Welcome back to an A to Z of discoveries at Kiplin Hall and Gardens. With 400 years of history and 26 letters of the alphabet, there is plenty to explore! Today we feature a beautiful Kleiser Clock on the theme of the letter K.
This Victorian clock dates to around 1870 and is currently on public display in the Dining Room at Kiplin, where visitors can still hear it chime. The inner chapter ring is inscribed A + J Kleiser, a clock maker based in York. Andrew and Joseph Kleiser of York are listed in ‘Watch and Clockmakers of the World’ Vol2 by B. Loomes as working from 1866-1885.
This clock was given as a gift to Miss Sarah Talbot Carpenter on her 21st Birthday in 1897 from the then tenants of the Kiplin estate. A plaque lists the date and the names of all of the contributors who chipped in money to pay for the gift. The census records from 1901 (the closest to 1897) confirm some details about the tenants named on the plaque. Mr George Barker, Mr William Fowler, Mr Christopher James Peacock are listed as farmers at Kiplin, and Mr George Metcalfe as farmer and corn miller at Kiplin Mill. This generous gift would suggest that the tenants had a warm and happy relationship with their landlords. A tradition which continued at Kiplin for years to come.
By 1937 Kiplin was owned by Bridget Talbot, a well-connected, committed, and creative lady who worked tirelessly to save Kiplin from falling into rack and ruin. In 1953, when almost all other avenues had been exhausted, Miss Talbot enlisted the help of local people to perform in a pageant that she had penned, a Farewell to Kiplin. Local and national newspapers carried the story of the production that warned of the imminent demolition of the national treasure that is Kiplin Hall. The Metcalfe family were still tenants then and performed in the pageant.
Grace Wagstaff (nee Metcalfe), a descendant of George Metcalf named on the clock plaque, lived at Kiplin Mill on the Kiplin Hall estate with her family when she was a child. When she got married in 1955 Bridget Talbot gave Grace a plate from a larger set, which is decorated with the Talbot family crest. It seems that the affection between tenants and landlords went both ways. Grace hung the plate in her home, proudly on display. It was her wish that the plate be returned to Kiplin Hall after her death. A wish which her daughter Gail carried out in 2019 when the plate was gifted back to the museum.
Kiplin Hall and Gardens is now open to visitors 6 days a week, closed on Thursdays. The museum showcases the possessions, furniture, and art owned by the four families who lived here over 400 years. While the gardens offer 90 acres of stunning views and pleasant walks though woodland, parkland, and lakeside paths. The tea room is also offering a take away service of sandwiches, salads and cakes, perfect for a picnic. The current exhibition, Introducing the Annie Marchant Kitchen and Dairy Collection, provides a window into the past lives of tenants and workers on the estate.