A Historic Building
In the mid 1830s, Louise Simonds was forced, by Government directive, to sell some of the land in Hampton-in-Arden that she inherited from her father, William Eborall. The route for a new railway, to be built by the London and Birmingham Railway Company, was to pass through Hampton-in-Arden and with the money she received for this land, as she later stated in her will: “I built my mansion house” soon after to be named “The Beeches”.
The house passed to Sophia Guest Atkin, the daughter of Edmund Simonds, Louise’s husband by a previous marriage. She lived in Rose Cottage, at that time a farmhouse to The Beeches. The main house had been leased to Soloman Shakespeare in the 1860s, Robert King in the 1880s, and Frank Linder until 1913, when it was then purchased by the George Fentham Trust.
By 1914 an extension was built, to be called Fentham Hall, to be used as a village community centre. By order of the Ministry of War, the building was commandeered for military use as a Red Cross Hospital - it was returned to the Trust in 1919. Since then, the original house has been home to the Fentham Institute, the Fentham Club, the headquarters of the British Legion, the Grange Bar and Restaurant, and finally a restaurant, once again named The Beeches.