STORETON HALL: Historic building is being rebuilt
A Wirral building which dates back to the fourteenth century is being rebuilt using many of the same techniques as the original craftsmen.
Storeton Hall, in the village of Storeton, near Higher Bebington in Wirral, is listed as a scheduled ancient monument, but it had been on Historic England’s At Risk register.
Now, however, it is being restored as part of a wider development.
There is planning permission for it to be converted into two properties, but at this stage there is the potential for one buyer to work with the developer, PJ Livesey, and for the site to remain as one property at a value of around £1.75m.
Work has been going on for more than 12 months, with experts removing modern additions and taking the building back to its medieval shell.
Among the work to have taken place is the roof-slates being removed, checked, graded and stacked on site to be replaced when the stone masonry is complete.
The work is being carried out by heritage specialists the PJ Livesey Group and overseen by
Heritage architect Bill Bayliss said: “It is always interesting to ‘read’ an old building and see
how it has been adapted and changed over the centuries. The exterior wall we see now was once the interior wall of a grand hall that would have stood where the courtyard is now.
“New additions were put on in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and it is fascinating to see how techniques evolved.”
The building has also revealed fascinating ‘graffiti’ left by craftsmen who have worked on the building over the centuries wanting to leave their own marks.
Stonemason Tony Gavin has worked on restorations including Halifax Royal Hospital, Dartford Hospital, Didsbury Gate and Lancaster Moor Hospital.
Mr Gavin said: “These buildings have Scheduled Monument status and it is both a huge privilege to be able to work on them preserving history and seeing how your own skills can make them whole again.
“There are two tracery windows- originally carved back in the 1300s – that I am really looking forward to working on.
“Seeing the marks left by previous masons and joiners really brings home the sense of history and the story the hall has to tell.”
The current planning permission is for the hall to be converted into two unique properties with double height spaces, the original oak trusses exposed and feature staircases.
However, PJ Livesey said that subject to the right planning and Scheduled Monument consent from Historic England it could remain as one magnificent property.
Group sales manager Gavin Pearce said: “At this moment there may still be the opportunity to keep the hall as one magnificent property rather than divide [it] – subject to the relevant consents being obtained.
“The hall has only just been brought to the market and is a very rare and special opportunity for the right client.
“We will continue to work closely with Historic England to ensure this unique piece of built heritage is preserved for the future.”
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
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