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Thread: Sudley House Restoration

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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Default Sudley House Restoration

    Over the city at Mossley Hill, the elegant setting of Sudley House is being transformed into an old house with modern lighting. The gently winding carriageway that led from the beautiful stone gateway to the old house is to be widened to make way for visiting coaches, and there will be a turnaround for the masses of arty tourists. They have already started to chop down healthy mature trees to make way for yet another scheme to spoil things.

    There was a time when the splendid museums and galleries were safely owned and run by the city council, then Merseyside County Council. The council has clung on to the libraries, Croxteth Hall and the most famous of them all, St George’s Hall. Then it made a big mistake and handed our family jewels to invaders from outer-somewhere, otherwise known as National Museums Liverpool.

    Even St George’s dragon would not have been enough to defend the culture snatchers had they set their sights on the famous hall, due to be re-opened on St George’s Day later this month.

    NML seems to be a law unto itself, “running” and ruining our history, with no democratic input from the people of Liverpool. Strange that a few people shouting from the rooftops to preserve our heritage are regarded as interfering nuisances, yet an even smaller number who make up the NML can dismantle things and that is OK.

    The museum mummies must be turning in their graves.


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    Hi All

    I am not totally sure that the development of Sudley is a bad thing.

    Don't we want outsiders to see the treasures that Sudley has to offer? Or do we prefer that Sudley remains a sleepy little museum that no one visits? I note that over on the "Merseyside Halls, Estates and Dwellings" thread, Max, who lives in Wavertree, was asking Kev where Sudley is. That's an example I think of how "unknown" Sudley is even to Liverpudlians who take an interest in their environs. Sorry to use you as an example, Max. . .

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
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    Otterspool Onomatopoeia Max's Avatar
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    Sorry to use you as an example, Max. . .
    No problem.

    It's In one of those close roads It seems, no wonder I've never known of the place and the parts of Mossley Hill I know are mostly near Greenbank/Penny Lane and Rose Lane.

    I used to think beyond Rose Lane was Allerton.
    Gididi Gididi Goo.

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    Senior Member billo's Avatar
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    They have been taking their own sweet time with this project, it has been closed for well over a year now. I drive past every day and there is never any sign of activity. There is no sign of the gate posts being moved, and I doubt that it would help as the road is very narrow there.
    St Georges Hall is also to be reopened that day, with city wide bell ringing to mark the occasion.

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    Senior Member Jericho's Avatar
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    I go past quite often and often walk into the grounds - the flowers look good. Very little sign of activity. There is plenty of room to manoeuvre within the site so I'm not sure what the excuse is. This location is a few minutes walk from Rose Lane (Mossley Hill stattion) and between 5 - 10 minutes from Aigburth station in Mersey Road (cross Aigburth Road, walk up Barkhill Road, turn left into Mossley Hill Road and take your first left.

    It has a great deal of potential.

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kev
    Sudley House (under restoration).




    Nothing much changed from the above pic:

    24th March 2007

    Liverpool in Pictures/ YO! Liverpool has taken me over 10 years to develop and maintain.

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    I was there (for the first and) last time about 3 and a half years ago when my missus was acting there.It didn't need a "new driveway" adding then and the inside of the house didn't seem as though it needed restoring.It appeared to be quite original and unspoiled.I think the problem is a lack of publicity.We see flyers for places like Speke hall and the like in the museums and galleries around Liverpool,but none for Sudley house.It's a shame.

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    Senior Member robbo176's Avatar
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    I found these pictures of Sudley house

    http://www.mersey-gateway.org/pastli...s/mansions.htm
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	2001   Click image for larger version. 

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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pics and updated information on Sudley, everyone.

