Welcome back to an A to Z of discoveries at Kiplin. Today we explore the theme of heraldry, the system by which coats of arms are designed and explained.
The Library in Kiplin Hall always draws a gasp from visitors when they see the stunning stained-glass windows there. The room is a gothic style extension to the original 1620’s house built in around 1820 by John and SarahCarpenter, 4th Earl & Countess of Tyrconnel who owned the house at the time. The large stained-glass windows on the west side of the room celebrate the family pedigree through marriage, linking back from King John (1167-1216) to the 4th Earl’s marriage to Sarah Crowe of Kiplin in 1817. The glass work was designed by Thomas Willement in 1846 and includes 28 panels. Overhead in the library is a white plaster ceiling that Admiral Walter Carpenter commissioned with other renovations in 1887. The ceiling features symbols of the Carpenter and Talbot families. A globe on a stand and a cockerel for the Carpenters, and a lion and the head of a dragon for the Talbots.
During lockdown in 2020 staff undertook work in the store rooms at the museum and uncovered a number of stained-glass panels in unlabelled boxes. The designs also depicts a globe and cockerel. Staff assume these were intended to be used as part of the window displays but were never installed or removed at a later date. Mottos were also discovered in the glass work. “Per Acuta Belli” is the Carpenter motto: Through the Asperities of War. The other rectangular panels translate: “Deus Providebit” – God Will Provide, and “Accendit Cantu” – He Animates by Crowing – very appropriate for the cockerel!
All of these artworks use symbolism and imagery to evoke virtues like wisdom, knowledge and courage with which the home owners wished to be associated. Photographs of this room in the 1890’s show comfortable furnishings, huge potted palm plants, a piano, and evidence family activities. A well-used and enjoyed space, not what one might expect from a library, set in the context of a more formal family history.
The grounds at Kiplin are currently open, with covid secure procedures in place for visitors to follow. We expect the hall to reopen on Monday 17th May when restrictions on museums are lifted (this date may be subject to change depending on government guidance). A take away tea room service is currently in operation offering hot drinks and handmade picnics of sandwiches, cakes and bakes. Kiplin Hall and Gardens is open 6 days a week, closed on Thursdays.