Thursday, 23 July 2009

Today We Went to Speke Hall, Liverpool

Speke Hall is owned by the National Trust and is only a short drive away from our home. However, we have never been there until today. Sadly, Liverpool Airport is attached to the property so Ryan Air flies over the house regularly and drowns out any conversation.

The Hall was built around 1495 at the time of the reformation, Tudor times. The owner was a staunch Catholic and although working for the crown, continued with his beliefs. I was amazed to find a "Priest Hole" which was used to hide the priests if the crown came calling. You could actually see the ladder which they would climb up and hide in a small cavity. Apparently no priests were caught at Speke Hall although the designer of the Priests Holes was found and executed: Hung, Drawn and Quartered.
It was a beautiful hall and had been lived in as a home up until 1920's. This was a time when most properties went into dis-service due to deaths during the wars and death tax which crippled land owners.

The gardens were lovely too, further enhanced by a lovely summers day.

The building is made from wattle and daub which is a mixture of dung, wood and hay. Up until victorian times it would have been brown, it was during this time that the Victorian fashion was to paint such buildings black and white. There was even a hole in the eaves of the main door so that servants could scutinize callers, hence the term "Eaves Dropping". Also, the beds all had "roofs" and this was to protect the occupants from the insects coming out of the wattle and daub ceiling.

The lady here is in period dress of the time the house was built. She is actually corsetted in the tradional way and both the fabric and colour are true to those times. Apparently, Queen Elizabeth I set standards and protocal for landed gentry and the colour of the fabric reflected your social status. Red and Black being colours of high rank.

This is Joe on the lawn of Speke Hall. Dig the different coloured socks! Joe is always complaining that his socks go missing and this is his way of rebelling. I think it is quite cute!

Jason and Harry walking around the side of the house. Harry didn't want his photo taken so you can just see him trying to avoid the camara.

This was a side entrance into the gardens from the front part of the house.

Joe and Harry in the gardens.

We had a nice ride on a golfing type buggy up to the house. It wasn't far but the old man offered us a lift and the boys were thrilled by the experience.

We had lunch in the cafe which was part of the old stable block and it was very nice. The boys then played in the rustic park while I lay on the grass listening to the sound of children and Swallows chipping away and flying over head. It was blissful. The sun was hot on my skin and I was so relaxed just chilling and enjoying the scene.

When we got home I received a visit from my vicar. We chatted in the garden over a cup of tea and he has offered to bless my new and temporary wedding ring for me either in a special service or as part of the normal service, he is also putting my name on the prayer list. Before he left he prayed for me and my family with the laying of hands on my head. It was a very moving experience and I am so grateful for this as my faith is something I hold dear.
A very good day. I am tired now and my tummy is playing up but it is still a good day.


  1. What a great history lesson today. I am going to forward this one to my daughter Cara.

  2. Hi Sara
    I hope you are doing well, wanted to let you know I changed my blog address to
    Take care of yourself

  3. Thanks for that Isaura, I will update my blog list xxxx


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