At Kiplin Hall you’ll encounter of stories about international adventure enjoyed by members of the four families who lived there – the Calverts, Crowes, Carpenters, and Talbots. During the current lockdown we’d like to share a glimpse through the keyhole, exploring a different room each week. This week we peek inside the Admiral's study

AFTER climbing up the grand staircase in Kiplin Hall visitors step through a door into a small and intimate, but intense room.

The Admiral’s Study is full of images of great naval ships, crashing waves, maritime books, prints, and incredible seafaring paraphernalia. From here we glimpse a bold and brilliant man that filled the world’s oceans and the Kiplin estate with joy and success.

Captain Water Cecil Talbot, changed his name to Carpenter as a condition of his inheritance of Kiplin Hall in 1866. Later known as Admiral Carpenter he served in the Baltic and Crimean Wars and was stationed in the Caribbean. A photograph on top of the bookcase shows the dashing figure of the Admiral after he inherited Kiplin from the Countess of Tyrconnel.

The Northern Echo:

Also on the bookcase are some fascinating instruments used by the Admiral to navigate through his globe-trotting naval career. There are a couple of telescopes, one of them made by E&E Emanuel of Portsea, but more intriguing is the brass sextant, by Spencer Browning and Pluft, London, bought from Dollond, London in 1884 for £18.1s.6d by the 4th Earl of Tyrconnel for navigating when travelling in his yacht Intrepid. A sextant is a navigational instrument used to measure the angle of elevation of celestial bodies, usually the sun or moon, in order to determine one's location and direction. Invented in about1730, the sextant is still in use today, primarily in nautical contexts, as it is a good backup if more sophisticated systems, such as global positioning satellites, fail.

The Northern Echo:

Another amazing instrument, positioned on the desk, is the marine chronometer; a timepiece that is sufficiently precise and accurate to be used as a portable time standard. A marine chronometer can be used to determine longitude by means of accurately measuring the time of a known fixed location, for example, Greenwich Mean Time, and the time at the current location. When first developed in the 18th century, it was a major technical achievement, as accurate knowledge of the time over a long sea voyage was necessary for navigation.

The Northern Echo:

The print that hangs above the fireplace shows one of the Admiral’s ships, H.M.S. Ariadne, and above the desk is the mahogany name plaque from one of its small ship-to-shore boats. Exciting to imagine that those instruments could have been used on the Ariadne. Other prints in the room show some of the other ships on which Admiral Carpenter served from his entry into the Royal Navy as a very young man to his senior days as a full Admiral.

To the left of the window is a watercolour and gouache painting of Kiplin Hall in 1780 by George Cuit the Elder. Cuit was born in nearby Moulton and studied in Rome before settling in Richmond. He spent nearly 40 years recording the buildings and landscape of the local area. In his picture of Kiplin, Cuit uses his characteristic ‘hot air balloon technique’ to show Richmond in the background to the left of the building. It is indeed there, but not so close and not actually visible from Kiplin.

From the very male space of the Admiral’s Study visitors move into a very female space through an adjoining door into the Lady Waterford Room...