Speke hall, NT Property, building, The Walk, Speke, Liverpool, Merseyside, England, UK, L24 1XD
Contributor:Tony Smith / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:53 MB (2.1 MB Compressed download)
Releases:Model - no | Property - noDo I need a release?
Dimensions:5616 x 3300 px | 47.5 x 27.9 cm | 18.7 x 11 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:26 June 2011
Location:The Walk, Speke, Liverpool, Merseyside, England, UK, L24 1XD
Construction of the current building began under Sir William Norris in 1530, though earlier buildings had been on the site, parts of which are incorporated into today's structure. The Great Hall was the first part of the house to be built, in 1530. The Great (or Oak) Parlour wing was added in 1531. Around this time the North Bay was also added to the house. Between 1540 and 1570 the south wing was altered and extended. The west wing was added between 1546 and 1547. The last significant change to the building was in 1598, when the north range was added by Edward Norris. Since then there have only been minor changes to the Hall and gardens. The oak frame, typical of the period, rests on a base of red sandstone surrounded by a now dry moat. The main beams of the house are stiffened with smaller timbers and filled with wattle and daub. During the turmoil of the Reformation the Norrises were Roman Catholics so the house incorporated a priest hole and a special observation hole built into a chimney in a bedroom to allow the occupant to see the approach to the house to warn the priest that people were coming. There is also an eavesdrop (a small open hole under the eaves of the house) which allowed a servant to listen in on the conversations of people awaiting admission at the original front door. In 1612 a porch was added to the Great Parlour. A laundry and dairy were founded in 1860; the laundry was altered in the 1950s. The house was owned by the Norris family for many generations until 1736 when Mary Norris, the heiress, married Lord Sidney Beauclerk. After Mary's death in 1766 the house was leased to various tenants. Richard Watt, a Liverpool merchant, purchased the house and estate from the Beauclerks in 1795. The last surviving heir of the Watt family was Miss Adelaide Watt, who inherited the house and returned to it in 1878 at the age of 21 years. She died in 1921, leaving the house and estate in trust for 21 years