Octavia Hill

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John Singer Sargent : Portrait of Octavia Hill, oil on canvas, 1898

Octavia Hill (born December 3, 1838 in Wisbech , Cambridgeshire , † August 13, 1912 in London ) was a British social reformer . She was a driving force in the development of social housing in cities, particularly London, in the second half of the 19th century - which resulted in the creation of the National Trust . Octavia Hill is considered a pioneer in property management and was a member of the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws between 1905 and 1912 .

The National Trust is a not-for-profit organization that oversees historic preservation and conservation in England , Wales and Northern Ireland . The National Trust was founded in 1895 by Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwick Rawnsley to preserve buildings or landscapes of historical interest or beauty. In her ideas on social reform she submitted numerous concrete, significant proposals, such as garden cities and workers' colleges. Hill and John Ruskin shaped the theory and practice of monument preservation significantly.

In 1873, Grand Duchess Alice von Hessen und bei Rhein (1843–1878), a daughter of Queen Victoria , translated Octavia Hill's treatise "On the Homes of the London Poor" into German.

Works (selection)

  • 1875 On the Homes of the London Poor
  • 1877 Our Common Land
  • 1913 Life of Octavia Hill as Told in her Letters


  • Robert Whelan: Octavia Hill's Letters to Fellow - Workers 1872-1911: Together with an Account of the Walmer Street Industrial Experiment , Kyrle Books (2005) ISBN 0-9548914-0-6 .
  • Robert Whelan: Octavia Hill and the Social Housing Debate: Essays and Letters by Octavia Hill , Civitas: Institute for the Study of Civil Society (1998) ISBN 0-255-36431-8 .
  • Nancy Boyd: Josephine Butler, Octavia Hill, Florence Nightingale: Three Victorian Women Who Changed Their World , Palgrave Macmillan (1984) ISBN 0-333-37636-6 .
  • E. Moberly: Octavia Hill: A Biography , Bell, Constable (1942).

Web links

Commons : Octavia Hill  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files