The MadGang Visit Beningbrough Hall

Beningbrough Hall is a large Georgian mansion in North Yorkshire, England, which overlooks the River Ouse. It has baroque interiors, cantilevered stairs, wood carving and central corridors which run the length of the house. Externally the house is a red-brick Georgian mansion with a grand drive running to the main frontage and a walled garden, The house is home to over one hundred portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery. The Hall is set in extensive grounds and is separated from them by an example of a ha-ha (a sunken wall) to prevent sheep and cattle entering the Hall's gardens or the Hall itself.

354108Beningbrough Hall was built in 1716 by a York landowner, John Bourchier III to replace his family's modest Elizabethan manor. Local builder William Thornton oversaw the construction, but Beningbrough's designer remains a mystery. Bourchier was High Sheriff of Yorkshire for 1719-1721 and died in 1736 at the age of 52.

John Bourchier (1710-1759) followed his father as owner of Beningbrough Hall and was High Sheriff in 1749. It then passed to Dr. Ralph Bourchier, a 71 year old physician and from him to his daughter, Margaret, who lived there for 70 years.

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 11.48.41After over 100 years in the Bourchiers' possession, the estate passed in 1827 to the Rev. William Henry Dawnay, the future 6th Viscount Downe, a distant relative. He died in 1846 and left the house to his second son, Payan, who was High Sheriff for 1851. The house was neglected, prompting fears that it might have to be demolished. In 1916 however, a wealthy heiress, Enid Scudamore-Stanhope, Countess of Chesterfield, bought it and immediately set about its restoration, filling it with furnishings and paintings from her ancestral home, Holme Lacy. During the Second World War the hall was occupied by the Royal Air Force.

Lady Chesterfield died in 1957 and in June 1958 the estate was acquired by the National Trust after it had been accepted by the government in lieu of death duties at a cost of £29,250. (Wikipedia)

Day two of Mrs MP's Birthday Weekend (during which she traditionally drags me and the dogs around the north English landscape at speeds that would intimidate an Olympic walking race champion) saw us walking around the parkland and local environs of Beningbrough Hall. We didn't go into the hall itself because we are loathe to leave Quiz and Delphi unattended in the back of our car and the recent dog poisonings at Crufts prove that we are not just being paranoid in this respect. There are some real sickos out there.

I bought myself a second hand Nikon DSLR camera after Christmas and it's a lot more complicated to use than my trusty old Olympus compact. I haven't yet got the hang of the basics let alone the complicated stuff it's capable of so please excuse the technical shortcomings of the following photos.

DSC_0034The portraits on loan to Beningbrough Hall include a whole load of royal family snaps. I wonder what Her Majesty has done with the portrait by Rolf Harris that she had commissioned just a few years ago.

DSC_0037The gatehouse in the village of Newton-On-Ouse at the entrance to Beningbrough Hall's parkland.

DSC_0040All Saints Church, Newton-On-Ouse.

DSC_0041The River Ouse, looking upstream, north. We have quite a few river Ouses in England. I think this is because "ouse" means "river" in the language of one of the tribes that invaded us in the past.

DSC_0043Beningbrough Hall from the banks of the River Ouse.

DSC_0053The River Ouse, downstream, south, looking towards York.

DSC_0055Snowdrops carpet a woodland glade on the Beningbrough Hall estate.


The MadGang Visit Beningbrough Hall — 1 Comment

  1. MP, can you say about how old the church (sanctuary) is? [Didn’t see anything about it in that personal reminiscence (parish life in the 1930s) you linked above]