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Bentley BeethamAbout Bentley Beetham
After Everest ... Beetham returned to Barnard Castle as a master at his old School... read more ...

Everest from glacier1924 Everest Expedition 
Summit Attempts ... Plans were made for the summit teams.  Mallory and Bruce would be the first pair ... read more ...

Woman weaverCollection Themes
Tibetan Life  - The images of Tibet in 1924, contained within the collection, have become an important historical record of Tibetan culture ... read more ...

StepsSearch the Collection
There are three ways of searching the Bentley Beetham Collection - fast search, standard search and advanced search ... read more ...

High Force - frozen.Useful Links
Barnard Castle, Teesdale, County Durham, Durham University, The Hancock Museum, The British Mountaineering Council ... read more ...

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The Bentley Beetham Trust

(The Bentley Beetham 1924 Everest Trust)

Bentley Beetham, a schoolmaster at the North Eastern County School, renamed Barnard Castle School in 1924, was a keen naturalist and rock climber. His excursions to the Lake District brought him the friendship of Howard Somervell, with whom he became climbing partners. The reputation he earned would eventually lead to him being chosen as a member of the 1924 Mount Everest expedition. A selection that was made not only for his undoubted climbing ability but also for his boundless energy and enthusiasm. Beetham’s legacy to future generations is his astounding collection of photographs that paint a portrait of Tibet shortly after the turn of the last century; a fateful moment in the history of mountaineering; life in Barnard Castle and the surrounding area of Teesdale to his climbing in the Alps,Tatra and Atlas mountains.

This website is the complete collection of Bentley Beetham’s photographs from that period, (other than the ornithological part of his work that is held by the Hancock Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne). 

A special thanks has to be extended by the Trust to Michael Lowes.  Michael was not only taught by Bentley Beetham when he was a pupil at Barnard Castle School but was also part of the club taken climbing in the Lake District by Beetham, and because of this he has become an invaluable source of information.  Michael has also spent a considerable amount of time in the last 25 years looking after, cataloguing and researching parts of the collection.

The Bentley Beetham Trust was formed, and registered with the Charities Commission (Reg. No 1085273), first and foremost for the long-term preservation of this Internationally important historical archive. This was achieved by the Trust entering into a partnership with Durham University whose Archives at The Palace Green Library, adjacent to Durham Cathedral, are where the collection is housed for its future protection under strictly controlled conditions of light, temperature and humidity. The Trust received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and an archival digitised copy of the whole collection was made by M G H Consultants, most of which can be viewed via this web-site. TheTrust’s second objective was to make the collection accessible to the wider public in the strong belief that ‘History belongs to Everyone’ and in the hope that the collection, with its accessibility through this web-site, will become a valuable educational and informative resource to the broadest spectrum of people.

Graham Ratcliffe MBE


The Bentley Beetham Trust
(The Bentley Beetham 1924 Everest Trust)

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