The National Trust Guide, by Lydia Greeves and Michael Trinick, distributed by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, tel: 800-288-2131, $39.95 hardback, 1997.

Established in 1895 to ‘protect places of historic interest or national beauty,’ the National Trust currently looks after more than 500,000 acres of coast and countryside in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, along with 200 historic homes and 150 gardens.

The National Trust Guide, written by Lydia Greeves and Michael Trinick, both of whom have had long associations with the organization, is an excellent source of information on Great Britain’s sites of natural beauty and fascinating history.

In this glossy, hardback book, the authors present a detailed description of each property the Trust manages, from The Bridge House in Cumbria, a two-storey, two-room building built in the 17th century above a stone bridge, to Patterson’s Mill in Northern Ireland, the last working water-driven spade mill in Ireland. The book also takes readers to the breathtaking Pembrokeshire Coast in south-western Wales, and Tattershall Castle in Lincolnshire, a tower dating back to the 15th century, as well as hundreds of other sites.

Magnificent colour photographs accompany historical accounts of each of the properties and descriptions of their appearance today. Maps provide a convenient reference for readers interested in visiting the Trust’s properties.

Laura Woodson