Saving the UK's heritage

The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) helps to save some of our most-loved treasures from being lost forever.

The NHMF was founded in 1980 with the passing of the National Heritage Act as a memorial to those who have given their lives for the UK.

A resource of last resort, the NHMF provides financial assistance towards the acquisition, preservation and maintenance of some of the UK’s finest objects and landscapes, from trains to artworks, wildlife havens to manuscripts.

It is hard to think of such iconic heritage leaving the country or even simply rotting away, yet without the NHMF, many treasured items and places would have been lost.

Over nearly four decades, NHMF has saved more than 1,200 iconic objects and places including:

  • The home of Welsh poet and First World War soldier Hedd Wynn
  • A Jane Austen manuscript
  • The Lacock Cup 
  • HMS Caroline, the sole surviving First World War lightcruiser
  • T E Lawrence's robes and dagger
  • Photographic negatives from Captain Scott's final expedition
  • In the Orchard by Sir James Guthrie
  • Henry VIII's warship Mary Rose
  • The Staffordshire Hoard
  • Wentworth Woodhouse, England's grandest country house
  • Charles Dickens' writing desk
  • The Flying Scotsman

In 1994 the NHMF and its Trustees were appointed distributor of the heritage share of the National Lottery’s funds for Good Causes, which it now operates through the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

In 2014 the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport asked NHMF and its Trustees to administer the Treasury-funded, Listed Places of Worship: Roof Repair Fund which successfully concluded in 2018.