Kiplin Hall and Gardens remains a jewel in the crown of North Yorkshire thanks to many people, but especially the tenacity and spirit of Bridget Talbot. Miss Talbot was the last owner of Kiplin and saved the 400-year-old house for the nation in the 1970’s.
Miss Talbot’s life and achievements have been explored in a newly published book ‘The Heart of Kiplin – Life of Bridget Talbot OBE’ written by Kiplin Volunteer, Susan Lay.
Susan, who normally volunteers as a Room Steward in the Hall, took on the task of researching and writing the book after receiving so many questions about Miss Talbot from visitors. An exhibition, The Creative Life of Bridget Talbot, continues this season and displays artefacts, possessions and records of her adventurous life.
The book describes Miss Talbot’s life as one of extremes. Born into a privileged, aristocratic, and loving family Miss Talbot was presented to the Queen as a debutante in her youth. As an adult she grew into a courageous and determined woman, volunteering tirelessly during the First World War under bombardment on the Austrian-Italian front.
Following the dilapidation of time and wealth Kiplin fell into disrepair. Miss Talbot’s dedicated fight to save the house resulted in the wonderful visitor attraction we see today. This spirit endures at Kiplin in over 150 volunteers who give up their time to help maintain and open Kiplin Hall and Gardens to the public. Often described as Kiplin’s fifth family the volunteers are an invaluable team. In recognition of her painstaking research Susan has been nominated for an award as Museums and Heritage Volunteer of the Year. The book is available to buy in the Kiplin Gift Shop.
(Pictured Left – Book on sale in Kiplin Gift Shop. Right – Kiplin Volunteer Susan Lay standing with a childhood portrait of Bridget Talbot)