In January 2019, the National Trust launched People’s Landscapes, a series of events, exhibitions and debates inviting people to look beyond the beauty of our places and to find the hidden ghosts within. To delve into the land that William Blake described as ‘green and pleasant’, that Shakespeare immortalised as ‘this other Eden, demi-paradise’, and to reflect on the radical histories of the people whose lives played out on this vast open stage.
Marking 200 years since the Peterloo Massacre, this guidebook explores National Trust sites where people came together to have their voices heard. From the home of Magna Carta at Runnymede in Surrey, to the tree of the Tolpuddle martyrs in Dorset, the Trust cares for many landscapes that hold the memories of events which shaped our nation.
No corner of England, Wales or Northern Ireland has been untouched by human activity. People’s Landscapes looks at how parts of our land have been shaped by people and how the land has, in turn, shaped our local communities and our national histories. We hope to give the reader a glimpse into some of the complexities and debates facing the nation’s landscapes today, and to explore how these conversations have shifted, with the competing needs of our landscapes, over previous centuries.
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