BLM: almost 100 National Trust properties linked to slavery and colonialism

Review reveals ‘uncomfortable truths’ behind homes owned by famous figures including Winston Churchill and Rudyard Kipling

Winston Churchill’s former residence Chartwell, near Westerham in Kent
(Image credit: Getty Images)

At least 93 properties under the management of the National Trust (NT) have links to slavery and colonialism, the conservation charity has revealed.

The full “list of shame” has been published in a new report on the findings of a review launched in June amid Black Lives Matter protests across the world.

Dr Corinne Fowler, who led the project, says that visitors to NT sites “will be increasingly confronted with uncomfortable truths at Britain’s historic properties”, while “staff and volunteers will be urged to educate the public about the imperial exploitation which has propped up many heritage sites”.

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Sites on the list include Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire, which was “built using family wealth related to slavery”, and Bath Assembly Rooms, which was “connected to the wider colonial and slavery economies of the 18th century”, the BBC reports.

Powis Castle in Wales, the former home of Robert Clive - aka Clive of India - also features. Clive helped establish British rule in India and “was a vicious asset-stripper”, according to historian and author William Dalrymple.

Winston Churchill’s Chartwell residence in Kent is included too, owing to the former prime minister’s “role in the Bengal famine and his opposition to Indian independence”, says The Telegraph.

Among the other properties on the list are Bateman’s, the former home of writer Rudyard Kipling, who was an “influential apologist for imperialism”, adds Reuters.

NT members have “threatened to cancel their membership” in response to the list, adding that historians have accused the trust of being “unfair”, reports the Daily Mail.

“Critics have accused the ‘out of touch’ trust of ‘woke virtue signalling’ and ‘alienating’ fee-paying members who say the organisation is simply jumping on the Black Lives Matter bandwagon,” the newspaper adds.

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