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
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    Senior Member billo's Avatar
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    They have started to knock the wall down to widen the entrance, they can only do one side as the lodge house is quite close to the left hand side gate post. Two or three trees are already down and there may be more to go but they are going to replace them with new ones. They are cutting it fine to be ready for visitors in 3 days

  10. #10
    chippie
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    Thumbs up Sudley

    I must contribute to this thread as I hold Sudley quite dear in my memories. I find it one of the most warm and friendly museums I,ve ever been to. No one to bother you or interfere with your walk around and meditation. I,ve often thought that Sudley was somewhere I,d have like to have been brought up in in my younger imaginitive thoughts. I regard it as my own little piece of Liverpool that hasn,t been interfered with and kept secret for a chosen few. Not very rewarding for the people who run it but sacred to those who love and cherish it in their thoughts and memories. A truely wonderful, peaceful sanctuary.

    Visit it at your peril because it will enchant you.

  11. #11
    MariaC
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    Thats the one off Rose Lane isent it? I havent been there for ages.

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Actors Penny Craige, Paul Green and Angela Mounsey arrive at Toxteth TV to film scenes that will be shown in Sudley House when it reopens. Paul Green and Angela Mounsey will play George and Emma Holt, who used to live in the house, and Ms. Craige will portray their maid Mary.



    Actress Penny Craige during filming.

    Images from National Museums Liverpool
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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chippie View Post
    I must contribute to this thread as I hold Sudley quite dear in my memories. I find it one of the most warm and friendly museums I,ve ever been to. No one to bother you or interfere with your walk around and meditation. I,ve often thought that Sudley was somewhere I,d have like to have been brought up in in my younger imaginitive thoughts. I regard it as my own little piece of Liverpool that hasn,t been interfered with and kept secret for a chosen few. Not very rewarding for the people who run it but sacred to those who love and cherish it in their thoughts and memories. A truely wonderful, peaceful sanctuary.

    Visit it at your peril because it will enchant you.
    Hi Chippie

    Since you are so fond of Sudley, I thought you might enjoy the following poem of mine. A slightly different version was posted here in the creative area earlier.

    Mossley Hill: A Spring of My Childhood

    Fifty springs later, I remember how
    crocuses, dandelions surprised
    the damp woods at Sudley House.
    I strolled to Emma Holt's
    sandstone mansion, ascended

    to the upstairs dusty museum
    under the eye of the bellicose guard
    in Corporation navy blue uniform
    who always ordered me
    to move to other exhibits:

    an Emperor penguin in a glass case,
    the dark shrunken head
    with a thong through its nose,
    painting of Jesus at my age
    wearing pajamas in the Temple.

    Chased by the guard, I walk
    pajamaed down the asphalt drive
    pretending I hear the lion roar
    over the sandstone wall
    from the zoo once next door.

    Christopher T. George

    * Did you know there is a whole website on Sudley at
    http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/sudley/ with the
    picture mentioned in the poem specifically at
    http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/s...tions/hunt.asp
    Christopher T. George
    Editor, Ripperologist
    Editor, Loch Raven Review
    http://christophertgeorge.blogspot.com/
    Chris on Flickr and on MySpace

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    Joe Riley on the newly restored Liverpool home that became an art gallery

    THERE were no mortgages in those days. If you were wealthy and spotted a nice house, you simply reached for your cheque book.

    Which is exactly what Liverpool shipping magnate George Holt did, when, in 1884, he espied a grand sandstone manse on the crest of Mossley Hill, presiding over sweeping pastures, and with fine views of the Mersey and the Welsh hills beyond.

    Holt and his wife, Elizabeth, then set about putting their own stamp on the house, already 60 years old.

    In the process, and perhaps unknowingly, they turned their property into a treasure trove.

    And so it remains. Unique. Home to the only art collection of a Victorian merchant still in its original domestic setting.

    It seems a technicality that when the Holt’s spinster daughter, Emma, died in 1944 and left the family pile to the city, that it should be designated an art gallery, today one of the eight sprawling arms of National Museums Liverpool.

    This Saturday, the doors of Sudley House open once more after a two-year £1m refit, preserving what was best, and compensating for the original civic vandalism, which removed upstairs interior walls and sold off most of the furniture.

