Student’s Royal Project at Kiplin Hall
Local student Imogen Hayden is studying for a degree in the History of Art & Curating at the University of York and is enjoying a placement at Kiplin Hall and Gardens this spring, working on a curatorial internship project.
Tasked with researching royal connections in the collection, Imogen has been working on a project to create an engaging and educational family trail to be explored by visitors during half term in celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee.
“Imogen volunteered at Kiplin before undertaking her studies so it’s a real pleasure to welcome her back as she pursues a career in the heritage sector” comments Curator Alice Rose. “Imogen’s project is going to add value to the visitor experience this year as we all look back on the Queen’s reign and the way life has changed over the last 70 years, as well as the impact of other monarchs.”
Under Imogen’s guidance a small team of volunteers have created felt cupcakes which will feature in the trail. “The cupcakes are a symbol of celebration and will be placed around the museum near objects of interest on the trail, acting like bread crumbs (or cake crumbs in this case!) leading visitors around the house. Labels on the cakes will ask questions and prompt visitors to explore the collections on display more closely” describes Imogen.
Kiplin’s links to the monarchy are peppered throughout its history, like many historic houses. Beginning with the first owner of Kiplin Hall, George Calvert, who was the secretary of state to James I in 1619 continuing to modern times. A small bone or ivory box at Kiplin contains a single strand of horse hair collected from the mane of one of the grey horses at Queen Elizabeth II Coronation in 1953.
Imogen’s love of history runs deep, rooted in visits to museums as a child with her parents and grandparents. Imogen hopes to pursue a career working in a historic house like Kiplin. “I really enjoy being in historic houses. I think it’s the personal nature of the collections and the buildings, they were once homes (some still are) to real people. Historic houses offer a really tangible connection to people in the past which I think is very special. Kiplin is a wonderful place to spend time. Although the owner families are no longer here the staff and volunteers are lovely and provide that personal element to each other and visitors.”
Kiplin enjoys the support of over 160 volunteers, described by the management as the ‘fifth family’ after the four great families who owned Kiplin over the last 400 years; the Calverts, Crowes, Carpenters, and Talbots all related by blood and/or marriage.
The Jubilee Trail takes visitors on a journey throughout the historic house at Kiplin, it is aimed at families with primary school aged children but can be enjoyed by all. There is no lift in the building, the trail involves going up and down numerous staircases. There will also be a number of prompts in the gardens too. The trail will be on display from Friday 27th May, during half term and into the summer months.
Kiplin Hall & Gardens is open 6 days a week, closed on Thursdays, and includes the historic house museum, tea room, gardens and ample grounds. Historic Houses members visit for free.