Benthall Hall, situated on a plateau above the gorge of the River Severn and distinguished for its seventeenth-century carved wood overmantels, oak staircase and distinctive plasterwork, was left to the National Trust by Mary Clementina Benthall (1879–1960), a descendant of another branch of the family who have been associated with the house for over eight centuries, and whose tenants now have the same name. The oil paintings are mainly portraits, including ‘Emily Maria Pickersgill, Later Mrs George Hebberd Cable (1837–1924), as a Little Girl’ by Henry William Pickersgill (1782–1875), ‘Sir Edward Charles Benthall (1893–1961), KCSI, as a Young Man’ and ‘The Honourable Ruth Cable, Lady Benthall (c.1898–1949)’ by Glyn Philpot (1884–1937), and ‘The Reverend Charles Francis Benthall (1861–1936)’ by Alethea Garstin (1894–1978). Also to be found is the striking ‘A Philosopher Contemplating Mortality’ by Hendrick Bloemaert (c.1601–1672). A number of the portraits were bequeathed by Michael Pickersgill Benthall (1919–1974), the theatre director and lifelong companion of the ballet dancer and choreographer, Robert Helpmann. Through his mother, née the Honourable Ruth Cable, he was related to the Pickersgill clan of portrait painters.
National Trust, Benthall Hall
Broseley, Shropshire TF12 5RX England
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