Eventide on Roseberry

With the afternoon news was full of reports of snow falling on the Pennines and the Lakes, the North York Moors saw no snow but a cracking sunset. I had been a bit wary of posting a second photo of Roseberry in as many days I just had to do it, today of all days.

On this day (Jan 12) in 1895  a meeting was held between three Victorian philanthropists. Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley was a poet, hymn writer, local politician, conservationist, and Vicar of Wray, in the Lake District. It was there that he met the young Beatrice Potter and led a successful campaign prevent the construction of a railway to transport slate from the quarries at Honister. This led to the formation of the Lake District Defence Society (later to become The Friends of the Lake District).

Miss Octavia Hill was born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire to a middle class family. Her father actively supported numerous socialist causes but his various unsuccessful business ventures led to the family falling on hard times. The family uprooted to London and Octavia had to find work. Her first job was at a crafts workshop managing unskilled girls from the local Ragged School making toys. She began to campaign against development on existing suburban woodlands recognising the importance of open spaces to the public health. Hampstead Heath and Parliament Hill Fields both exist today thanks to Octavia Hill.

Sir Robert Hunter, KCB was a solicitor at the General Post Office and also interested in conservation of public open spaces. At the meeting of these three the National Trust was founded to “preserve places of historic interest or natural beauty for the enjoyment of the British public”. A year later 1896 the Trust brought their first property, Alfriston Clergy House in Sussex, for £10. Hunter later drafted The National Trust Act which became law in 1907 giving the Trust the status of a statutory corporation.

So I guess today is the National Trust’s birthday. So it’s Happy Birthday to you.

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