Beningbrough Hall, York

This year Beningbrough is celebrating its 300th anniversary, it’s an 18th century Italian styled country house and we thought it might be a good opportunity to visit.  Located 8 miles north of York just outside the village of Beningbrough we found ample parking on the day of our visit.

Walled gardens at Beningbrough Hall
The inspiration for Beningbrough Hall originated in Italy where John Bourchier embarked on his grand European tour.  He was fascinated by Italian architecture and when he returned to Yorkshire two years later he put his ideas to work.

Arriving by way of the sweeping driveway, our first views of the Hall provided us with a stunning impression of grandeur.  Now owned by the National Trust we were interestied to discover the history of the Hall and its occupants during its 300 year history.   Our tour started in the Great Hall with its cantilevered staircase and marble pillars and moved on to the Library whose shelves were filled with second hand books available for visitors to purchase for a nominal sum, with the proceeds going to the National Trust – I thought this was a nice touch to a stately home.

Elaborate plasterwork in the Great Hall
Entering the Drawing Room I was intrigued by how the china had been displayed, it certainly wouldn’t have been my style.  As you can see from the photo below the tea sets are arranged on the sofa, the floor and for some unknown reason continue into the fireplace.  My first impression was that someone had dropped them but I imagine it’s supposed to be modern art!  There are 300 tea cups, one for each year of the Hall’s existence .
The Drawing Room
We continued through the rest of the house viewing displays of antique furniture and porcelain, and going upstairs we glanced in bedrooms with ornate, heavily upholstered four poster beds.  In one bedchamber there are a selection of period dressing up clothes and hats available for children to try on along with some big mirrors to admire the look.  Some rooms on the upper floor are home to more than 100 portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery in London.  I particularly liked the portraits of the playwright Alan Bennett and of the Brownlee brothers who are currently the nation’s top two triathletes.
The Orangery, Beningbrough Hall
We passed through the Orangery with its fragrant scents on our way to the gardens.  The gardens at Beningbrough are a delight during the summer months when the large herbaceous borders are a riot of colour with so many plants in bloom, the peonies looking at their best right now.  A sign on the vegetable garden indicated that produce grown here is used by the restaurant.  The formal gardens are separated from the rest of the Halll’s grounds by a sunken wall known as a ha-ha, this is to prevent livestock entering the gardens.
Lunch on the Walled Garden terrace
Wandering through the walled garden, families were enjoying picnics and feeling a little peckish ourselves, decided to eat lunch on the terrace of the Walled Garden Restaurant where we found the food to be freshly prepared and wholesome.
image
Giant teapot at the entrance to Beningbrough Hall’s cafe

A card on each table indicated that in two days time it would be ‘National Cream Tea Day’ of which I’d never heard.  Everyday seems to be a National Day for something or other in the UK nowadays!  Still, the thought of the ‘cream tea day’ spurred me on to bake a batch of scones to celebrate the occasion at home.
The Victorian Laundry, Beningbrough Hall
Continuing our walk through the extensive grounds we came across the Victorian Laundry with its dolly tubs, rubbing boards, mangles, etc and nearby found the Stable Shop which had an impressive display of plants, tools for the garden and homeware.
Gardens at Beningbrough Hall
Driving through the estate we stopped briefly at Home Farm, a well stocked farm shop with an attractive cafe.  I was intrigued to inspect The Shepherd Hut in the garden as I’d heard about them but never seen one before but unfortunately it was closed.
Shepherd Hut, Home Farm
Before returning home we had a drive through the two pretty villages of Easingwold and Sutton-in-the-Forest but we didn’t leave the car as it had started raining – they did look attractive though with smart village greens and quaint small shops so I’d like to take a look round when we have more time.  To find out more about Beningbrough Hall you can do so by looking on the National Trust website here.

If you have enjoyed reading this post you may also be interested in the following :

Goddards, The home of chocolate, York, National Trust
National Rail Museum in York

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31 thoughts on “Beningbrough Hall, York

  1. I’m busy pulling out all the china and arranging it that way! Just have to decide on which of the dozens of rooms here in the Manor in which to set out the display. Perhaps every day should be Cream Tea Day. I’ve yet to get around to constructing the ha ha. Local zoning board having a problem with the classification.

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  2. Not sure what I think of the china displayed like that. Makes me think someone has put it there while they spring clean the cupboards!! We spent a day at Beningborough Hall a couple of years ago and just loved it. They had contemporary royal portraits displayed throughout the house which was interesting and our son had a ball on the top floor with all the hands on activities. I forgot how beautiful those gardens were until I saw your pictures. Great to revisit in your post!

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    1. Life was certainly different in those days for the rich but it must have been quite draughty before the days of central heating with only coal fires in each of the rooms, even if the servants attended to everything. Definitely better to have an automatic washing machine though!! Have you ever visited England? Best Wishes, M.

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    1. Hi John, It would be much easier if you had a hire car as it is 10 miles from York. Looking on the website it says there is an infrequent bus service but that only stops one mile away, so not very useful. If you visited York which is beautiful then you could perhaps hire a car to tour other parts of North Yorkshire which are beautiful. Do let me know if I can help further.

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