MPT Documentary Features Lord Baltimore’s English Estate

Film visits Maryland’s “Downton Abbey” and explores the English manor and its preservation by UMD students

OWINGS MILLS, MD –   Kiplin Hall:  Birthplace of Maryland invites viewers into the historic property of Kiplin Hall once occupied by George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore.  The documentary reveals how a team of college students led by University of Maryland Professor David Fogle traveled to Great Britain in 1987 to preserve the historic manor.  Kiplin Hall:  Birthplace of Maryland premieres Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 8:30 pm.

Kiplin Hall, a 17th century manor house in the north of England, is often described as the “birthplace of Maryland,” for it was here that George Calvert developed the concept of a colony in the Americas dedicated to religious freedom for Catholics.   Rising from humble beginnings without title or riches, Calvert employed genius and pluck to eventually become a member of Parliament and later Secretary of State under King James I, whom he persuaded to accept his dream of a colony.    

The program explores Kiplin Hall, which could be characterized as Maryland’s Downton Abbey, and examines its significant early history and how the manor house evolved over four centuries under the ownership of only four families: the Calverts, the Crowes, the Carpenters and the Talbots.  The estate grew to as large as 5,000 acres but experienced a serious decline in the 20th century.  The manor house was requisitioned by British troops in WWII, fell into tough financial times in later decades, and was almost torn down in the 1950s. 

A team of University of Maryland architectural students traveled to the estate in 1987 to save the “gray lady” that held such significance for Maryland.  Professor David Fogle founded the Maryland International Study Centre at Kiplin Hall and oversaw the dozen students who camped out over its stables and blacksmith shop.  The University of Maryland team made remarkable progress, and the connection with a major American university did not go unnoticed by the British government entity charged with preserving that nation’s historical sites.   It elevated Kiplin Hall to its highest status, qualifying it for greater funding.

The MPT production is made possible by a major grant from the University of Maryland, one of the nations’s leading research universities.  Ken Day is the MPT producer for the program, and Dr. David Fogle, Professor Emeritus, School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, University of Maryland, served as program consultant.

About MPT

Launched in 1969 and headquartered in Owings Mills, MD, Maryland Public Television is a nonprofit, state-licensed public television network and member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).  MPT’s six transmitters cover Maryland plus portions of contiguous states and the District of Columbia.  Frequent winner of regional Emmy® awards, MPT creates local, regional, and national television shows.  Beyond broadcast, MPT’s commitment to professional educators, parents, caregivers, and learners of all ages is manifest in its year-round instructional events and super-website Thinkport which garners in excess of 1.4 million visits annually. 

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