Harry Hyams's
Harry Hyams' bequest of fine art is the largest in British history Getty

One of the finest art collections in private hands is to be made public in one of the biggest charitable bequests in English history.

Harry Hyams, best known as the property magnate who built the landmark Centre Point Tower in London, left £387m ($498.34m) of his £487m estate when he died last year to preserve his extensive collection of fine art for the nation.

A charity set up by Hyams will now work on putting the collection – which is understood to include works by JMW Turner, Edward Burne-Jones and George Stubbs – on public display.

The Capricorn Foundation, set up by Hyams in 2010, has the mission of turning that aim into reality.

Its first job will be loaning paintings and sculptures to museums and galleries around the country, while Hyams' Wiltshire country home, Ramsbury Manor, is renovated for public use.

Capricorn Foundation trustee Diana Rawstron told the Telegraph: "Mr Hyams was a very private person and Ramsbury Manor was his private home. Converting it in a sympathetic and appropriate way to public use will take some time.

"Putting so many valuable works of art on display, along with his large collection of vintage cars, is a big project."

Hyams made his fortunes developing office space in London during the 1960s and 1970s, including the 398ft Centre Point office development at the junction of Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road.

It is regarded as one of the most important developments in post-war Britain and dominates London's West End skyline. Since 1995, it has been listed as a Grade II building and was converted from office space into luxury flats in early 2015.

Note: This article has been ammended to remove the suggestion that Lord Kakkar and Philip Perry are recipients of a sum of money as a gift.