Restoring historic buildings

Our ability to restore historic buildings and keep them in good repair depends on the survival of traditional craft skills employed using age-old materials.

From its earliest days the Landmark Trust has taken a distinctive approach to its buildings. Rather than imposing modernity upon them, we work to bring out the historic character of a place, as polish might reveal the grain. From the choice of buildings, to the detail of their fittings and finishes, we seek to draw out the beauty of historic structures rather than simply to reorder for modern convenience.

As a charity with limited resources and no endowment, we have to choose with great care which of the many hundreds of buildings at risk we can help. We seldom purchase our buildings, normally acquiring them through agreement with an owner who is unable to save them him or herself. In making our assessment we consider the building’s importance, whether it is truly at risk and whether it could make a wonderful place to stay.

Once we have taken on a building, extensive repairs are normally necessary. In effecting these we seek to use the best craftspeople and traditional skills and materials to ensure the new work is of comparable quality to the old. Because we think that the character of old buildings is part of their delight, and that visitors will enjoy their idiosyncrasies in their short stays, many of our Landmarks have unconventional domestic arrangements, perhaps with rooms of wildly differing scales or in unexpected places.