Benington’s known history goes back to Saxon times when it was a fortified site used by the kings of Mercia. The remains of a Norman Motte and Bailey fortification are still clearly visible. The red brick manor house was built after a fire in about 1700. By 1832 George Proctor was in residence. He built the magnificent flint gatehouse including the curtain wall and summer house. In 1905 the present owner’s great grandfather Arthur Bott bought the Lordship and surrounding estate. He built the Edwardian extension on the west side of the house. When Sarah Bott arrived in 1970 the garden was somewhat dilapidated. With the help of Ian Billot and then Richard Webb she spent the next 25 years restoring it to it current state. Great care has been taken to preserve its Edwardian character and the informal way it enhances its historic surroundings.
Gough informs us that at Benington was a palace of the Mercian kings. The manor of Benington was conferred by the Conqueror on Peter de Valoignes, whose descendant, an heiress named Gunnora, brought it in marriage to Robert FitzWalter, in the reign of Henry II. (temp. Edward I.) ; it was claimed and held by Alexander de Baliol, who, in 32 Edward I., granted the manor and castle to John de Benstede, and that family held the property until 1488.
There seem to be no particulars regarding the demolition of the castle.
North of the church is a circular mound of earth, surrounded by a deep trench, on the upper part of which are the vestiges of an ancient castle, built of flints embedded in a hard calcareous cement. This was probably the site of the manor-house, and appears to be of great antiquity. There was a park for deer in remote times, and it is possible that this castle, like that of Knepp, in Sussex, and others, existed for their protection, and for the purposes of sport. Sport .was then, however, of secondary consideration ; the preservation of animals as game, such as deer and wild swine, was quite necessary with royalty and the nobles, .who had a multitude of retainers and dependents to be constantly provided for, as there existed no regular supply of meat food at markets, and this depended on skill in the chase, just as in patriarchal times, or as in South Africa at the present day. So we find our early Norman kings keeping large establishments of dogs, .with huntsmen and other officers, as was the case at Knepp Castle, and the produce of their hunting was salted and dried, and transmitted to furnish the royal tables wherever required. In like manner, the abbots and bishops in early times were forced to have their parks and their hunting establishments. (Castles Of England, Sir James D. Mackenzie, 1896)