Benham Park

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Benham Valence

Benham Park is a mansion (on the site of Benham Valence Manor) in the English ceremonial county of Berkshire and district of West Berkshire. It is 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Newbury within 500m of a junction of the A34 trunk road Newbury by-pass outside the town side, in the Marsh Benham locality of Speen, a village within and outside of the Newbury by-pass. Of grades I to II the house is grade II* listed (the mid category) and park is at grade II.


The manor of Benham Valence was granted by Elizabeth I to Giovanni Battista Castiglione, her Italian tutor, in 1570. He is buried at St Mary's Church in Speen.

Architecture and use[edit]

William, 6th earl of Craven, holding the Benham castle plan (Thomas Beach, 1778)

The current house was built by Henry Holland and Capability Brown for William, 6th Baron Craven in 1775. It was later the home of his widow, Elizabeth Craven and her second husband, Charles Alexander, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach. The building is Grade II* listed,[1] and one of its pairs of ornate gate piers is Grade I listed.[2][3] The park itself is at Grade II and has a lake with mill beside the house and aqueducts or artificial drains leading across marshy wetland to the River Kennet to the far south.[4]

The building was converted into offices in 1983[5] by the IT company Norsk Data, who used it as their headquarters for European operations (outside Norway), until the company's dissolution in 1992. Then it was home to 2e2, an ICT lifecycle services provider, until 2012 when it dissolved.[6] Also within the grounds were two office buildings built in the 1980s and these housed other companies such as mobile data solution provider CognitoIQ,[7] Exony and Idox, all of which have now moved to other premises as the phases comprising the office block were demolished.

Gates to Benham Valence


External links[edit]

Media related to Benham Park at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 51°24′17″N 1°21′42″W / 51.40479°N 1.36164°W / 51.40479; -1.36164