Treasured wedding present gifted back to Kiplin Hall

Gail Wagstaff with her brother Mr Wagstaff of Northallerton with the plate.

A painted plate once given as a wedding present by Kiplin Hall’s last owner, Bridget Talbot, to a Richmond couple has been donated back to the stately home.

Kiplin’s curator was contacted by Gail Wagstaff before Christmas.

Gail’s mother, Grace Wagstaff (nee Metcalfe), lived at Kiplin Mill on the Kiplin Hall estate with her family when she was a child.

By 1937 Kiplin was owned by Bridget Talbot, who worked tirelessly to save Kiplin from falling into rack and ruin.

When almost all other avenues had been exhausted, Miss Talbot enlisted the help of local people to perform in a pageant that she had penned, Farewell to Kiplin.

Local and national newspapers carried the story of the production that warned of the imminent demolition of the national treasure that is Kiplin Hall.

Gail Wagstaff remembers her grandparents (Grace’s parents) James and Elsie Metcalfe, telling stories of having taken part in Miss Talbot’s 1953 pageant.

Miss Talbot must have been grateful to and fond of the family as she gave a plate with the Talbot family crest on it to Grace as a wedding present when she married husband Geoff in 1955.

The plate has been proudly displayed in the family home ever since. Gail explained that it was her mother’s wish, when she passed away, that the plate be returned to Kiplin Hall.

Curator, Sarah Mayhew Craddock said: “It means a great deal when such personal items with very definite provenance are returned. What a wonderful Christmas present it is to be welcoming this missing piece of history back to Kiplin.

“We are very grateful to the family.”

Kiplin Hall and Gardens is currently closed to visitors for the Winter but re-opens on Friday, February 7, 2020 as the snowdrops begin to emerge and spring arrives

You can find out more about Bridget Talbot and her efforts to save Kiplin in the exhibition The Creative Life of Bridget Talbot or in the newly published book on her life The Heart of Kiplin available in the gift shop.