Exterior: 19 Abercromby Square
Ceiling of former dining room
Ceiling decoration: A cherub riding a turkey – a clue to the American connection
Following my last blog about Liverpool’s lost interiors, regular contributor, Julie Freeman, posted her recollection of the fine interior of the once Bishop’s Palace in Abercromby Square, now the University’s Department of Education. The building dates to 1862-3, later than most of its surrounding Georgian buildings, and was built for CK Prioleau, a South Carolina businessman whose firm supported the Confederate cause in the American Civil War.
It has a superb interior, which I photographed in 1999. At the time, I was slightly shocked by the insensitive siting of modern lights that spoiled the integrity of the painted ceilings – but I believe that the interior has been upgraded more recently. The vestibule ceiling has a palmetto tree (see bottom photograph), the symbol of South Carolina.Joseph Sharples, in the Liverpool Pevsner Guide describes the interior as the greatest surviving 19th century city house in the city centre. Sadly, it is not publicly accessible and remains one of Liverpool’s hidden gems.