Liverpool Conservation Areas 10 & 11

Princes & Sefton Parks

 Introduction & Contents 


Princes Park

In 1843 Richard Vaughan Yates, a prominent citizen.of Liverpool, purchased a large area of land to the south of the City and commissioned Sir Joseph Paxton to design a park of approximately ninety acres fringed with residential development. This was Paxton's first independent commission and it was immediately followed by one for Birkenhead Park.

The ideas that Paxton incorporated in his designs for these parks, such as ornamental lakes, artificially mounded hills, curving paths along which the gentry could promenade, and subtly contrived views and vistas, established the pattern for all future Victorian park design in Britain, Europe and America. Although the present residential layouts vary to some degree from the original designs, they are if anything built to a more interesting pattern.

The residences include elegant stucco and brick terraces, individual classical houses of great charm, and exuberant late Victorian villas. Many of the buildings are Misted* Grade II Buildings of historic and architectural interest.

Princes Park Conservation Area was designated on 29 July 1970.

This Conservation Area has been recognised as 'outstanding' in the national context by the Historic Buildings Council.

Windermere Terrace
Windermere Terrace, a symmetrical group of four houses contemporary with the park.

Cavendish Gardens has giant Corinthian pilasters and pediment facing the park. It was originally built c.1842 as a row of houses, but has recently been converted into flats by a housing association.

Wellesley Terrace is a fine row of early-Victorian houses, designed as
one architectural composition.
It is set back on its own private road behind a forecourt and originally
looked across to St Paul's Church (demolished 1975-6).
No. 5 Sunnyside.

The main entrance with its fine cast iron gates may have been designed by James Pennethorne,
a pupil of John Nash, who was involved in the early stages of the park with Paxton.

Princes Park Mansions, a large four-storey block of houses designed in 1843 by Wyatt Papworth,
seen from across the lake.


Sefton Park

In 1866 the Corporation of Liverpool announced an international competition for the design and layout of a public park to the south of the City Centre. The winning design was submitted by M. Andre of Paris and Mr. Hornblower of Liverpool, and resulted in the creation of Liverpool's largest park, covering approximately 233 acres. The park was named after the Earl of Sefton, from whom the land was originally purchased, and was opened to the public in 1872. The site was originally composed entirely of agricultural land, devoid of trees or landscaping. The transformation into the present magnificent park illustrates the magnitude and quality of both the concept and its achievement.

As a means of achieving a financial return, building sites were provided within the park. A number of villas, of which some eighty four remain, were erected as an integral part of the design, being neither a rigid boundary to the park nor intrusions into it. Although some of the villas are of great architectural merit, the majority are more of interest for their eccentric style and solid craftsmanship. A large number have been converted at various times into flats or institutional uses.

Sefton Park Conservation Area was designated on 20 January 1971.

It is considered 'outstanding* in the national context bv the Historic Building Council.

The Palm House, 1896, built by Mackenzie & Moncur, iron founders of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Below, one of the large Victorian houses built around the edge of the park.

                            The original design, which won the competition in 1867...

The central tower of the entrance to the park from Sefton Park Road, an amazing Gothic confection of 1870 »»

Left, another Victorian house and below, Fulwood Lodge, at the entrance gate from Aigburth Road. A picturesque cottage with richly carved timber porch, bay windows and barge boards.
Greenbank House, Greenbank Lane, a Georgian Gothick house which, from 1787, was the home of the Rathbone family.
The delicate cast iron screen on the garden front was added c. 1815.
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