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Building on the past; pastlife MERSEYSIDE TALES.

Byline: Stephen Guy

PARTS of old buildings are sometimes incorporated into other structures - architectural salvage has been going on for centuries for very practical reasons.

The modern conservation movement began in the 19th century after historic and high quality buildings were needlessly destroyed.

Before such concerns, however, parts were often rescued because of the quality of materials. For example, oak has always been sought after owing to its durability.

Architects and builders rarely throw away undamaged or sound materials that have a value and can be recycled.

Grade II*-listed West Derby Courthouse dates from 1586 but cupboards used for storing documents carry the date 1711. They are thought to have been transferred from Sefton Hall when the Molyneux family moved to Croxteth Hall about this time.

Everything in Finch House in Knotty Ash was of the best. Built in 1776 from superior hand-moulded bricks, it had mahogany doors and walnut shelves and drawers.

When it was demolished in 1912, a great deal of its fabric was salvaged. This included cornices and panels going to Knowsley Hall and bricks to the estate yard for further use.

Boltons, a halftimbered house dating from around 1400, stood nearby. The oldest house in the West Derby township, it was painted by several Castle, inset artists. When Boltons was demolished in 1897, local historian Richard Duncan Radcliffe saved parts for posterity.

A portion of the house was set up in Liverpool Museum but was destroyed when the museum was bombed in 1941. Other timbers can be seen in the beautiful lychgate at Knotty Ash Church.

Leasowe Castle, now a hotel, dates from 1593. The ceiling of the Star Chamber in the Palace of Westminster was brought to the castle in 1836, along with panelling and four tapestries.

The Star Chamber was a court which sat from the late 15th century until the Civil War.

It was notorious for its social and political oppression through the abuse of power.

Sefton Park's imposing gates incorporate parts of St George's Hall - marble columns removed in the 1850s to make way for the huge organ.

Muscular stone Titans stand on either side of the entrance to Harthill Gardens, now part of Calderstone Park in Allerton. They originally graced city centre offices of a major Liverpool figure in the Victorian business world, Sir William Brown.

He was a leading banker, merchant and philanthropist during the boom years of the British Empire.

The Titans - and four women representing the seasons on either side of them - were carved in about 1863 by Edwin Stirling. The William Brown Shipping Company offices in Water Street were demolished in 1928 and the statues moved to newly-opened Harthill. | Stephen Guy chairs the historic Lowlands West Derby Community Centre. Details at or 0151 226 5352.


The impressive Star Chamber room at Leasowe Castle, inset

The demolition of Boltons in West Derby in 1897 and, inset, Sefton Park's gates

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 17, 2018
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