In November 2021 the Garden Museum and the Pinchbeck Charitable Trust jointly announced plans to revive and restore Benton End as a new centre of gardening, art, and creativity. The Pinchbeck Charitable Trust acquired the property, a private home since Morris’ death in 1982, and have now transferred ownership to the Garden Museum.
The revived Benton End aims to support and inspire artists and gardeners of all ages and to encourage freedom of invention, enthusiasm, and enjoyment, in the spirit of the original ethos of Morris and Haines.
Bridget Pinchbeck says:
“The robust and exciting partnership between the Pinchbeck Charitable Trust and the Garden Museum will underpin the future development of Benton End, ensuring that the enchanting story of the house and the characters who inhabited it will not be lost. The aim is for Benton End to be a place of inclusivity and enthusiasm. It was Ronald Blythe, author and friend of Cedric and Lett who best summed up the experience of Benton End when he wrote, “The atmosphere was one of intellectual freedom. Everything was discussed. It was Bohemian in the best sense… The whole atmosphere was exciting and liberating…”, adding that, “The greatest crime at Benton End was to be boring!” We are thrilled that this collaboration has come about and look forward with great anticipation to the next stages unfolding…”
Garden Museum Director Christopher Woodward says:
“This would not be a rural outpost of the Garden Museum. The new Trust will be a hybrid of the Garden Museum and the heritage of Benton End and its neighbour- hood. It will not be a museum, but once again a house where things happen.”
Cedric Morris with Arthur Lett Haines and Rubio the parrot; c. 1905 – 1936; Unknown Photographer; The Cedric Morris Collection, Tate Archive; © Cedric Morris Estate; Photo: Tate
Text courtesy of Lucy Skellorn