The Bentley Estate

 The History of the Farms & Farmers of the Bentley Estate over the years

Bentley Estate came into being when William Hemming bought the land from Mr John Cookes in approximately 1830. On William’s death in 1848 the land and property went to his son Richard. Richard passed away in 1891, leaving the estate to his daughter, Maude, who married a Scottish man named George Clark Cheape.

Maude (known as the Squire of Bentley) was well known for her love of hunting and kept a pack of Beagles in Kennels Cottage, Manor Road, Upper Bentley. Her son drowned in 1917 and when Maude passed away in 1919 the estate was given to her grandson Leslie.

Leslie was known as Colonel Gray Cheape and when he passed away in 1991 the estate passed into the hands of his son Hamish.

Bentley Manor dates back to 1649 when it stood in the Feckenham forest. During World War 2 it was taken over by the war office – where prisoners of war were billeted. The manor was demolished in the 1950s due to dry rot.

The school at Bentley, which was built in 1882 and owned by the estate closed during 1960 and the children had to be bussed into larger schools in Redditch. In 1962, after adding a large hall and kitchen, the building was given to the village and Colonel Gray Cheape declared the village hall officially open.

During the 1950s there were approximately 25 farms on Bentley Estate. In addition there was:

Below is a list of Farms and their farms which have been sold off during the last 50 years.

Zsource: The Gibbs family for the above information which was provided by the late Diana Gibbs.