In the text of the original mystery we noted that a lot of people had suggested that the large stone ball must have been a gate-post finial. So we asked "... where would such a heavy and bulky thing have come from ? Particularly if you bear in mind that the front gates of Kildwick Hall are famously decorated with lions and urns, not stone balls."
But, of course, the front gates aren't the only ones in the grounds of Kildwick Hall. Here are two photographs of gate-posts elsewhere in the grounds with exactly the right sort of finial.
The lower photograph shows the entrance to what is now Hall Gardens. These days only the left-hand gate-post exists. The right-hand one has been reduced to form part of a low wall and the stone ball finial is missing.
So is it possible that it was the finial from this gate-post that was photographed in the garden ?
Update posted: 27/2/2016