Built by the devout Catholic Norris family - keen to impress visitors with the grandeur of their home and in particular the magnificent Great Hall - this beautiful building has witnessed more than 400 years of turbulent history. Construction of the current building began 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. The house features a thunderbox toilet, 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 the courtyard of the main building are two ancient Yew trees, male and female, called 'Adam' and 'Eve'. First recorded in correspondence dating to 1712, they are generally estimated to be at least 500 years old.
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 Home Farm building has been renovated and now houses the shop, restaurant and reception. The laundry has been converted into the education room and the dairy now has new interpretation. Walks in the grounds give panoramic views over the Mersey Basin towards the Wirral Peninsula. Furthermore, rooms such as a gun room have been changed over the years and then changed back by the National Trust in order to show more of the History of Speke hall. Mobility parking spaces in main car park, 50 yards from ticket office. Drop-off point by ticket office. Volunteer driven multi-seater vehicle providing transfer from ticket office. Adapted toilets at Home Farm and Dairy Courtyard. Building - level entrance. Cobbles in central courtyard. Ground floor accessible, except Dairy which has two steps with handrail. Stairs with handrail to other floors. Four wheelchairs and mobility scooter available to loan, booking essential. Please call 0151 427 7231. Grounds - generally flat pathways, with steep gradients leading up to/down from the Bund, in to/out of the Moat and Stream Gardens. Moat garden also has narrow archway under bridge crossing above pathway. Cobbles leading to, and in the Dairy Courtyard. Guided tours are available and an induction loop is available on request. There is no virtual tour, however there is an audio guide produced by a community group aimed at a teenage audience. There is a large print full colour photograph guide, room cards (with large print versions soon to be available on request), a braille guide and foreign language guides for French, Spanish, German and Dutch.
Location : The Walk, Speke, Liverpool, L24 1XD
Transport: Liverpool South Parkway (National Rail, MerseyRail) 2 miles. Bus: If traveling from the city centre, please take any of the buses running towards Liverpool Airport and ask the driver to drop you off as close to Speke Hall as possible. The 500 bus runs every 20 minutes from outside Lime Street station and is the most direct service. Merseylink Service.
Opening Times: Wednesday to Sunday 11:00 to 17:00. (From March 12th)
Tickets: Adults £9.81 Children £4.91 (excludes Gift Aid)
Grounds: Adults £6.36 Children £3.14 (excludes Gift Aid)
House Upgrade: Adults £3.45 Children £1.77 (excludes Gift Aid)
Tel: 0844 800 4799