Following my recent post about the leather hangings at Bateman’s I thought I would show a few more images of the interiors of the house.
The writer Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) and his wife Caroline (known as Carrie, 1862-1939) bought the Jacobean-period house in 1902 and filled it with antiques. Kipling’s father, John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911), helped with sourcing furniture and furnishings from the antiques trade.
Although the Kiplings clearly tried to make the interiors as authentic as possible, the house also has a distinctly Edwardian feel, reflecting the period’s taste for artful antiquarianism.
It is no coincidence that two pillars of British conservationism, Country Life magazine and the National Trust, were founded at around this time (in 1897 and 1895 respectively).
The house also reflects the Kiplings’ memories of India. Rudyard was born in Bombay and set many of his stories and novels there. Kipling senior worked as an art teacher and museum curator in Lahore and used many Indian subjects and motifs in his own art.
Mixing and melding these diverse places and times, the interior is a self-conscious work of art in its own right.
In addition it is now of course a ‘shrine’ to a well-known author.
So Bateman’s does multiple things at once: it contains genuine historic objects and works of art, it provides a snapshot of a certain period and mindset, and it is the unique home of certain individuals, one of whom happened to be a famous writer.