KIRKLINTON HALL & GARDENS
In 1714, Alexander Pope prescribed
his recipe for contentedness*:
A handsome House to lodge a Friend,
A River at my Garden’s end;
A Terrace-walk, and half a Rood
Of Land, set out to plant a Wood.
The best things in life do not change much down the centuries!
Welcome, therefore, to Kirklinton Hall & Gardens, where we hope you will discover everything necessary to contentedness of body and soul: there is myth and romance, beauty and utility, a fascinating history and an exciting future. A place of fun, food and faeries.
This is a truly magical spot, and you are visiting it at a magical time in its history – as it is rescued and restored to its full glory. It is ‘a haunt of ancient peace’: a place not to be rushed; a place whose special atmosphere needs to be savoured.
So Go Slow, take time out and soak up a little faerie dust…
Christopher and Ilona Boyle
and the Team
* Pope: ‘Imitations of Horace; Book II. Satire VI’
The 17th-Century house is a single pile three-storey c-shaped house, with a five-bay Classically-dressed entrance façade between two shallowly projecting tower-like wings.
As built, these wings presented blank gables to front and rear, with fenestration on the side façades. The entrance front displays a slightly clumsy arrangement of five bays on ground and first floors with only three bays on the second. These windows are all Classically dressed, with moulded architraves and full, flat entablatures.
Although now painted, it appears that red and buff sandstone were used decoratively, similar to the contemporary Tullie House, Carlisle.
All the windows throughout the Hall appear originally to have been mullioned and transomed in stone, with leaded casements, the majority of which were later cut out to accommodate sashes. Some mullions and transomes survive in subsidiary locations (eg rear, basement and in the return of one tower).
The Stable Courtyard
The stable buildings seem to have been re-ordered at the same time as the 1875 wing was erected. The main stable block incorporates an earlier much altered stable and added a Jacobethan block to match the new gables on the old Hall.
A low single storey wing extends two sides round a cobbled yard. Amongst other elements it incorporated a two bay carriage house with fine curved archways and a boiler house with a tall and elaborately detailed brick stack. The 1937 particulars state that this housed a ‘Robin Hood’ generator.
The 1875 wing also incorporated a four storey tower under a hipped roof, the top floor of which contained a water tank fed by a pump powered by a water wheel in the lower reaches of Longcleughside Beck. Although most of this has vanished, it is clearly shown on the Deeds and the right to reinstate it has been retained.
The Gardens & Grounds
The Gardens and Grounds are being restored to Organic production from a state of abject dereliction.
Photographs from 1937 show well tended lawns and herbaceous planting in essentially a late Victorian manner, unsurprising, perhaps, for a house largely let since Edwardian times. A photograph of the Edwardian head-gardener in his hot house shows the opulence of country-house life at that time.
By 2012, however, following decades of complete neglect, the garden was as much a ruin as the Hall. The formal terraces shown in the 1901 OS lay buried and invisible beneath grass, brambles and self-sown sycamores.
The 120 yard long 18th Century hot wall stood decayed and forlorn, its Peach House vanished. The lawns and Kitchen Garden were chest-high with hogweed and coarse grasses.
This situation has now been transformed. Picking up on the Hall’s history, but also the desires and anxieties of our own times, the driving philosophy of the garden restoration is to explore and re-capture the 17th Century spirit of the garden, drawing on contemporary writers (both theoretical and practical) such as Francis Bacon, John Evelyn and John Parkinson.
Kirklinton Hall Timeline
A very brief history of Kirklinton Hall & Gardens.
Kirklinton Hall Built
Edmund Appleby, and/or son Joseph, constructs Kirklinton Hall from the stone of the ruined Levington Castle.
Manor Changes Hands
The Rev Joseph Dacre sells the manor to the trustees of George Graham
Estate sold, but Hall and grounds remained unsold
Second World War Begins
Kirklinton requisitioned by the RAF for an officers’ mess
Converted Into Flats
Kirklinton Hall converted into flats and occupied by servicemen working at Longtown
Casino And Night Club
Kirklinton Hall was let to a Mr Caine, who ran it as ‘The Borders Country Club’, a casino and nightclub which attracted famous people and gangster friends, such as the Kray twins
Mr Caine abandoned the hall, which soon became prey to vandalism and dereliction. An application to demolish the Hall is refused
Kirklinton Hall is listed Grade II
The Hall and gardens bought by a Cornwall based property company with a view to building 22 houses. The company was caught in the property recession and went into receivership
Mr & Mrs Boyle obtain Kirklinton at auction to rescue it from further development schemes
Planning permission granted to restore Edward Addison’s 17th Century house. This work has now begun , with the building cleared of rubble and 40 year old trees, the walls stabilised, outbuildings re-roofed and the restoration of the gardens and grounds proceeding apace