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The People's Land

About the film

A Technicolor guide to some of the coastline, countryside, and properties preserved by the National Trust.


Release year
Ralph Keene
Production company
Strand Film
Geoffrey Unsworth
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Frederick Grisewood
Sound recording
Al Rhind
Musical director
Muir Mathieson
Running time (minutes)
10 mins 05 secs
Music Played by
London Symphony Orchestra
Musicians led by
George Stratton

Original Description

The Properties of the National Trust
'A film of National Trust properties of beauty and historic interest, preserved for the people. They include prehistoric stone circles, ancient castles like fourteenth-century Bodiam, a Chiltern village, stretches of the Sussex downs, the famous valley of Dovedale, 14000 acres of lovely country in Westmorland. This noble heritage is held in public trust - for ever.'
(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1947-50)


  • Identified locations in this film include:
  • The White Cliffs of Dover; St Andrew’s Church, Alfriston, East Sussex; Bodiam Castle, East Sussex; The Bridgewater Monument, Ashridge Park; Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire; West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire; Dovedale Valley, Derbyshire.
  • The church that features at the 1-minute mark is St Andrew’s Church in Alfriston, East Sussex. This church also appears in the background of a scene in the British Council film Make Fruitful the Land. Though the church is not owned by the National Trust, the attached Alfriston Clergy House (not shown in the film) was the first property to be acquired by the organisation.
  • When this film was first made, it had a different (unknown) narrator. The British Council were unhappy with them, however, and decided to have a new commentary recorded by a “more verily commentator”, ultimately choosing BBC broadcaster Freddie Grisewood.