At Kiplin Hall you can encounter 400 years worth of stories about international adventures by members of the four families who lived there – the Calverts, Crowes, Carpenters, and Talbots. During the current lockdown we share with you a glimpse through the keyhole and this week we are taking in the fabulous drawing room

Drawing rooms are well decorated, comfortable but formal spaces in which to receive and entertain guests. Today, visitors to Kiplin are greeted in this room by volunteer room stewards who offer knowledgeable conversation, telling stories of adventure. From this rural retreat in North Yorkshire, members of Kiplin’s four families have set off on journeys making their mark around the world. Beginning with George Calvert, who built Kiplin Hall in the 1620’s and later founded the colony of Maryland in America.

Standing next to the desk is a globe made by the great globe-makers, W & T M Bardin. Based on the 1799 map by Aaron Arrowsmith it has undergone painstaking conservation. This fascinating object contains the latest discoveries of the day made by the explorer Captain Cook.

There is a painting, dated 1833, of Sarah Carpenter at Kiplin seated beside the globe. It is understood that the globe was bought by her husband, John Delaval Carpenter. His father had been a naval officer of rank and his brother died serving in Russia. Visitors explore this room under the watchful gaze of portraits of John Delaval Carpenter’s mother, father, uncle, grandmother, and older brother. Looking around the room one’s eye is drawn to images of Italian landscapes.

To the right of the fireplace is a splendid view of an Italian Palace through a Colonnade, these views, among others, came to Kiplin via Christopher Crowe. Once married to the great-grandson of George Calvert, Lady Charlotte Grey later married Christopher Crowe who was the British Consul at Livorno near Florence. He bought Kiplin in 1722, and the estate remained in the ownership of the Crowe family for about 100 years. Visitors are often drawn to the mahogany cabinet. Designed by Chippendale it has a distinctly oriental appearance, fashionable at the time, but was commissioned to house the decorative Italian marble and coloured stone panels depicting the Italian countryside. In contrast a splash of bright colour brings a touch of the tropical to the room.

A beautiful stuffed scarlet ibis attracts attention. The ibis inhabits tropical South America and the Caribbean, this one was probably brought to Kiplin by Admiral Carpenter. Kiplin passed to the then Captain Walter Talbot in 1868, who changed his surname to Carpenter as a condition of the inheritance. The family enjoyed a typical late-Victorian country house lifestyle, with weekend house parties, boating and hunting. What a talking point this specimen must have been.

As visitors progress through the next doorway they are greeted by a kaleidoscope of light passing through stained-glass windows in the library. A room which is not as quiet as you’d expect...