A restored Bentall mill being Demonstrated at Belvoir Castle show 2009

A tiny Bentall 'K' cornmill on display at Barnard Castle Steam Fair in 2009

The firm of Bentall was established in 1805 by William Bentall in England, as Agricultural engineers. In the middle of the 18th century, William Bentall designed the famous ‘Goldhanger’ plough. Its design was so ‘state of the art’ it remained in production until 1947.

Over the years the Company passed from father to son – always innovative – always successful. Patents and designs followed rapid succession and by the late 19th century it had even diversified into the design and manufacture of yachts and motor cars. The Company grew and developed, exporting its products throughout the world.

History[edit | edit source]

E H Bentall & Co Ltd, Heybridge, Maldon, Essex, which remained in business up until the late 1980s. Established 1805. During the early 1800s the Bentall family moved from Ironbridge in Shropshire to Heybridge where it established a large foundry. They were specialists in agricultural machinery. In 1836 E H Bentall took over the family business and expanded it, selling the company's products throughout Britain and beyond. Edmund Bentall took over the business in 1889 and the range of items manufactured by the company continued to grow.

By the turn of the century even cars were being manufactured, of which about a hundred were made before production was eventually discontinued. In the early years of the twentieth century several thousand people were employed by Bentall & Co. Its product range in 1921 included oil & petrol engines, silage cutters, power & hand chaff cutters, oil cake breakers, root cutters & cleaners, and hoes. Only the large warehouse built in 1863 now remains, to serve as a reminder of a once substantial business.

In 1961 the Acrow Group acquired the Company and rationalised it to concentrate on coffee machinery, grain drying, bulk storage and handling equipment. In the early 1980s the Bentall companies were sold and moved to Scunthorpe. The Company was merged with Simplex to form Bentall Simplex. In 1985 the bought the remains of the Leyland tractors operation from the failed Nickerson Group. The Tractor building operations moving to Scunthorpe. But the market was poor and a deal to sell Steyr tractors badged as Marshall soon failed when Steyr set up there own UK distribution operation, based in the midlands.

In 1988 the new company acquired Rowlands Engineers and amalgamated its bulk storage and handling business with that of Bentalls, all manufacturing being at the Scunthorpe site.

Product range[edit | edit source]

A Bentall Pioneer horizontal engine of 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hp demonstrated at the Woolpit Steam show 2009

  • Cake breakers
  • Cars
  • Coffe machinery
  • Grinding mills
  • Handling machinery
  • Ploughs
    • Bentall Goldhanger plough
  • Root cleaners
  • Root cutters
  • Stationary engines

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Paxman history pages

Links[edit | edit source]


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