Kiplin Hall, in England's beautiful Vale of Mowbray, was built in the 1620s for George Calvert, Secretary of State to James I, later 1st Lord Baltimore and founder of Maryland, USA.
Its design was unique in Jacobean architecture, with central domed towers on each side of a tall symmetrical pavilion in mellow red brick. Owned by four fascinating families, connected by blood and marriage over four centuries, the Hall is now furnished as a welcoming Victorian family home and contains paintings and furniture collected by the Calverts, Crowes, Carpenters and Talbots.
The paintings include many family portraits, a large collection of watercolours by Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford and many other paintings of note. Throughout the house are examples of works from the 19th century Arts and Crafts Movement, and fascinating items including Admiral Lord Nelson’s library chair from H.M.S. Victory, and part of the block of wood on which Charles I was beheaded – allegedly!
A permanent exhibition charts the founding of Maryland by George Calvert and the lives of the families who owned and developed Kiplin through the centuries. Visitors may enjoy a relaxed tour of the Hall, freely wandering though the rooms with plenty of time to look at the treasures on display.
The garden, lakeside views and the Tea Room add to the enjoyment of a visit.