The RSPB purchased the property in 1961 after Princess Margaret decided not to buy. It was a major expenditure for what was then a small organisation. But people inhabited the area a long time before even Sir Arthur set his heart upon living here.
Nearby is the site of Galley Hill iron age fort, built around 2000 years ago. Now that the conifers have been felled you can wander around the banks and ditches and wonder at the huge amount of work involved in its construction.
The old quarry, greatly enlarged when Sir Arthur took it into his head to have the whole estate surrounded by a stone wall, is now a breeding area for many birds and a good place to observe bats in the evening.
The RSPB are working hard to restore the heathland and are having some success as both Dartford Warblers and Nightjars, two specialities of the habitat, are slowly returning to the area. The heather in August is a wonderful spectacle.
And some people just like to photograph that pesky bracken!