    It was from this auction, immediately post war, that the jazz musician and singer George Melly, then a trainee journalist, sent his first story to the ECHO.

    Not that he had far to travel. The Melleys – George’s Uncle Andre was a Swiss banker – lived in Riverslea, the mansion next door.

    The age of middle class predominance was not yet born. The writer Simon Jenkins in his book Britain’s 100 Best Houses (which includes Sudley) reckons there were up to 100,000 merchants in Liverpool at the height of its imperial prosperity, giving rise to a cluster of properties which were “the greatest example of conspicuous wealth in Britain, if not the world.”

    Looking from the wrought iron canopied terraces and orange grove conservatories of Sudley, at their own ships bringing fortunes to shore, the Holts would have had little difficulty believing that such bounty would be everlasting.

    If there was a smattering of triumphalism in commissioning and acquiring paintings from Turner, Millais, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Landseer and Holman Hunt, there was salvation in their charity as Unitarians.

    There was not a naked body to be seen on any canvas, nor any scene of war. Even portraits by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, famous for his nubile Roman nymphs, are, at Sudley, given a veil of decency.

    But there is, on entering the revamped house, via the finely carved side coach entrance added by Holt, a hint of some sort of scandal.

    The first picture, over the hall fireplace, is of a belle named Vanessa, immortalised by John Everett Millais, one of the founding pre-Raphaelites.

    Vanessa became the stalker of satirist and author Jonathan Swift of Gulliver’s Travels fame (and who also produced a pamphlet on overcrowding in Ireland which advised: eat your babies).

    Perhaps Vanessa was fortunate to be spurned, but spurned she was in an age when it was, to say the least, unusual for a man to thwart the advances of a beautiful woman.

    The Victorians would have known all about this rumpus. Swift was hugely famous.

    One of the paintings in the dining room, by JMW Turner, failed to amuse Queen Victoria.

    It shows the German town of Rolsenau with its castle, birthplace of Prince Albert.

    Turner wanted a commission from the Queen on the basis of this picture, but none came.

    All this can be found beside the expected family portraits. If pictures tell stories, the bull-necked Emma looks as if she had a temper.

    All this art blends in with the carpets and curtains, with their stylishly recessed pelmets.

    The interior doors are of polished walnut, the chimney pieces, with their ceramic hearths and surrounds, the best anywhere. Great brass bell pushes adorn the walls with their relief wallpaper (now returned to the original green).

    Most of the living rooms are almost cube-shaped: high ceilings and squared, rather than oblong, (with the exception of the dining room where the Holts, as acknowledged philanthropists, would have staged parties at which they planned, with the great and the good, the future of health and education for the masses.

    The disappointment was in the loss of much original furniture to the sales rooms. But the sideboard in the dining room is one of the artefacts which has finally found its way home, albeit on loan.

    The net result is grand, but not overwhelming, and without much of the extraneous ornamental clutter.

    There is a new lift to the first floor, which has become a series of ‘themed’ areas devoted to childhood.

    There is also space for visiting exhibitions.

    Most of the £1m has been spent on repairing the roof. Without care, even fine houses can fall down.

    Sudley, with its widened main gate (to take coaches) will now welcome a whole new generation of visitors through its leafy gardens and into its grand reception.

    A new day is dawning. If there are ghosts, then one guesses they are friendly.

    Sudley House re-opens on Saturday, 10am. Admission free.
    Liverpool in Pictures/ YO! Liverpool has taken me over 10 years to develop and maintain.

    All server & domain costs are covered by myself & kind donations of individuals.

    If you like the website, please donatevia PayPal!




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    Kev
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    Walden
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    Some more infro here

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    THE wait for one of Liverpool’s best loved museums to be reopened is over as its new attractions are unveiled to the public today. more
    Liverpool in Pictures/ YO! Liverpool has taken me over 10 years to develop and maintain.

    All server & domain costs are covered by myself & kind donations of individuals.

    If you like the website, please donatevia PayPal!




    Thank you


    Kev
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