The Historic Houses Association, a not-for-profit organisation, represents 1,600 privately owned historic country houses, castles and gardens throughout the UK. The Association was established in 1973 to help owners conserve these wonderful places in the interests of the nation and carries out important lobbying, advisory and marketing work on behalf of member properties. 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. The HHA 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.
The HHA offers a Friends' Membership for people wishing to support the HHA's aims and enjoy free visits to HHA houses open to the public, special group tours of houses which are not normally open and four issues a year of the Association's magazine, "Historic House".