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 whole collection, recently acquired by the Museum. M is for Marchant, the Annie Marchant Kitchen and Dairy Collection.
Annie Marchant was an antiques dealer in London and Kent. She had a passion for Victorian kitchen and dairy objects and held a large personal collection. She sadly died in early 2020 at just 68 years old and left instructions in her will for the collection to be donated to a museum. Kiplin Hall and Gardens was selected as the new home for the collection, around 350 objects.
Kiplin Hall, an accredited museum, houses the art, furniture and possessions of the four families who have lived there over the last 400 years. These objects very much tell the story of wealthy family life in North Yorkshire, and their adventures traveling the globe, as many upper class people did in the past. As part of a large estate Kiplin Hall did have buildings for servants, including a kitchen and a dairy. These were sadly demolished before the hall became a museum.
The Annie Marchant Collection is full of everyday objects relating to kitchens and dairies. Milk churns and bread boards, tea dispensers and knife sharpers. These treasures help visitors to learn more about the lives of the people who lived and worked at Kiplin, beyond the owner families.
A great deal of work has been undertaken to bring the collection to the museum, some of which took place during the 2020 lockdowns. The collection is now at Kiplin and is being cleaned, photographed, documented and displayed by Project Officer Alice Rose and her team of volunteers. A new exhibition ‘Introducing the Annie Marchant Kitchen and Dairy Collection’ was opened virtually in March by local MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. (Watch the film here)
As summer approaches Alice and her team have been focusing on helping families to engage with the new collection. Knitted cats are currently hiding in the historic rooms for children to seek, leading visitors to the new exhibition on the top floor. Annie was known for her love of cats. All of the knitted cats are named after Annie’s beloved pets. Visitors can also enjoy changing displays and take a guess at interpreting a mystery object, as well as make suggestions about how they would like to see the collection displayed in the future.
‘Marchant Mondays’ will take place on the first four Sundays in August. The history of the kitchen and dairy will be brought to life during outdoor performances by award winning York based duo, Story Craft Theatre. Cassie and Janet are passionate about learning and laughter through story telling. Visitors young (and old) are sure to have a giggle while getting to grips with life in the past!
Project Officer Alice Rose will also be offering craft activities at her drop-in creation station in the gardens to ‘paint a plate’ inspired by the collection and the dramatic natural surroundings of Kiplin’s 90-acre estate.
“The collection features some beautifully printed and painted pottery objects. Often linked to the dairy and food production, we have storage jars and crockery depicting cows and other farm animals, as well as plant varieties which we are still growing in the gardens today. Many of our ceramics stored milk and cream, which were often made into delicious treats. We still enjoy things like butter and ice cream today. Our homemade ice-cream will also be on sale in the Tea Room, which makes for the perfect end to a picnic in the grounds at Kiplin.” Alice Rose, Project Officer – Annie Marchant Collection, Kiplin Hall and Gardens.
James Etherington, Director of Kiplin Hall and Gardens, hopes Kiplin will prove to be a popular destination this summer. “Our annual tickets are great value, £32 for a family pass, and we hope many local people will enjoy repeat visits, seeing the summer in full bloom as the gardens reach their peak and taking part in our family fun activities on Marchant Mondays, which are included in the ticket price.”
Kiplin is open 6 days a week, closed on Thursdays. Booking is not required, but you can purchase tickets in advance on the website if you wish. ‘Marchant Mondays’ activities are included in standard admission and all tickets are valid for 12 months during opening hours, which includes entry to the hall and gardens. Adults are £12.00, Children (5-15yrs) £6.00, Family Ticket (2+2) £32.00. For more information visit www.kiplinhall.co.uk
The Marchant Mondays activities will take place outdoors, in line with government guidelines at the time. Full details of the measures in place will be displayed at the event to help visitors enjoy their time at Kiplin and stay safe.