Hello! Sorry for the severe lack of posts recently but for those that don’t know I’ve just finished uni completely!! The last few months have been so full of revision and dissertation writing that sadly the last thing I wanted to do in my free time was to write more on the blog. However, now having finished and had a couple of weeks to relax, visit new places and make the most of time in York I am definitely keen to get back to blogging. Lots of the future blog posts I’ve planned will cover all the things I’ve been up to recently including some new feature ideas (possibly book based posts if you’d be interested?), again sorry for the absence but I aim to be posting regular content from now on, hope you enjoy the post!
I visited Beningbrough a few months back, for maybe the 5th time, so I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about it yet! Especially as I helped to create a volunteer video for Beningbrough last year, which you can see here. Beningbrough Hall is a beautiful Georgian mansion just outside York and as well as elegant baroque interiors and a gallery space, it also has some amazing gardens and park that is currently going through some exciting changes.
The current hall at Beningbrough was built by John Bourchier III in 1716, shortly after inheriting it at the turn of the century. Unfortunately, little is known about the building history or architect, however, we know local builder William Thornton oversaw the construction and the design was heavily influenced by Bourchier’s grand tour of Europe in 1704. Beningbrough’s Italian influences remain prominent in the baroque architectural style which dominates the house, with richly carved and finished interiors. One of my favourite areas is the staircase and central corridors which run the length of the house and create the most magnificent viewpoints and an open and spacious feel to the house.
Despite the lack of knowledge of the building history of the house, Beningbrough has a rich history of the people who resided in the house throughout it’s three hundred year life before being acquired by the National Trust in June 1958. This history includes the occupation of the hall during the Second World War by the Royal Air Force, the website includes a great collection of stories about that period of Beningbrough’s life so do check those out here if you’re interested. Many of the rooms also reflect this through great war themed exhibitions.
As I’m sure many of you know or could have guessed from my blog on Instagram, architecture is my main focus when visiting anywhere but I also adore walking through the gardens of a National Trust property, especially on a sunny day! Gardens are also such an important part of a properties history so it’s great to get a full picture of both the formal gardens and more rural landscape of a working estate to get a feel of how the property used to function, and of course still does! On my last few visits, I began to see some of the exciting work happening in the gardens by award-winning landscape and garden designer Andy Sturgeon, who was appointed to help revitalise Beningbrough’s gardens. As little is known about how the gardens looked throughout history aside from the fashionable tropes of the time such as the formal gardens of the 17th Century and the relaxed naturalised approach following the epoch of Capability Brown in the 18th Century. As the gardens are not period specific, this means Andy and his team have creative freedom in some areas of the garden. I can’t wait to see the exciting changes occurring at Beningbrough throughout the coming years, for more information about the gardens and Andy’s new visions, visit the garden info site.
The gallery space has more than 100 portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery and is currently showing an exhibition ‘Making her mark: Celebrating creative women,’ which showcases portraits of women who have influenced the worlds of literature, dance and drama. Sadly this wasn’t showing yet when I visited but with interactive elements and sounds, this exhibition sounds like a must see if you’re visiting Beningbrough! Beningbrough is also known for the innovative ‘Sitters and their stories’ feature, last year as part of the prejudice and pride celebrations; those paintings are still on display today and there are also videos online if you missed the interactive live portraiture events. For more information about the exhibitions and gallery space visit the gallery feature on the website.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the post, can’t wait to get back into blogging properly!