Kiplin Hall is working with local communities to re-imagine how visitors learn about the past in this unique place. This project is being made possible with £136,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project is also being funded with £2,000 from the Friends of Kiplin Hall, a £2,000 bequest to Kiplin Hall, and £35,000 from Kiplin Hall CIO.

The hall is set to celebrate its 400th anniversary in 2025.

Built by local lad made good, George Calvert, in the 1620’s the Calvert’s went on to found the state of Maryland in the USA.

This set a theme for their descendants who were grounded in North Yorkshire but made marks around the globe. Kiplin has been a retreat and home for these four families, all linked by blood or marriage, over the last 400 years.

Restored in 2000 and opened as a museum, the hall and grounds continue to develop while being run by a charitable trust.

A new welcome centre is currently being planned to better host visitors on the site.

The centre will become home to the recently acquired Annie Marchant Kitchen and Dairy Collection, a larger tea room, gift shop and visitor welcome area.

This new building will free up space in the historic hall for new displays. The Interpreting Kiplin 400 project will tackle this new gallery space in the museum and improve information displays in the gardens and grounds. The project requires a new member of staff, currently being recruited.

Director of Kiplin Hall Trust, James Etherington, said: “We are delighted to secure this funding and are extremely thankful to National Lottery players.

“This project is not only a great opportunity for us at Kiplin but we also hope our communities will be excited to be involved.

“In the past estates like Kiplin played a key role in local people’s lives.

“We are especially keen to work with people living in places that have historic links with Kiplin; in Ainderby Steeple, Northallerton, Scorton, Cowton, Hipswell and Morton on Swale.

“And underrepresented communities including adults with learning and/or physical disabilities, and refugees. We are thrilled to be partnering with Northdale (Northallerton) and the Refugee Council on this work.

“By working alongside them we can ensure our interpretation engages a wider range of people, helping to bring difference audiences to Kiplin.

“Overall, we are aiming to better tell the stories of Kiplin’s origins and past, in a more profound, broad and engaging way. We know this will improve the visitor experience for people who have been enjoying Kiplin for years and those who are new, or have yet to discover us.”

David Renwick, director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:  “We are thrilled to support Kiplin Hall in working with local communities to exploring its fascinating heritage and celebrate its 400th anniversary.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, this project will allow local people to better understand their heritage and history, and help others discover their own. The North is the home to fascinating heritage and we know it is a great way of bringing people together and creating a sense of pride of place, that in turn can deliver wider benefits.”

Simon Cross, service manager from local charity Northdale, will be engaging with the project.

He said: “Northdale provides training and work-based activities for adults with learning and/or physical disabilities. We are looking forward to our services users taking part in this project at Kiplin.

“It will give (them) Vulnerable Adults a significant say in the stories that are told in this heritage setting, impacting how all visitors learn and enjoy this special place.”

As well as creating connections with people well rooted in the area the project also aims to create connections with people new to the area. Kiplin plans to achieve this by working alongside the Refugee Council.

The first phase of the Interpreting Kiplin 400 project is the recruitment of a project officer to lead on the work.

According to the job description, and based on the award-winning reputation of the tea toom, a fondness for cake is also a key requirement!

The closing date for applications is 10am on Thursday, August 25.

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