Many changes have been made to the building over the centuries, so it is difficult to be certain of the original layout. The Hall may have been smaller than it is today, possibly a mirror image of the Drawing Room, off either side of a wide central hallway running between the front door in the east tower and the back door in the west tower. Or there may have been a screens passage, with a decorative wooden partition separating the hallway and the Great Hall.
The family seat of the Earls Talbot was a fine Jacobean house, Ingestre Hall in Staffordshire. Kiplin’s late 19th century owner, Admiral Walter Carpenter (second son of the 3rd Earl Talbot) put in the dark oak, Jacobean-style panelling and plaster ceiling in 1875, presumably to give a more historic atmosphere to the room. Calvert, Crowe and Carpenter family portraits were removed from their gilt frames and hung within the panelling.
In the late 19th century, the family used the Hall as an informal sitting and dining room. Today, visitors can enjoy tea in the Hall in the company of illustrious ancestors such as Charles II, whose granddaughter, Lady Charlotte Lee, was married to two owners of Kiplin Hall.
Starting to the left as you enter, the family portraits are: George Lee, 2nd Earl of Lichfield, attributed to Hysing; George, 1st Lord Carpenter, by Dahl; Edward Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield, attributed to Kneller; Charles II by Lely; Charles II’s daughter, Lady Charlotte Fitzroy, attributed to Kneller; Lady Clifton by Maria Verelst; Christopher Crowe by Trevisani; Alicia Maria Carpenter, Countess of Egremont, by Cotes; Alice, the Honourable Lady Carpenter, circle of Wissing.
The delightful chiming clock by Kleiser of York was a 21st birthday gift in 1897 from the estate tenants to Admiral Carpenter’s daughter, Sarah.