Thursday, 30 June 2011

Longshaw celebrates 80 years with the National Trust

On the Sunday 19th June the Longshaw Estate near Sheffield in the Peak District celebrated eighty years of public access and being looked after by the National Trust on behalf of the nation.  Staff, volunteers, residents and friends of Longshaw, past and present, got together for a tea party with a fantastic swing band, bunting and balloons, and a specially made 80th birthday cake! 

The event was a reunion for many who have given their time and skills to look after the estate over the years.  John Bunting, 93 years of age, remembered raising the funds to buy parts of the Longshaw Estate as a rambler many years ago, in a speech he gave to a busy audience before cutting the cake with the General Manager of the National Trust in the Peak District, Jon Stewart.  This anniversary is being marked by a number of displays and talks taking place on the estate throughout the year. As part of these celebrations, the Trust is asking for those with any memories, memorabilia or photographs to get in contact and join in remembering 80 years of public access to the Longshaw Estate.

Jon Stewart commented “It is great to celebrate this event as it is all about people getting together to safeguard something they really valued for the future and that they saw the National Trust as the body to deliver that for them. Although it happened 80 years ago it is really relevant to the Trust’s current priority of working with local people to provide wonderful opportunities for experiencing the best the outdoors has to offer”. 

Jon added “Longshaw is a wonderful place to discover spectacular views of the Peak District, its ancient woods, meadows, parkland and heather moorland, as well as to explore its varied history including millstone quarries and packhorse routes.  The National Trust visitor centre is an ideal starting point for Longshaw and the Peak District and with its cafe a good place to relax before or perhaps better after a walk”.

With its long and varied history, Longshaw has something of interest for everyone. It was originally part of the Duke of Rutland’s shooting estate, with Longshaw Lodge as the accommodation.  It is also the home of the Longshaw Sheep Dog Trials, reputed to be the oldest continuous sheep dog trials in the country.  There are ancient trackways, guide stones and old quarries to explore, as well as the diverse range of habitats from heather moorland to ancient woodland, with the ever popular Burbage Brook leading down into Padley Gorge.

The Duke of Rutland’s 11,533 acre estate was put up for sale in 1927, and Sheffield Corporation purchased 3,200 acres for water collection purposes.  The 747 acres originally acquired by the National Trust were purchased from the Corporation following a public appeal by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE).  The land was first opened to the public on Easter weekend 1928 and was patrolled by volunteer wardens, with working parties from rambling clubs helping to maintain the estate. The necessary funds having been raised, the deeds were handed over to the National Trust at a ceremony on 27 June 1931. The Lodge was used as a guest house by the Holiday Fellowship until 1960 and then turned into private flats. The Longshaw Estate was the first piece of open countryside in the Peak District to be acquired by the National Trust, a year before the mass trespass on Kinder Scout and twenty years before the formation of the Peak District National Park.

So come and visit the Longshaw Estate and experience this key part of the history of the National Trust and the Peak District as a whole.

Please contact the Longshaw Estate Office on 01433 631757 with stories or information, and for details of events throughout the year please visit

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