Benchams was (and remains) a large private house located between Newton Poppleford and Southerton.  It was built in about 1906 by Willoughby Statham Smith, who also owned considerable estate land and many residential and farm properties in the area.  The garden was enhanced by statuary and ornamental features  –  but sadly most of these were stripped out by a later owner who removed these to a new site.

Benchams and land z

Benchams and some its surrounding land.


Benchams  –  estimated 1960s




Benchams dining room (2)

Dining Room

Benchams drawing room

Drawing Room


Willoughby Statham Smith died in 1946, and the house and estate lands were sold by auction in 1947; below are the 2 plans showing the properties sold at that time.

Special thanks to ‘Isca Books’ in Exeter for providing us with the scan of ‘Plan A’.

Benchams estate auction Plan A


Benchams estate auction Plan B.JPG

W S Smith allowed his property to be used for various events, such as those illustrated below:

Meet at Benchams xN008Schoolboys at Benchams for partySchoolgirls at Benchams for party x



Willoughby Statham Smith on left, Daisy Bastyan (maid) on  right