2nd hand book shops at National Trust properties (like the one we have!)  are a great place to pick up old guidebooks…

Treasure Hunt

85 of the National Trust’s best-selling guidebooks can now be purchased online through our website.

I use the guidebooks a lot in my work, to quickly check facts about certain houses, gardens, rooms and objects. Over time I have collected different editions of the same guidbook, and it is interesting to see how they have changed over the years.

The earliest National Trust guidebooks were small, sober affairs, as befitted the austere 1940s and 1950s, and for quite a long time the guidebooks kept that restrained look.

I can remember buying one at Clandon Park in the mid-1980s which was fairly substantial in size, but still had the self-consciously ‘tasteful’ green cover. Inside some of the pages contained text only – extraordinary by today’s standards – and the relatively sparse illustrations were mainly in black and white.

Even so, to me as a teenager just becoming aware of ‘heritage’ it was rather thrilling to have all…

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