Kiplin Hall cold case solved

A detective story has been unravelled at Kiplin Hall.

In April curator Dawn Webster, received an e-mail enquiry regarding Captain Walter Cecil Talbot’s naval career. Walter Talbot was the owner of Kiplin Hall from 1868 until his death in 1904.

The enquirer’s interest was motivated by an item he had bought in good faith at auction in 2009 and he now wanted to sell.

The item, a 19th century marine chronometer also opened up an old case for North Yorkshire Police.

The chronometer, has a paper label on the top of the box which said Capt The Hon. W.C. Talbot, H.M.S. Steady. Favored by J.E. Knight, Esq. and was made by the well-respected firm of Edward J. Dent of London.

The owner of the chronometer had bought it from Christie’s in 2009 for £6,500 and offered it to Kiplin Hall for £12,000, which was out of its budget.

The owner then put the chronometer into auction at Bonhams.

Meanwhile Kiplin archive volunteer, Nick Ellis, was working through one of more than 30 boxes of the Trustees’ archives.

He found letters between former caretaker, Tom Prime, and the then Land Agent, John Bailey. The correspondence related to a burglary from the drawing room and Library on the night of December 10/11 1976.

Several clocks, some oriental ceramic pieces and a Dent marine chronometer, no. 1803, were stolen.

Miss Webster contacted North Yorkshire Police and the chronometer was immediately withdrawn from sale.

Following some detective work, the chronometer was declared to be still the property of the Trust.

On Wednesday, September 5 the chronometer was transported to Bonhams’ saleroom in Leeds.

From there it made its final journey home to Kiplin Hall.

The chronometer will now go on display with the sextant in the new Travellers’ Bedroom.

They can be viewed during the Hall’s opening times, which are Sunday to Wednesday, 2pm – 5pm until the end of October.

For more details log onto or call the hall on 01748 818178.