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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Bateman's - Home of Rudyard Kipling

Bateman's was the family home of Rudyard Kipling the writer. His most famous books were 'Jungle Book' and the 'Just So stories'. He also wrote many, many poems. and achieved great success during his lifetime allowing him to buy and upkeep this house and the 33acres of land surrounding it. Born in India in 1865  he lived most of his life in Britain. He lived at Bateman's from 1902 until his death in 1936.

Within the grounds is the Mill house.
Kipling closed the mill the year after moving into Bateman's. He wanted the house to be lit by electricity so he took away the waterwheel and installed a water turbine and electric generator. After the Trust took over the property  in 1939 it was another 30 years before the mill was restored so that once more it produces flour.

The water from the river which provides the power for the mill.

The large pipes , next to the water wheel, fed the water turbine which Kipling installed.

Kipling loved cars and owned this Rolls Royce Phantom1. Unfortunately it is kept behind glass in a small garage so I found it impossible to get a reasonable photo.

Bateman's was originally built in 1634 from sandstone. It is now owned by the National Trust which has preserved it, with the help of the Kipling family, as it was when Kipling lived there.
This is the entrance hall with its huge fireplace.
Beautiful oak window seats.

The family sitting room.

This used to be the schoolroom when his children were young but then became the sitting room of his daughter, Elsie, once she was older.

                                              An old valve radio.

Kipling's desk left exactly how he last used it.

He received the Nobel prize for literature in 1907. This is a translation of the award.

The alphabet necklace from the story 'How the Alphabet was made' one of the 'The Just So Stories'

ONE of the first things that Tegumai Bopsulai did after Taffy and he had made the Alphabet was to make a magic Alphabet-necklace of all the letters, so that it could be put in the Temple of Tegumai and kept for ever and ever. All the Tribe of Tegumai brought their most precious beads and beautiful things, and Taffy and Tegumai spent five whole years getting the necklace in order. ...........
A is scratched on a tooth--an elk-tusk I think.
B is the Sacred Beaver of Tegumai on a bit of old glory.
C is a pearly oyster-shell--inside front.
D must be a sort of mussel shell--outside front.
E is a twist of silver wire.
F is broken, but what remains of it is a bit of stag's horn.
G is painted black on a piece of wood. (The bead after G is a small shell, and not a clay bead. I don't know why they did that.)
H is a kind of a big brown cowie-shell.
I is the inside part of a long shell ground down by hand. (It took Tegumai three months to grind it down.)
J is a fish hook in mother-of-pearl.
L is the broken spear in silver. (K aught to follow J of course, but the necklace was broken once and they mended it wrong.)
K is a thin slice of bone scratched and rubbed in black.
M is on a pale gray shell.
N is a piece of what is called porphyry with a nose scratched on it. (Tegumai spent five months polishing this stone.)
O is a piece of oyster-shell with a hole in the middle.
P and Q are missing. They were lost, a long time ago, in a great war, and the tribe mended the necklace with the dried rattles of a rattlesnake, but no one ever found P and Q. That is how the saying began, 'You must mind your P's. and Q's.'
R is, of course, just a shark's tooth.
S is a little silver snake.
T is the end of a small bone, polished brown and shiny.
U is another piece of oyster-shell.
W is a twisty piece of mother-of-pearl that they found inside a big mother-of-pearl shell, and sawed off with a wire dipped in sand and water. It took Taffy a month and a half to polish it and drill the holes.
X is silver wire joined in the middle with a raw garnet. (Taffy found the garnet.)
Y is the carp's tail in ivory.
Z is a bell-shaped piece of agate marked with Z-shaped stripes. They made the Z-snake out of one of the stripes by picking out the soft stone and rubbing in red sand and bee's-wax. Just in the mouth of the bell you see the clay bead repeating the Z-letter.

From 'The Just So stories'        'How the Alphabet was made.'


  1. It is a truly wonderful property, and on a human scale. Great photos. I wonder what the covered over car on the driveway is.

  2. What a brilliant place and he was already ahead of his time installing a turbine to produce electricity shame some water companies don't think about doing that as well.

  3. Nice tour of Kipling's home. I would love to see that Rolls Royce up close! :-)

  4. Thank you for this tour! What a fascinating person and place.

  5. You are a champion to find interesting places to visit !! I learned about Kipling at school and in German, lol ! (without Google translator !)

  6. Loved seeing Kipling's home and how nice you were allowed to take photos. I always like seeing an author's desk. Such a personal space. I imagine he had some beautiful inspiration in the view out that window.

  7. Thanks for taking us on this tour. How wonderful Bateman has been restored to how it was when Kipling lived there.

  8. It's a stunning house with beautiful gardens. I loved the tour, many thanks!

  9. Thanks for taking us on a tour of this wonderful place ..... didn't he keep a tidy desk!

  10. Wow - how interesting! Beautiful house and gardens. Thanks for sharing such interesting tidbits.

  11. Wonderful tour of the house. It is a pleasure to see these images.

  12. Thank you for this very informative post. Those windows and doors have certainly seen a lot of history since the 1600's - what stories they could tell. I guess it fits well that Kipling made it his home. I recall a film produced by perhaps the BBC, not sure, about Kipling and his son during WWI that may have included Bateman, because some of it looks familiar.

  13. Another super tour! I especially love your 'reflection' shot. Beautiful.

  14. Very interesting... I always enjoyed Rudyard Kipling's works.. Bateman's looks like a great place. I'm glad that the 'trust' has preserved the house/gardens --and especially putting the mill back to its original set-up.... Very nice place.. Glad you took us on this tour.

  15. What a wonderfully restored property. The best way to learn history. We watched a TV movie about Kipling doh can't remember what it was called.

  16. This is just amazing of a historical place! So glad you share such a pretty part of history!


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