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Fate of Calderstones Mansion down to two bidders

Book lovers' base or boutique hotel?

Written by . Published on January 2nd 2013.

Fate of Calderstones Mansion down to two bidders

IT has been in civic ownership for 110 years, but what fate awaits the up-for-sale Calderstones Mansion House, one time home of the co-founder of the world famous Cunard Line?

Two potential bidders for the house, built in the 1820s, and the nearby extensive stable block, will be quizzed on January 10.

The council is so far keeping quiet about the likely proposals for the buildings which were put up for sale to boost council coffers, as revealed on Liverpool Confidential almost a year to the day.

All it would say is the two shortlisted bidders are The Reader Organisation, the Liverpool-based charity and social enterpriise that promotes literature, and a newly formed group called The Calderstones Trust.

(Click here to add text)But Liverpool Confidential understands the proposals would provide either an exclusive boutique hotel, with a community element, or a teaching and residential base for the Everton-based Reader Organisation.

The three local councillors for the area, Richard Kemp, Erica Kemp and Tom Morrison (all Lib Dems) plan to leaflet around 10,000 homes in their Church Ward to canvass views from local people.

Going by responses to previous proposals for the park, locals are bound to raise concerns about noise, parking, congested roads.

Yet the unused Mansion House needs a new use to ensure that it doesn't fall into ruin. It's been virtually empty since Environmental Services, or Parks and Gardens as was, quit the building as their main base almost two years ago.

The problem for any potential user is the fact the mansion house is along a main driveway, shared with pedestrians.


The final decision on which of the two will win the race will be made by Mayor Joe Anderson and his Cabinet. Regeneration Cabinet member Cllr Malcolm Kennedy is leading the process. It could be both bids will be rejected, though as they have been selected as potential occupiers, it seems unlikely.

The meeting on January 10, to be attended by Cllr Kennedy, the three local councillors as well as a representative from the Friends of Harthill and Calderstones Park, may well make a recommendation, however it won't be binding on the council cabinet.

For The Reader Organisation, whose patron is author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce, Calderstones would make an ideal teaching and learning base. It is currently based in The Friary in Bute Street.

The Calderstones buildings are among a collection of council owned properties, all surplus to requirements and up for sale. The hope is that their sale will raise at least £3m to boost the shrinking coffers of the City Treasury. No price tag has been given for the Mansion House and stables.

Mansion facts

In 1875 the Calderstones estate was bought by local shipping magnate Charles MacIver for £52,000.

Calderstones Mansion House
MacIver linked up with Samuel Cunard and they established the British and North American Royal Steam Packet Company, later to become the Cunard Line.

In 1902 the estate, including the mansion house and stables, was sold to Liverpool Council for the bargain price of £43,000.

The current mansion house was built in 1828 by the then owner, Joseph Need Walker, who made his fortune as a lead shot manufacturer.

The Georgian style mansion replaced an extensive old farmhouse that had occupied the site since the early1700s.

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

AnonymousJanuary 3rd 2013.

Boutique hotel, then it gets sold to a pub chain and they put outside tables in front of the hall. Can see it now .... Calderstones becoming a no-go area for family walks. Don't know enough about Readers to say if that will be ok.

Moss QuitoJanuary 3rd 2013.

"exclusive boutique hotel"?

In the usual context doesn't 'exclusive' mean aggressive, violent, meatheads only?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 5th 2013.

At least this means we know which one of these options that Mayor Joe Anderson will pick. He'll probably be paying a visit once it has been set up!

AnonymousJanuary 4th 2013.

There is a large playground immediately adjacent to the mansion, with the connected toilet block in the same building. Not to mention the small matter of the 5000 year old megalithic Calder Stones which are older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids (the only example of their kind on the entire UK mainland). And the magnificent 1000+ year old oak tree, the model railway, the duck pond, the splendid gardens. Without knowing specifics it is hard to know what the views of the prospective occupants are on preserving the park. It is the best park in Liverpool and as such needs considerable investment to maintain and also promote it's unique assets.

AnonymousJanuary 11th 2013.

Shame they're not using it as an internment camp for the tory collaborators!

Leon KayJanuary 12th 2013.

Hands off the mansion Joey boy you stupid person this man our Lorded over the masses Lord Mayor has not a clue how to run this town.Hotel,boutique my arse.reading groups what next oh I know ...........turn into a housing devlopment.......NOT

LorryJanuary 31st 2013.

If it were not for this draconian Government & its savage CUTS & the greed of bankers & the finaciers gambling on the stock exchange & housing market with other peoples money our local Councils would not have to make such drastic cuts & our parks & libraries would not be under threat

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