We're a non-profit cooperative association, run by and for the owners of the historic places we represent
Houses, castles and gardens in private, corporate, charitable, or institutional ownership throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland may join the association as full , or house, members. We exist to protect the interests of these places and to ensure that they stay where they can best be looked after – in independent hands. We consider the historic site itself to be the member, and the owner or custodian its representative.
Eligible properties must be historically or architecturally important; buildings will typically be Grade I or II* listed, in England and Wales (Category A or B in Scotland, Grade A or B+ in Northern Ireland), or linked with a historically significant figure or event. Gardens of lost houses that would have been listed if they had survived, or those on the register (inventory, in Scotland) of historic parks and gardens for their nation of the UK, are eligible to join in their own right. Important collections of works of art which are housed in properties which are not listed may be considered for membership.
Your property does not need to be regularly open to the public to join us — most of the houses we represent are lived-in family homes, where access may range from an annual church fete in the grounds to regular tours and a thriving tea shop.
What your subscription is used for
The voice of independently owned historic houses
We know that the best future for independent heritage is for it to remain in the hands of independent owners, who can care for it more appropriately and more efficiently than any other guardian. We also know that for that to happen, independent owners need the right support. That means recognising the benefits that they bring their communities, ensuring a fair and sensible treatment of their assets in law and taxation, and giving them the freedom to keep their houses alive and able to generate the income they need to sustain themselves into the future.
We make the case for our sector – for private owners and independent custodians – with government and regulators, and the general public. We articulate and protect your interests, lobby for changes and improvements to tax and regulation, and serve the long-term needs of your house and garden.
Expert guidance and important updates
Our staff, advisors, and sponsors provide information and consultations on everything from tax to planning, security to restoration, commercial activities to inheritance. Hundreds of documents and pamphlets are available to download in our vast members-only archive , providing a complete guide to every challenge and opportunity that might come the way of a historic house owner.
Our public affairs team stays abreast of the latest developments, from proposals to changes, that could affect your house or related businesses, and offers daily updates and in times of crisis.
Learning and networking
A mutual-aid cooperative
We run a series of seminars every year, covering evergreen subjects like housekeeping and collection care or succession planning to topical issues such as Brexit, Covid, or access and inclusion.
Regular forums and meetings of fellow house-members, online, in your region, and nationally, offer an opportunity to share insights with others looking after similar properties. whatever your question or concern, the chances are that someone ese will have a relevant insight they’re happy to share with you.
Marketing and commercial schemes
Boosting the income your house earns
With a membership of over fifty thousand individuals and an audience across our website and social media channels of hundreds of thousands more, we can help raise the profile of your property’s commercial activities, from day visitors to overnight stays, weddings to filming.
Open members are entitled to their own page on our website listing all the types of access they offer, and if you want we can work even more closely with you to boost income through visiting or pre-booked tours. Plus, we have formal partnerships with film location and coach tour companies, all keen to work with you.
Membership fees are set on a sliding scale to reflect the range of services members receive. Prices are inclusive of VAT.
- Houses or gardens running no commercial activities and offering no regular public access (or only free or for-charity access): £156.73
- Houses open only for visitors on a commercial basis: starting at £200.57, increasing with visitor number thresholds
- Houses running commercial activities (weddings, conferences, accommodation, hospitality); starting at £263.04
- Gardens only, open for visitors on a commercial basis: starting at £156.73, increasing with visitor number thresholds