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Grove Hill House was built at the beginning of the nineteenth century by retired London businessman, Thomas H. Johnson, who is famous in Bentham history for his passion for planting trees. In those days Grove Hill had extensive grounds either side of present day Station Road.    

By mid century it was in the ownership of Mr. John T. Rice, a joint owner of High Bentham Mills. His deeds included the purchase of the Kings Arms so that the licence could be revoked. Later he sold the former inn to a fellow Quaker, Christopher Knowles, whose family were to run a grocery business there for a hundred years. (It was such when I was a child living in King Street.) The building now houses the HSBC bank. Rice was also instrumental in the building of the Bentham Meeting House (now the Community Centre). He died in 1872 and there is a memorial stone to him near to the porch of the Calf Cop Meeting House, Low Bentham.

Grove Hill House in subsequent years was divided into several dwellings and its extensive grounds built upon. In 1923 it became a masonic lodge that still serves as a public meeting place today. As can be seen from the top photograph, the forecourt is used for car parking by neighbouring businesses.

High Bentham - Grove Hill House