Upon the death of Albion Harman in 1968 Lundy’s ownership passed jointly to his wife Kay and his two sisters Diana and Ruth. Although the three ladies would have loved to retain possession, they lacked the financial capital to further invest in the Island. When a major landslip in February of 1969 swept a substantial section of the Beach Road into the Landing Bay, Lundy’s sale became inevitable.
The National Trust had initially turned down the opportunity, on the basis of cost, but when John Smith, the director of the building conservation charity the Landmark Trust, offered to underwrite an appeal, the National Trust began to actively fund-raise.
No sooner had the appeal been launched when Jack Hayward, a philanthropic businessman, gifted the National Trust £150,000 to complete the purchase. John Smith agreed a 60 year lease to restore the buildings, improve the infrastructure, make the Island publicly accessible, and yet keep Lundy’s special charm as an unspoiled place to be shared by Islanders and visitors alike.
On 29th September 1969 the paperwork was completed and the Landmark Trust’s most ambitious project, to-date, began.
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