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Beningbrough Hall

  • Earlier Houses: There was an earlier Elizabethan manor house on, or near, the site of the current house.

    Built / Designed For: John Bourchier III

    House & Family History: Channeling the Roman Baroque, Beningbrough contains one of the most impressive Baroque interiors in England. The house is famous for its Baroque plasterwork, exceptional wood carving, and an unusual central corridor that spans the full length of the house. In 1916 Beningbrough was purchased by the 1st Baron Nunburnholme as a belated wedding gift for his daughter, Enid, who had married the 10th Earl of Chesterfield in 1900. During World War II the house was occupied by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Lord and Lady Chesterfield had no children; consequently, at her death in 1957, the house and estate were acquired by the National Trust in lieu of death duties. In a blast from the past, when the 10th Earl of Chesterfield died in 1933 his "New York Times" obituary specifically mentioned his exceptional taste in neckties, which “achieved the triumph of being brilliant without being loud or vulgar."

    Collections: Beningbrough is noted for its fine collection of Asian porcelain and Kneller's famous portraits of the Kit Cat Club, part of the collection of over 100 portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, London. In the early 20th century the Earl and Countess of Chesterfield restored the house and furnished it with paintings and heirlooms from Holme Lacy, one of Lord Chesterfield's ancestral seats. A gilded wood and metal chandelier (one of a pair) made circa 1710-15 for James, 3rd Viscount Scudmore, for the state apartments at Holme Lacy is today in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Louis XIV Baroque style chandelier (see "Images" section), with eight acanthus-scroll branches and feather-plumed masks, was installed at Beningbrough by the 10th Earl of Chesterfield as part of the early 20th century redecoration and refurnishing of the house; the chandelier was at Beningbrough from 1916 until 1958. Another chandelier that was once at Beningbrough has been, since 1960, in the collection of Colonial Williamsburg. The circa 1760 wood and gesso Rococo style chandelier was made in England.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: In the early 1920s Lady Chesterfield established a stud farm at Beningbrough and bred thoroughbred racehorses, one of which, "Sun Castle," won the 1941 St. Leger Stakes. There is today an actively used walled garden and a Victorian laundry in the grounds of the house.

  • Architect: William Thornton

    Date: 1716
    Designed: Designed interior wood carvings and oversaw construction; may have designed house.
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: Thomas Archer

    Date: 1716
    Designed: House for John Bourchier III
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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  • John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. I, p. 3, 1852.

    Country Life: XX, 342, 1906. LXII, 772, 820, 1927. CLXX, 1950, 2098, 2170 plan, 1981.

  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pg. 1041
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Best Buildings of England, The
    Author: Pevsner, Nikolaus
    Year Published: 1986
    Publisher: London: Viking
    ISBN: 0670812838
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "Treasure Hunt" (1984 - BBC TV game show series, episode 2.4, "North Yorkshire").
  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Sir Ralph Bourchier, 1556-98. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: John Bourchier III, 1716-36; John Bourchier IV, 1736-59; Dr. Ralph Bourchier, 18th century; Bourchier family here from the 16th century until 1827. William Henry Dawnay, 6th Viscount Downe, 1827-46; Payan Dawnay, 19th century. Edwyn Francis Scudamore-Stanhope, 10th Earl of Chesterfield, 1916-33; Enid Edith Scudamore-Stanhope, Countess of Chesterfield, 1933-57.

    Current Ownership Type: The National Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01904-470-666

    Fax: 01904-470-002

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No