National Trust, British association to preserve for the nation places of natural beauty or buildings of architectural or historic interest in the British Isles; founded 1894, chartered 1895. By act of Parliament (1907) the Trust was empowered to acquire land inalienably and to be exempt from duties on property given or willed. In 1934 the Trust received special powers to protect by covenant privately owned property. The owner retains such property and its income, but may neither build on it nor alter its use without permission.
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