Historic Houses Association

Historic Houses (formerly, and still for legal purposes, known as the Historic Houses Association or HHA) is a not-for-profit organisation that represents more than 1,650 privately owned historic country houses, castles and gardens throughout the United Kingdom.[1]

South (garden) facade of Castle Howard
Broughton Castle across the moat


The association originated as the Historic Houses Committee of the British Tourist Authority, and was independently established in 1973[2] to help owners maintain and conserve significant homes in the interests of the nation's heritage.

In 1974, the HHA participated in a campaign in response to the publication of a governmental green paper on a proposed wealth tax. The campaign, which also involved the National Trust and the predecessor of The Arts Society, drew public attention to the problems such a tax could cause for historic buildings and national art collections. The tax was not implemented, and the HHA subsequently continued to lobby for tax exemptions for heritage sites and to promote private ownership of historic houses.[3]

Historic Houses carries out important lobbying, advisory and marketing work on behalf of member properties and runs an access scheme for the general public. These are listed buildings or registered gardens, usually Grade I or II* and often rated as outstanding.

Around 500 of these properties open their doors to visitors for days out, special tours, school visits, film locations, weddings and events, or as memorable places to stay, attracting between them 14 million visitors each year. Others open by appointment or for special visits, weddings or corporate events. There are more privately owned historic houses open to the public than those in the care of the National Trust, English Heritage and their equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland put together. Historic Houses works for the future of these houses, the heritage they conserve and the businesses, families and employees they support by lobbying at national, regional and local level. It provides technical and specialist advice and guidance, seminars, networks and information for its member houses.[4]

Historic Houses offers a membership to the public, allowing card-holders free entry to around 320 of the association's member properties that open to the public as visitor attractions. Members also have access to tours of hundreds more houses which are not normally open. The association publishes a quarterly magazine, "Historic House."

The Historic Houses Association restoration award is held in conjunction with Sotheby’s and presented annually. [5] Previous winners of the award include Kinross House and Norton Conyers.[6][7]

Some well-known member houses of Historic HousesEdit

The south front of Wilton House
Façade of Longleat House

There are three hundred houses to which members of "The Friends of the Historic Houses Association" are entitled to free entry, including:

Other examples of Historic Houses member propertiesEdit

There are HHA member houses located all over the country. Here are some other examples:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Centuries-old country homes, ravaged by fire, are being reborn from the ashes". The Telegraph. Retrieved 09 January 2019
  2. ^ James Birch (Autumn 2019). "A Tourism Milestone". Historic House. Hall-McCartney. p. 5.
  3. ^ Elena Porter (2 December 2019). "The Muniment Room: Revisiting A Hard-Won Fight". Historic Houses. HHA.
  4. ^ http://www.historichouses.org
  5. ^ "Revealed: the best restoration this year, according to the Historic Houses Association". The Telegraph. Retrieved 09 January 2019
  6. ^ "Kinross House wins restoration award". BBC. Retrieved 25 January 2019
  7. ^ "Historic House restoration award for Norton Conyers". BBC. Retrieved 25 January 2019

External linksEdit