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Exclusive: Calderstones Mansion House in sell-off

Fears that public could be denied access to areas of park

Written by . Published on January 9th 2012.

Exclusive: Calderstones Mansion House in sell-off

CALDERSTONES Park Mansion House, once home to one of the Cunard Line shipping magnates, is to be sold off as the city council grapples with its financial storm. 

The nearby coach house and barn complex and will also be offered for sale, ending more than a century of civic ownership. 

The buildings are a critical part of the Calderstones estate and I would hate to see the park down-graded if the main buildings go' - Cllr Flo Clucas

The Georgian mansion, built in 1828, was vacated several months ago, apart from a small security presence. 

Previous suggestions in the past to convert it into a restaurant or luxury apartments have been greeted with outrage from the local community. 

The house in 1905The house in 1905The 94-acre Calderstones estate was originally created in the 1700s, but the main farmhouse was eventually replaced by the grand mansion seen today. 

In 1875, shipping magnate Charles MacIver bought the mansion and the extensive grounds for £52,000. He worked for 35 years with the Cunard Line then based in Liverpool. 

In 1902, his sons sold the mansion and the parkland to Liverpool Corporation, paving the way for one of the city's greatest public parks. The council paid just £42,000 for the whole lot. 

Until recently, the Mansion House was the headquarters of the council's parks and gardens department. 

It, the barn and coach-house, are among a list of properties listed by the Labour-run council as being surplus to requirements. 

The councils' decision-making cabinet has approved moves to authorise the council's head of Property and Asset Management Services to dispose of the buildings “in the appropriate manner”. 

The rear of the Mansion House once boasted an outdoor stage where, for many years, open air concerts took place. 

Flogging the family jewels seems inevitable, given the grim options, and other prized buildings and sites in council ownership could also go on the  market in coming months. 

Flo ClucasFlo ClucasAllerton Lib Dem councillor Flo Clucas said: “The Lib Dem cabinet looked at a suggestion some years ago of turning the Mansion House into a hotel and restaurant complex.  We quickly realised the potential problems, such as access, and it went no further. The buildings are a critical part of the Calderstones estate and I would hate to see the park down-graded if the main buildings go. 

“I am also worried if the site is sold it could lead to public access being denied to a large area of the park off Calderstones Road.” 

She added: “The local community must be involved in the discussions about what happens to the park. I believe that process should have started well before the council decided it should place these important buildings on the market.”


The future is ragged trousered schoolkids, says Larry Neild

Millions of pounds worth of cuts have been described by leader Joe Anderson and his deputy, Paul Brant, as heartbreaking. 

Back To The Old DaysBack to the old daysAround 76 jobs in the library services are to go, with the closure of three libraries and shorter opening hours at others. 

A number of libraries will share services– and staff – with council one stop shops and fines will be increased for late returns of books. The shared libraries and one stop shops involved libraries are Garston, Speke (Parklands) and Walton. 

The book fund, already slashed since 2005, will be cut by another £100,000. In 2005 it stood at £1.3m and currently stands – before the new cuts – at £750k. 

Big question is whether the people of Woolton Village will take over running of their doomed village library – I guess they will, and with so many academics and bookworms living in the south Liverpool "brain valley", the library could end up as the best stocked in the city. 

One of the cruellest cuts is the decision to axe school uniform grants. It will save almost £800,000 and hit 24,000 pupils. 

We live in an age where young people are more fashion conscious than ever and where an accepted school uniform gives hope to the less well off of at least a level playing field in the fashion stakes. 

Take the uniform grant away and we'll end up with thousands of ragged trousered schoolkids. At least each will be comforted by reading their free copies of the famous Socialist epic by Robert Tressell, buried in Walton, Liverpool (as a pauper). The centenary of his death at the age of 40, was marked in Liverpool last February. 

City councillors will meet on January 18 to confirm the latest round of cuts and savings.

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14 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2012.

Pity Calderstone's Mansion and the coach house couldn't be used as a Cunard Experience building as well as an archive place so people from overseas can check the paths taken by their ancestors.

disgusted of allertonJanuary 9th 2012.

They should sell off the Town Hall instead

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 10th 2012.

Pillock. Have you seen how dilapidated the buildings are? They'd cosy a fortune to bring up to scratch. You want to close off a few children's centres to fund it? Or day centres from Social Services?

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2012.

Why not hand over Croxteth Hall to the National Trust as the council did some years ago with Speke Hall. It would save a fortune in running costs and would be in very good hands.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 10th 2012.

Not quite that simple! The National Trust will only take on a property if it is of significant historical/cultural value and they usually have to have an endownment to cover running costs. I don't think either of those would apply to Croxteth.

Speke Hall is a different case - that was given to the Trust in the 1940s and run by the council on their behalf until the 1980s. They didn't hand it over, they handed it back.

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2012.

Its not like the buildings themselves are much benefit to the people of liverpool at the moment having been largly office space and now disussed, it would be a shame to sell lots of land at the same time. liverpools parklands are wonderful and should remain intact.


Joan BurnettJanuary 10th 2012.

Would you rather it stayed empty to be wrecked by vandals and eventually destroyed like Liscard Hall?

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2012.

The Lanmark Trust was set up in 1965 by a chap who worked many year's for Nat Trust, but saw lots of smaller, historical , and architectual places being overlooked, and slipping through the net. The trust finds, and renovates, the properties back to origional, or as near as state and rents out all of these amazing properties, which helps them save other properties, so Joe public can experience totally amazing places. I'm not sure if they would be intersted in Calderstones, but it would be a fantastic place to stay, when restored to its origional splendor Access rights can be addressed, the place we stayed was in middle of nowhere, and yet they had made it accessable. It's all about 'can do' and not can't do!

Leon KayJanuary 11th 2012.

what a fucking liberty

Alex PlodeJanuary 11th 2012.

Its documented that John Lennon used to hang out out with his mates on the 'bank' at the front of The Mansion House as a kid and regularly frequent Woolton Library. So probably the council will bulldoze them both...

1 Response: Reply To This...
Woolton CentreMay 28th 2012.

Alex, Would you know where this has been documented that John used Woolton Library? We have been unable to find it.


Woolton Community Resource Centre
previously known as Save Woolton Library

our email address is wcrc@aol.co.uk

Liverpool wagJanuary 11th 2012.

Yes, and put a Primark there

LorryJanuary 31st 2013.

If it were not for this draconian Goverment & the greed of the bankers & the finaciers who gambled with other peoples money on the stock exchange & housing market these Cuts imposed on our local councils would not have to be made.Cameron like his predeceser Thatcher hits the most vulnerable in our society who ultimatley pay for the errors of others.As usual it is the ordinary people who pay the price & lose local facilities such as the libraries & other amenities.

Richard RamoneFebruary 15th 2015.

Maybe Paul or Ringo could buy it.

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