Sunday, October 14, 2007

14 October: Beningbrough Hall

A recent outing to Beningbrough Hall, near York, was rained off, so DH and I went there yesterday.

This is the imposing front, which you come straight towards up the drive, before turning aside into the car park. The National Trust have planted a new avenue on either side of the drive.

The house itself is very interesting. Apart from the impressive size of the rooms, the symmetrical layout, and the suitable period furniture, the place is stuffed full of portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery. A surfeit of late 17th century and 18th century faces. There are also interactive rooms, where the visitor can dress up and be photographed in a suitable 18th century attitude, and join the computer projected series of portraits; and where a story can be made up about a rather strange family portrait involving various classical gods.

The volunteer stewards are all very well-informed about the items on show and the people who lived in the place.

And there are gardens.

The flower gardens are not extensive, but the small scale makes them very attractive places to linger on one of the many outdoor seats. This hedged area on the terrace contained a small fish pond, with little fountain -

There is still quite a bit of colour in places in the borders. This was a good combination -

But the star of the garden show is the walled garden. There are over 20 varieties of apples and pears, and a display of many varieties was laid out in a room over the old stables. The walled garden also has many vegetables, plus soft fruit, vines, nut trees, herbs, and flowers. Again, lots of places to sit, and on one of the lawns were children's toys (we didn't visit the woodland adventure playground, but could hear that it was fun for the children who were exploring it).

This picture shows the way into the walled garden from the gardens at the back of the house -

Add to all this an excellent tea room, with an outdoor area of paving, sunken lawn, and a row of plane trees shading a further terrace, and it all made a pretty super day out. We got a bit lost on the way there, but then that meant we had to thread our way through some Yorkshire villages that we wouldn't otherwise have ever visited.

A grand day out!


KAZ said...

Glad there's summat good in Yorkshire!

Great photos.

I love plane trees - any photos of them?

Lucy said...

Ah, tea rooms! The French haven't caughton to those yet...