The house originally belonged to Captain Haddock's ancestor Sir Francis Haddock, but the Haddock family loses ownership somewhere along the line and it ends up as the property of the Bird Brothers. But they lose the mansion in the The Secret of the Unicorn as they are captured by detectives Thompson and Thomson and convicted of attempted murder. Nestor is the butler of the mansion, and he is very loyal to his employers (the Bird Brothers initially and Captain Haddock after them). Captain Haddock also shares his mansion with Professor Cuthbert Calculus, who presumably moved into the mansion after helping Haddock buy it back. Tintin is also seen living there in the later stories starting from The Calculus Affair, leaving the apartment that he rented from Mrs. Finch, apparently after the conclusion of Land of Black Gold. The Bird Brothers used to live in here until their apprehension.
Marlinspike Hall shares its name with the local village of Marlinspike. It is called Le château de Moulinsart in the original French versions. The French name is derived from Sart-Moulin, a village near Braine-l'Alleud in Walloon Brabant, Belgium; in an allusion to the Haddock family's maritime history, the hall's English name refers to the marlinspike, a tool used in seamanship to splice ropes. In the American edition by Golden Press, the hall was named Hudson Manor as if to suggest it was one of the large estates along the Hudson River in New York State.
Marlinspike Hall is presented as a large and luxurious dwelling adorned with numerous works of art, antique furniture, and a gallery of the Haddock family's treasures. The grounds comprise a park with extensive woodlands, wide lawns, a rose garden, a high surrounding wall, at least two gates, a neighbouring meadow, and at least one adjacent building (used by Professor Calculus as a laboratory in The Calculus Affair). The size of the house and park would appear to require a number of domestic and gardening staff but only one - the faithful Nestor, who serves as butler to the Hall - is ever seen, although a gardener is mentioned mowing the lawn once in the last pages of The Red Sea Sharks.
Red Rackham's TreasureAt the end of Red Rackham's Treasure, the manor (found to have been built by an illustrious ancestor of Haddock's, Sir Francis Haddock) is purchased by Professor Calculus on behalf of the Captain; the fabled treasure itself is found hidden in the manor's old chapel, in the cellars.
In the following years, Marlinspike provides a home base for Tintin and Haddock in between their various adventures.
Land of Black Gold
- "My house, by thunder! What's that nitwitted ninepin done to my beautiful house?!"
- —Captain Haddock, after discovering that Calculus almost destroyed Marlinspike.
In Land of Black Gold, Professor Calculus almost blows up parts of the hall while conducting experiments to try and find an antidote to a chemical that causes fuel to become explosive.
When Haddock, Tintin and Snowy return to Marlinspike, the house is repaired and repainted. They leave, after learning that the Professor has left.
Thanks to Calculus' ultrasonic invention, glass and porcelain items at the hall smash, and Marlinspike Hall becomes a tourist attraction.
The Professor's laboratory is also stripped.
After saving Professor Calculus from Borduria, they learn that Jolyon Wagg and his large family are having a holiday at the house. But thanks to the short-of-hearing Professor Calculus, Mr. Wagg and his family leave the house, after they believe that Captain Haddock has chicken- pox.
The hall recieves an unexpected guest- Prince Abdullah. Abdullah and several of his servants set up a tent in the staterooms.
- "Now, now, turn it up! Too easy. I'm president of the Vagabond Car Club down my way; all I've had to do is organise a rally, and the final trials...... are at Marlinspike!"
- —Jolyon Wagg to Captain Haddock.
The Castafiore Emerald
In The Castafiore Emerald, virtually all of the action takes place in the hall, its grounds, or the surrounding countryside.
Tintin and the PicarosTBA
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
In the movie, Haddock's grandfather lost it, and it later ends up in Sakharine's hands. After Sakharine's arrest, the manor falls into the possession of Captain Haddock.
LocationThe English translations of the Tintin books caused some confusion by giving the address of Marlinspike Hall as "Marlinshire", England" in The Secret of the Unicorn. However details such as traffic travelling on the right hand side of the road and the appearance of the Marlinspike police (who wear the black and red uniforms of the Belgian Gendarmerie) confirm that Hergé's intention was to locate the Hall in his native Belgium. Moreover, it is explained in the French version of Red Rackham's Treasure that the Manor was built by an ancestor of Captain Haddock's, the Chevalier François de Hadoque, a Ship-of-the-Line Captain in La Royale under King Louis XIV. It would then be very surprising if a 17th century French officer had his home built in England, while most of Belgium was in that time part of France.
- The hall is modeled after the central section of the Château de Cheverny.
- Bengali: Marlinspike
- Catalan: Molins de dalt
- Danish: Møllenborg Slot (literally: Millburg Castle)
- Dutch: Kasteel Molensloot
- Finnish: Moulinsartin linna
- French: Château de Moulinsart
- German: Schloss Mühlenhof
- Icelandic: Myllusetur
- Italian: Castello di Moulinsart
- Persian: کاخ مولنسار (Ka'kh-e-Moulansar)
- Polish: Księżymłyn
- Portuguese: Castelo de Moulinsart
- Serbian: Замак Муленсар (Castle Moulinsart)
- Spanish: Castillo de Moulinsart
- Swedish: Moulinsarts slott
- Turkish: Mulensar Şatosu
- Simplified Chinese: 马林斯派克宫（Marlinspike Palace）/马林斯派克大厅（Marlinspike Hall）/穆兰萨城堡（Mulinsart Castle）
- The Belgian corporation Moulinsart SA organized to manage the rights to Hergé's work is called after the original French name of Marlinspike.