IT’S taken all year but we made it to our destination – and the letter Z is not the first letter of a word, but rather a code. Z is for ZBL

ZBL is a code used at North Yorkshire County Records Office to categorize archived documents related to the Kiplin estate.

In the cataloguing system references beginning with a Z indicate privately deposited collections as opposed to DC/ which would be a District Council collection or PC/ which would be a Parish Council collection.

The letters following the Z are just the next in the sequence – the system was started in 1949 and as the Kiplin Archive was deposited in 1951, it falls fairly early in the alphabetical sequence.

The archive material in the ZBL collection relates mainly to the estates of the Crowe family and their successors. The Kiplin estate surrounded Kiplin Hall itself and included the entire townships of Kiplin, Bolton on Swale and Ellerton on Swale as well as a considerable acreage of lands in Scorton, Catterick and Tunstall.

The title deeds (ZBL/1) show the gradual accumulation and rapid dispersal of the estate very clearly.

A good collection of title deeds wills, settlements and mortgages forms the main part of the archive; they relate to the purchase and sale of property mainly in Bolton on Swale, Catterick, Ellerton on Swale, Kiplin,

Scorton and Tunstall and date from the 16th century to the 20th century. Records like these can be used by museum staff, historians and researchers to learn more about people’s lives in the past. County Records Offices hold a wealth of historical information and are a valuable resource.

Members of the public may find useful information there when researching family trees, which has become increasingly popular. Thanks to carefully coded archive systems, like ZBL for Kiplin, searches for information can be narrowed more quickly.

North Yorkshire County Records Office is located in Northallerton on Malpas Road, not far from the train station, and has a public search room for those who’d like to view any material. The catalogue can be accessed online as well.

In 2020 North Yorkshire County Records Office produced a blog series called Made in North Yorkshire: Great North Yorkshire Sons and Daughters. One post concentrated on Miss Bridget Elizabeth Talbot, the last owner of Kiplin Hall before it went into Trust. Some of the research undertaken for this article came from material in the ZBL archive. You can still read the article online. As well as visit the record office catalogue or shop at

We hope you’ve enjoyed the A to Z of Discovery with Kiplin Hall and Gardens.

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