Bateman’s------The Home of Rudyard Kipling(3)

The highlight of Bateman’s is the Exhibition Room that once served as a bedroom for Rudyard Kipling and his wife. At the Exhibition Room there are many valuable items displayed. I would like to mention a few that particularly interested me. Nelson relic, a piece of HMS Victory’s Trafalgar bunting; The alphabet necklace from the story ‘How The Alphabet Was Made’ designed by Kipling to entertain his children and those of his friends; Kipling’s pictures from his childhood to adult; Last but definitely least, the certificate of Nobel Prize in Literature that was awarded to Rudyard Kipling "in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author".
Aside the Exhibition Room there is a tiny room that probably was used as The Powder Closet. In 1660s it was fashionable for men to wear wigs. As the job of powdering them was extremely messy a room would be set aside for the purpose. People guess Rudyard Kipling used The Powder Closet as a dressing room. Now you can see characters from Kipling’s books.

Before I went downstairs I had a short visit to the Kipling bedroom. The room gathered the memories of their three children. Although Rudyard Kipling and his wife always put on a brave face in public, they didn’t recover from the deaths of two of their children and the grief never eased.
The downstairs Dinning Room was dominated by the English Cordoba leather wall hangings. The room was used to entertain many famous guests, such as President Clemenceau of France and Lawrence of Arabia. There is a fire screen made out of a piece of antique embroidery with the scenes from the life of the Hindu god Krishna. A oil painting is hanged above the fireplace. Surprisingly Kipling’s wife didn’t like it. However they couldn’t get it rid of as it was a gift from one of their friends. So the solution was when she sat at the room for meal she always gave her back to the painting.
That’s all what I saw at the house of Bateman’s. Then I left to the Garden.

4. The Garden, The Wild Garden and The Meadow

The Garden is well designed with grass, trees and a pond. There is a site of Kipling’s old grass tennis court ,a number of Kipling’s pet graves. At my way to the Wild Garden I saw a stone that was originally marked Rudyard Kipling’s grave in Westminster Abbey and was later replaced by a larger tombstone in poets corner.
The Wild Garden is situated at the southern end of the garden, extending south-westwards along the banks of the River Dudwell and the mill leat. There is a 18th working watermill at the end of the Wild Garden. The mill grinds corn most Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2pm. Unfortunately the day I visited Bateman’s was Monday so I didn’t see it. However walking around the mill and reading the information panel I finally figured out how the mill does the work.

On leaving the mill I had a short stay at the bench of the Meadow. The Meadow has been used for farming for many years. In 1902 when Rudyard Kipling bought Bateman’s it came with 33 acres, but he bought more land as it became available. Today most of what you see to the north, west and east belongs to Bateman’s.

I also stopped at Bateman’s shop and bought a bookmark that has Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’ printed on it.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable day out. One day I hope I can visit Bateman’s again, but only after I have read some of his works.

Extra information:

Bateman’s is owned by National Trust. Bateman’s prices are £7.45 for adults, £4.10 for children and £18.60 for family. If you're a member of National Trust you can get free entrance. However Bateman’s is not open everyday. You can visit National Trust website for more details.

Bateman’s-The Home of Rudyard Kipling