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National Trust | Architecture | Industrial & commercial

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Industrial and commercial architecture and buildings

Industrial architecture and buildings

The National Trust now cares for a broad range of industrial sites and buildings, together with machinery, installations, fixtures and fittings.

The formative early periods of several industries which were later to develop during the industrial revolution are particularly well represented.

Among these, Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire, is a cotton mill which includes Europe's largest textile museum. The original Apprentice House recreates the 1830s’ atmosphere of the lives of the pauper child workers.

The Cornish Mines and Engines, partly restored to working demonstration, are reminders of Cornwall’s mining history. Aberdulais Falls, near Neath, Wales, is a copper mine with a restored water wheel and hydroelectric scheme. Dolaucothi Gold Mines in Carmarthernshire, also a copper mine but built on the site of a Roman gold mine, has restored head-gear and other machinery rescued from Halkyn, a nearby obsolete copper mine.

Patterson’s Spade Mill, Templepatrick, Northern Ireland, is the last surviving water-driven spade mill in Ireland, rescued from dereliction by the National Trust and still making spades today. Another water-driven tool-production site is Finch Foundry, Devon, also kept in working order and regularly demonstrated. The ruins of the Ravenscar Alum Works, North Yorkshire, represent an early stage in the development of the chemical industry.

Force Crag Mine, Borrowdale is the last working mine in Cumbria. It had been the site of lead and zinc extraction since the Middle Ages.

Other National Trust places where you can see industrial architecture:

Pitstone Windmill in Buckinghamshire. Houghton Mill in Cambridgeshire. Nether Alderley Mill in Cheshire. Cotehele and The Levant Mine & Beam Engine in Cornwall. Calke Abbey and Stainsby Mill in Derbyshire. Bateman’s in East Sussex. Bourne Mill in Essex. Winchester City Mill in Hampshire. Bembridge Windmill on the Isle of Wight. Horsey Windpump in Norfolk. Dunster Working Watermill and Stembridge Tower Mill in Somerset. Shugborough in Staffordshire. Shalford Mill in Surrey. Castle Ward in Co Down. Florence Court in Co Fermanagh. Wellbrook Beetling Mill in Co Tyrone.

Commercial architecture and buildings

The National Trust protects a variety of small-scale historical commercial architecture, including offices, pubs, markets, studios, galleries and shops.

One remarkable survival is the George Inn at Southwark, in central London. It is a reminder of the galleried inns which were once abundant from medieval times. It is still in use as a pub today.

The Trust owns 36 inns and pubs, which are either directly managed by us or are tenanted. The Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast is a superb example of a High Victorian public house, with rich ornamentation, gas lighting and snugs still intact.

Gray's Printing Press, Co Down, and the Little Fleece Bookshop in Gloucestershire show two stages in the publishing process, while the Old Bakery, Manor Mill and Forge at Branscombe, Devon, offers an insight into both traditional baking and blacksmithing.

There are also buildings which have served as post offices – a good example of a Victorian rural post office housed in an older historic building is the Old Post Office, Tintagel, Cornwall.

Some of our market structures include covered halls, such as the Market Hall at Chipping Camden, Gloucestershire, and crosses like Colston Bassett Market Cross, Nottinghamshire - probably our smallest property.

Other National Trust places where you can see commercial architecture:

King's Head in Buckinghamshire. Beatrix Potter Gallery in Cumbria. Winster Market House in Derbyshire. Lundy in Devon. The Fleece Inn in Worcestershire. Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village in Wiltshire.

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