is an independent National Trust for Scotland; the Trust has special powers to prevent land being sold off or mortgaged, although this can be over-ridden by Parliament. The National Trust has been the beneficiary of bequests, it owns over 350 heritage properties, which includes many historic houses and gardens, industrial monuments, social history sites.
Most of these are open to the public for a charge. Others are leased, on terms; the Trust is one of the largest landowners in the United Kingdom, owning over 247,000 hectares of land, including many characteristic sites of natural beauty, most of which are open to the public free of charge. The Trust, one of the largest UK charities financially, is funded by membership subscriptions, entrance fees and revenue from gift shops and restaurants within its properties, it has been accused of focusing too much on country estates, in recent years, the trust has sought to broaden its activities by acquiring historic properties such as former mills, early factories and the childhood homes of Paul McCartney and John Lennon. In 2015, the trust undertook a governance review to mark the 10th anniversary of the current governance structure; the review led to the downsizing of the limitation of tenure to two terms. The National Trust was incorporated in 1895 as an "association not for profit" under the Companies Acts 1862–90, in which the liability of its members was limited by guarantee.
It was incorporated by six separate Acts of Parliament: The National Trust Acts 1907, 1919, 1937, 1939, 1953, 1971. It is a charitable organisation registered under the Charities Act 2006, its formal purpose is: The trust was founded on 12 January 1895 by Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Hardwicke Rawnsley, prompted in part by the earlier success of Charles Eliot and the Kyrle Society. In the early days, the trust was concerned with protecting open spaces and a variety of threatened buildings; the trust's first nature reserve was Wicken Fen, its first archaeological monument was White Barrow. The trust has been the beneficiary of numerous donations of money. From 1924 to 1931, the trust's chairman was John Bailey, of whom The Times said in 1931, "The strong position which the National Trust now occupies is due to him, it will never be known how many generous gifts of rural beauty and historic interest the nation owes, directly or indirectly, to his persuasive enthusiasm." At the same time, a group of anonymous philanthropists set up the Ferguson's Gang.
The focus on country houses and gardens, which now comprise the majority of its most visited properties, came about in the mid 20th century when the private owners of many of the properties were no longer able to afford to maintain them. Many were donated to the trust in lieu of death duties; the diarist James Lees-Milne is credited with playing a central role in the main phase of the trust's country house acquisition programme, though he was in fact an employee of the trust, was carrying through policies decided by its governing body. Sir Jack Boles, Director General of the Trust between 1975 and 1983, oversaw the acquisition of Wimpole Hall, Canons Ashby and Kingston Lacy; the last is a notable asset as it comprises an art collection, Corfe Castle, Studland Bay, Badbury Rings and a host of commercial and domestic buildings and land. One of the biggest crises in the trust's history erupted at the 1967 annual general meeting, when the leadership of the trust was accused of being out of touch and placing too much emphasis on conserving country houses.
In response, the council asked Sir Henry Benson to chair an advisory committee to review the structure of the trust. Following the publication of the Benson Report in 1968, much of the administration of the trust was devolved to the regions. In the 1990s, a dispute over whether deer hunting should be permitted on National Trust land caused bitter disputes within the organisation, was the subject of much debate at annual general meetings, but it did little to slow the growth in its membership numbers. In 2005, the trust moved to a new head office in Wiltshire; the building was constructed on an abandoned railway yard, is intended as a model of brownfield renewal. It is named Heelis, taken from the married name of children's author Beatrix Potter, a huge supporter of, donor to, the trust, which now owns the land she owned in Cumbria; the trust is an independent charity rather than a government institution. Historic England and