People of Beningbrough Hall
Throughout the centuries, various people have played roles in Beningbrough's story, from owners and employees to builders and craftsmen. Some have had a life-long role, while others have played just a walk-on part, which has still been significant. Here are some of the people of Beningbrough from the story so far.
Ralph Bourchier 1531 - 1598
John Bourchier 1684 - 1736
William Thornton 1670 - 1721
Margaret Earle née Bourchier 1740 - 1827
William Henry Dawnay 1772 - 1846
Guy Dawnay 1878 - 1916
The Duke of Cambridge 1850 - 1904
Lady Chesterfield 1878 - 1957
The National Trust 1958 - present
The National Portrait Gallery 1979 - 2019
In 1979 after Beningbrough had been in the ownership of the National Trust for some time, a special partnership was formed with the National Portrait Gallery. The Gallery arranged to lend Beningbrough 120 important 18th-century paintings which greatly enhanced the Hall as a visitor attraction, especially since much of the furniture had been sold after Lady Chesterfield's death in 1957. In more recent years, the partnership helped to breathe new life into Beningbrough as a gallery for significant works of art in a changing annual display in the Visiting Portraits Gallery. Although pieces from the National Portrait Gallery will undoubtedly feature in Beningbrough's changing exhibitions in the future; the long term loans have returned to London. This will enable a different focus on the stories in the hall and pieces from other artists to visit Beningbrough and for the National collection to reach other parts of the country.
What will be the next chapter?
To continue the reinvention for visitors today, 2020 will mark the start of a brand new chapter in Beningbrough's history. Along with long term designs for the garden by RHS Gold winning designer Andy Sturgeon, the hall will also see some changes. Several rooms in the the hall are closed for ongoing conservation work. The Great Hall and Saloon Galleries on the first floor are open with the latest exhibition.