The Builder and the Building

1625 floor plan

George Calvert, Secretary of State to King James I, built Kiplin Hall in the early 1620s as a hunting lodge. He was born at Kiplin, where his father leased land, and bought the estate in 1619.

Calvert followed the latest fashions in architecture, using red brick rather than Yorkshire stone to construct a tall, compact, symmetrical, country house. To add interest to the façade, the builder incorporated diamond-shaped ‘diapering’ in blue-black bricks. Kiplin has four towers, unusually one in the centre of each wall, rather than at each corner. The north and south towers originally contained staircases, while the east and west towers give extra space inside. Each floor of the Hall had two symmetrical rooms on either side of the long central room between the east and west towers, but this layout changed as the house was altered inside.

In 1722, Christopher Crowe bought Kiplin Hall from his stepson Charles Calvert, 5th Lord Baltimore. Crowe added a service wing to the north of the Hall, put in a fine central staircase, and installed fashionable Georgian fireplaces and plasterwork in the rooms. In 1820, Lord and Lady Tyrconnel (Sarah Crowe and her husband John Delaval Carpenter) added a wing to the south containing a Gothic-style drawing room. When Admiral Walter Talbot inherited Kiplin from his cousin, he changed this room into the Jacobean-style library of today and made improvements to the service wing and grounds. The crest above the front door is that of the Carpenter family, with their motto ‘per acuta belli’ – by the strategems of war, probably a reference to their naval background. In the 1970s, some of the service wing was demolished and the north tower restored.

The Kiplin Hall guide book includes information about the history of the Hall, its rooms and contents, and the families who owned it. Available for £4.00 plus postage and packing.

Many of the rooms of the house have now been restored and are open to the public.

In order to read about each room and its contents and to see illustrations, please click on the appropriate floor below.