Thursday, July 17, 2014

Beningbrough Hall and Gardens--Hall Interior

After seeing the outside of the hall, let's go in and see the Italian Baroque stylings of the interior. The front entrance leads into the Great Hall, a two-story room that displays the family's wealth and taste.

Great Hall seen from above

Italian fireplace (you can tell because that's a bust of the Pope on top!)

The bust over the fireplace is Pope Clement XIV, brought to the house by the Earle family in the late 1700s after they visited Rome and the pope gave the then-pregnant Mrs. Earle special permission to stay in a convent.

On our visit, the hall had some special exhibits scattered throughout commemorating the World War II use of the house as an RAF bivouac.

WW II-era desk set-up

WW II motorcycle

The motorcycle is here because of a story about the house. The military put a bar in one corner of the house. When the bar was opened, the soldiers established a challenge that whoever could run up the grand staircase and come down the far staircase and make it back to the bar first received a free pint. One lad used a motorcycle to win the race!

Downstairs also features a large Drawing Room with some interesting furnishings.

Drawing Room

Oriental screen--click to enlarge

Fancy tea box

Upstairs has more bedrooms and an extensive exhibit of portraits from the National Portrait Gallery. Being a family-friendly house, the exhibit includes interactive art activities for the children. J and L planned painting seating arrangements, repaired sculpted noses, and put us into a portrait!

J selects the proper color palette and arrangement

Nose job station

A sweet family portrait

The computer added in L and me but not very well

The house includes a large number of sculptures scattered all over, another bit of the Italian Baroque influence.

James Cook

Isaac Ware

Not sure about this one

Nor about this one

We went down the servants' stairs, which was a tight fit. I doubt the motorcycle went down here. Back on the ground floor, we saw the Smoking Room, where the gentry would relax.

Servants' Stairs

Smoking Room

Fancy cabinet in the Smoking Room

We enjoyed visiting Beningbrough Hall, especially since we saw more than the playground and tea shop!

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