The Benthalls return to Benthall

A watercolour of Sir Paul and Lady Benthall

The house came back into the family in 1934, who gave it to the National Trust in 1958. The family continues to live at the property today, as tenant of the National Trust.

In 1918, a son of Edward’s (the judge in Bengal), Reverend Charles Benthall, leased the house and lived there for a few years with his family. This was the start of the family's return to Benthall.

In 1934, the property again came up for sale at auction. Luckily, Mary Clementina Benthall (1879-1960) managed to purchase the house and estate. This dramatic intervention required Mary Clementina to put everything she had into the purchase. Both she and her husband, James Floyer Dale, were grandchildren of Edward Benthall, whose surname name they then took.

James died in 1942 and, in 1958, Mary Clementina proposed to leave the estate to her cousin Sir Paul Benthall, son of the Reverend Charles Benthall. Sir Paul persuaded her to leave it to the National Trust, with some of its contents, and his elder brother, Sir Edward, provided part of the endowment required to maintain the house.

Mary Clementina died in 1960 and Sir Edward in 1961. Sir Paul and Lady Benthall became the first tenants of the National Trust, from 1962 to 1985. Sir Paul’s son, James, and his wife, Jill, then took on the tenancy. Sir Paul and Lady Benthall continued to live in the house until their deaths in 1992 and 1988, respectively.

In 1996, Richard Benthall, James’s twin brother took over the tenancy and lived at Benthall with his wife, Stella, until 2004. The tenancy has now passed to Richard’s son, Edward, and his wife, Sally.