Woolton Mansions Walk
Join Stephen Guy from Liverpool Museums and discover the opulent history of Woolton's mansions by walking through an area rich in reminders of the Victorian age.
Liverpool Museums Stephen Guy is our guide on a tour of Woolton Mansions. Start at the junction of Menlove Avenue and Beaconsfield Road.
Begin by walking up Beaconsfield Road.
The gates at Strawberry Fields
"A very well known mansion of course. It went in the early 1970’s and when they pulled it down all the houses around had to have their windows closed because it had dry rot and the spores from dry rot were everywhere. It was a very gothic place and it was occupied by a man called George Warren a ship owner. The original gates remain of course and are on the main entrance, these beautiful ornate gates, and all the Beatles fans have scrawled on the posts. The gates show the status of the man who lived here, a wealthy ship owner - a suitable entrance for a very important resident”
Cross the road opposite Strawberry Fields
"This is now a school Abbots Lee School, a city council school. A solid sandstone building, possibly built from Woolton sandstone. This was the home of William Gottager JP who was a soap manufacturer. The soap factory was in Widnes so perhaps he had a private carriage to get to Widnes, we’re talking about the high Victorian era that he would have lived here."
Continue walking up the hill past Quarry Street
“We’re getting to a very high part of the landscape. In the early 1900’s a man called John Roger lived here. He was a wool broker, Liverpool of course dealt in all sorts of things. This is quite a modest house and of course there were very close neighbours with Abbots Lee next door.”
One of Woolton's great houses
“It reminds me very much of Sudley House, it’s Woolton stone. A hundred years ago two brothers lived here called Pilkington. There’s an interesting clock the on the mews where the coachman would have been able to see if he was on time when he was leaving to collect one of the Pilkington brothers in the coach.
"This is connected to the big house long gone now, Beaconsfield. This was either a lodge or dower house which is where an elderly relative would have perhaps lived. It’s covered with Virginia creeper, quite a substantial house.”
Continue walking up the hill in the direction of the mini roundabout
St Gabriel’s Convent
“This is a regency house, Knoll Park built in the 1820’s by Thomas Foster who was the Town Clerk of Liverpool. He chose himself a fantastic location because we are now on the highest part of Liverpool, although in those days of course this wasn’t part of Liverpool.
"Next to the main gates there’s a Grecian style lodge, like a temple. These would have been the main gates where the carriages would have swept in. A very nice corner of the property. It’s something you wouldn’t notice easily which is why it’s very important to walk around an area”
"The house would have had a marvellous view, as we can see right over looking east towards Manchester. That’s one reason why the merchants came here because it was an excellent location.”
View from the highest point in Liverpool
Cross the road and head down Woolton Hill Road
“This house is the Bishop’s home now. In the period we’re talking about it was called Baycliffe, It’s vantage point is blocked now by houses which are more modern but it would have had a fantastic view over this surrounding countryside.”
Turn right into Woolton Park Road
“There is even a tower on this building. Built in beautiful local stone and I would suspect an absolutely stupendous view from there. And lots of chimneys, tall thin ones, mock Tudor I think you’d call it.”
Only a gate post remains
Follow the road around the bend
Longworth and Highfield
“Longworth is gone now but this is something to look out for, the gateposts remain. Nearby is the site of Highfield. One of the best known citizens of Liverpool lived here, Henry Tate the sugar baron, this was his family home, it is gone now demolished in the early 1980’s I think. Which is a shame because it was a huge mansion built in 1871.”
Turn right into Church Road
“Hugely well known for its walled garden, there was a mansion here which burnt down years ago. About the whole area it has been said that this part of South Liverpool in Victorian times was the greatest example of conspicuous wealth in Britain, if not the world, which is a great accolade. And even now you can still get a feel of the reflection of that wealth that was generated in the city.”
last updated: 04/07/07
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