The Library

New Display

Early 19th century terrestrial library globe, returned to its home after years of painstaking restoration. The globe is shown in an 1833 painting by Siegfried Bendixen, of Lady Tyrconnel at her desk in the Library - see below. The globe was made by W. & T.M. Bardin based on mapping of 1799, updated in 1807 and 1817. It is dedicated to Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society.

Part of the inscription reads: "Containing all the latest discoveries and communications from the most correct and authentic observationsand surveys to the year 1799, by Capt. Cook  and recent navigators engraved from an accurate drawing by Mr. Arrowsmith, Geographer". (currently under review, 26 March)

History of the Library

The Carpenters built an extension to the south of the Hall. An 1830s print by Sir Gardner Wilkinson, in the alcove to the right as you enter the Library, shows the New Drawing Room, Designed in Wyatville’s Gothic. Siegfried Bendixen painted Lord and Lady Tyrconnel in their new room. His portrait is nearby on the opposite wall, hers hangs above the desk in the large alcove to the right. She is pictured sitting at the same desk, which then stood in the bay window at the end of the room, with a glimpse of the 18th century serpentine lake through the window. The heraldic stained glass windows show the Carpenter family pedigree through marriage from King John to the 4th Earl of Tyrconnel’s marriage to Sarah Crowe in 1817.

In 1887, Walter Carpenter engaged William Eden Nesfield to add a suite of rooms above. He transformed the drawing room into a handsome, Jacobean-style library, with dark oak panelling and a fine fireplace with tiles by William de Morgan. The ornate plaster ceiling shows the heraldic symbols of the Carpenters – a cockerel and a library globe – and the Talbots – a lion and a dragon’s head. Photographs of the 1890s show comfortable furnishings, evidence of family activities and huge potted palms. However, 1990s restoration work revealed rotten floor timbers due to poor ventilation; the new floor is American oak.

The painting above the fireplace is Charles I after Lely. Set into the panelling are Two putti reading a Scroll after Raphael, A Lady Spinning by Bernard Keil and two paintings of Venetian Courtesans by Bartolommeo Nazzari. All were purchased in Europe by Christopher Crowe. The library bust of John Delaval Carpenter by E. Davis cost £50 in 1843.

The Library houses some of the Arts & Crafts furniture designed by Admiral Carpenter’s second wife, Beatrice (see p. 8), including a Noah’s Ark inlaid table, a croquet box inlaid with mushrooms and a music bench with decorative panels of beaten copper. The Erard grand piano was bought at the Great Exhibition of 1851. In the alcove to the left as you leave the Library is a library chair, which converts to steps when the back is tilted forwards. This was Lord Nelson’s chair and came from his ship H.M.S. Victory. It was given to his chaplain, Dr Scott of Catterick, in whose arms Nelson died. Look out also for part of the block of wood on which Charles I was beheaded!

In the 1870s, the local vicar prepared an inventory of the books at Kiplin Hall, with recommendations for improvements to the collection. The Library is strongest in Parliamentary works, Genealogy & Court History, he wrote. There are now approximately 3000 books, their condition showing that it was a well-used family library. A team of trained NADFAS volunteers began repairing the books in 2002.