Welcome back to an A to Z of discovery 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 huge and important asset, which actually changed the fate of Kiplin Hall. L is for… Lake.
Today Kiplin Hall and Gardens is a beautifully restored historic house, museum and garden. But this was almost not the case. By the late 20th Century, the hall had fallen into a state of disrepair. Numerous attempts were made to save the house from dereliction and destruction. After World War II many large houses were left damaged following their requisition for the war effort. Economic crisis and large bills for inheritance tax meant many houses will demolished or left derelict.
By the 1970’s Kiplin was in a sorry state. The last owner of Kiplin Hall, Bridget Talbot, is credited with saving it for the nation, leaving it in the care of a charitable trust. Kiplin Hall Trust was able to generate the huge sums of money needed to restore the hall by selling gravel quarrying rights on the estate. In the 1990’s huge ground works were undertaken to extract grave from the area at the back of the hall. After the extraction the quarry was flooded, creating the large lake visitors see behind the house today.
The lake is a wonderful asset to the estate. It provides a rich habitat for wild life, including fish, frogs, geese, swans, and heron. The lake is also home to pipe work for ground source heating which heats the hall and surrounding cottages using this renewable technology. Visitors to Kiplin can now enjoy a 1-mile circular walk around the lake. Two newly installed bird hides provide wonderful views of the landscape and wildlife, thanks to recent support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The banks of the lake also host some rare plants, including the flirtatious Bee Orchid. This flower’s petals look like a female bee, which entices male bees to land on it, pollinating the flower.
It’s hard to imagine a quarry so close to this historic building, but there are many photographs from the period of gravel extraction. Most visitors are shocked to learn the lake is such a new addition, as it looks so settled in the landscape. The small island in the middle of the lake provides safe nesting from many wild birds, including the Little Egret, a small white heron like bird rarely seen so far inland.
Kiplin Hall and Gardens is now open to visitors 6 days a week, closed on Thursdays. The estate boasts lakeside paths, woodland walks, formal gardens and open parkland. The Tea Room offers a take away menu of picnic favourites, using produce grown in the walled garden. The museum showcases the possessions, furniture and art owned by the four families who lived there over 400 years. Tickets can be booked in advance HERE or purchased on arrival. Booking is not essential.