The National Trust-owned Speke Hall is a curious place. Outwardly, its black and white timbers and mullioned windows bring to mind all your schoolday memories of Tudor history lessons. Inside, the creaky old hall is the model of Victorian high living – all William Morris wallpapers, glinting chandeliers and groaning bookcases. Two stately homes for the price of one? That’s what makes this pocket-sized mansion such an enjoyable day. out.
Within its wattle and daub walls a series of elaborately furnished rooms uncovers the history of the wealthy Norris family. Their rococco flourishes and gaudily carved headsteads might not be to everyone’s taste, but it was their restoration that brought this pile back to life after years of neglect. The Great Hall, built in 1530, is perhaps the closest Speke gets to feeling truly medieval.
You wouldn’t guess it from its neighbours either. John Lennon airport is a stone’s throw away and Speke Hall is regularly buzzed by low-flying holiday-makers as a result. But put them out of your mind and this is a trip back in time and tour around the stunning gardens that might make you forget you’re in Liverpool.
Finished with the house? Wander around the stunning gardens that are meticulously maintained – an oasis in the unlovely environs of Speke industrial estate.
Shop, children’s playground, cafe, guided tours. Admission charged.
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