National Trust details links between colonialism and slavery


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Glastonbury Tor, Somerset, which had links to successful compensation claims following the abolition of slavery

The National Trust has revealed how more than 90 of its properties have links to slavery and colonialism.

The links – to 93 properties – are highlighted in a report commissioned by the charity to tell the story of colonialism and slavery on its sites.

Some, like Penrhyn Castle in North Wales, show how the wealth derived from slavery was used for reconstruction.

The charity said it is committed to sharing the stories of slavery and colonialism.

He also pledged to add to his research and admitted that he still had work to do.

John Orna Orenstein, its director of culture and engagement, said it was about raising awareness.

He said, “Just to be very clear, we are not passing judgment on the past, what we are trying to do is to reflect the stories as accurately and completely as possible across a variety of places. ”

The National Trust is a conservation charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There is a separate and independent National Trust for Scotland,

  • Umbilical Colonialism in the Houses of the National Trust

The report details ties to plantation owners and those who received compensation for slaves freed by abolition, as well as those who earned their wealth through the slave trade.

It also includes properties with connections to people involved in colonial expansion, including prominent East India Company figures or figures in the colonial administration, including the home of Winston Churchill, Chartwell .

And those with important cultural ties to Britain’s colonial history, such as the home of writer Rudyard Kipling in Sussex, Bateman, or the home of historian Thomas Carlyle in London are highlighted. .

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The National Trust report shows how estates and stately homes like Clandon Park, Surrey and Hare Hall in Cheshire were linked to plantation wealth or the slave trade.

Some 29 properties supported by the National Trust have links to successful compensation claims following the abolition of slavery, such as Glastonbury Tor in Somerset and Blickling Hall, Norfolk, the report says.

Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire, was built using family wealth linked to slavery, while Bath Assembly Rooms were linked to the larger colonial and slave economies of the 18th century, he points out.

Powis Castle in Wales, with its links to Clive of India, and Cragside, Northumberland, which housed Sir William Armstrong who supplied weapons to the British military forces, are among those with Imperial ties.

The investigation also documents National Trust properties owned by people involved in the abolition movement or the fight against colonial oppression.

And it highlights the presence of African, Asian and Chinese people working on English and Welsh domains.

The report draws on the trust’s own records and external evidence such as the Legacies of British Slave-owned project run by University College London.

Dr Tarnya Cooper, director of curatorial and collections at the National Trust, said that a “significant” number of properties entrusted to the charity have links to the settlement of different parts of the world, and some to the historical slavery.

“Colonialism and slavery were at the heart of the national economy from the 17th to the 19th century,” she said.

She added that it was the charity’s job, as a heritage charity, to openly research, interpret and share complete and up-to-date information about its properties.

“This report is the most comprehensive account to date of the links between places currently in National Trust custody and colonialism and historic slavery,” she said, although she added that it was not exhaustive and would be supplemented as research was carried out.

The research has been used to update the information online and will be used to help the Trust examine visitor information and property postings.


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