Over the weekend I visited the National Trust property, Beningbrough Hall.
Beningbrough Hall is a large Georgian mansion near the village of Beningbrough, North Yorkshire, England, and 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 more than 100 portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery.
The weather was just how I wanted it, warm and a bit cloudy. This is better for taking photographs as the flowers wouldn’t be too bright with the sun.
Ralph Bourchier inherited the Beningbrough estate in 1556 and began building the first house on a site approximately 300 metres south east of the present hall. This was the family home for around 150 years. Surveys suggest that it was timber framed with fine panelled interiors, some of which were re-used and can be seen in the present hall. In 1649 Ralph’s grandson, the puritan Sir John Bourchier, signed the death warrant of Charles I. He was too ill to be tried and died just before the restoration, escaping any punishment.
His son Barrington rescued the property from the threat of confiscation by Charles II, therefore keeping Beningbrough in the family.
The present hall
In 1700 John Bourchier inherited the estate, and in 1704 embarked on a grand tour of Europe, spending almost two years in Italy.
On his return and inspired by the Italianate baroque architectural style, John planned and built the current hall, with William Thornton as his chief craftsman.
Thornton was responsible for the main cantilevered staircase and the fine woodcarving in the hall. Completed in 1716, the hall now stands proud at more than 300 years old.
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