Egyptology collection

Benjamin Kent

Benny Kent was a farmer from Tatefield Hall in Beckwithshaw, on the outskirts of Harrogate.

Benny inherited his interest in archaeology, and much of the collection, from his father Bramley Kent. Bramley had a particular interest in ancient Egypt and was acquainted with the so-called 'father of Egyptology' W. M. Flinders Petrie. Bramley travelled far and wide to buy Egyptian objects. He also purchased items at auction.

When Benny Kent was 17 he was invited to join excavations in Egypt, first by Petrie and then by Petrie's one-time assistant Howard Carter. Benny later recalled how he would have loved to have accepted their offers "but his farm could not spare him".

The collection was displayed in the upper rooms of Tatefield Hall. Leading academics, local archaeology societies, art students and school children visited the displays. One visitor remembered how

"some items stand out especially in the memory, such Mummy case top as the magnificent Egyptian sarcophagus, upright in its case".

Benny Kent gave us this sarcophagus along with many other objects, such as the Anubis mask.