Liverpool Conservation Areas 8 & 12

Childwall Abbey & Mossley Hill

 Introduction & Contents 


Childwall Abbey

Childwall was once a large parish covering an area which stretched from Wavertree to Hale.
Its centre, which forms this small Conservation Area, still retains a village character,
and contains four buildings of note.

The Church of All Saints is Liverpool's only remaining medieval church, in the grounds
of which is an early nineteenth century castellated Hearse House.
Also castellated, and of the same date, is the attractive Childwall Abbey
Hotel with ogee headed windows.

The fourth building is Elm House, a large sandstone house
hidden behind high walls and dense planting.

The predominant material is red sandstone which is used for all these
buildings and also for walls flanking the narrow, almost country, roads.

The area is well landscaped with mature trees and shrubs,
and stands on high ground commanding long views to the north east
across Childwall Valley and Bowring Park.

Childwall Abbey Conservation Area was designated on 30 July 1969.

There has been a church at Childwall since the fourteenth century, and much of the stonework of All Saints Church dates from this time, although the church itself was altered in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
When in 1810 the tower of St. Nicholas' Church, Liverpool, fell and killed twenty one people it was thought that Childwall's sixteenth-century tower might also be unsafe, and so it was demolished and rebuilt to the original design.
Some of the old stones were used on the face of the tower. The windows in the north and south walls of the chancel are reputed to be original fourteenth-century work, although the glass dates from 1854.
The Inn, now known as Childwall Abbey Hotel, appears from records to be the renovated chapel of St. Thomas the Martyr dating back to 1484. In its time it has been the favourite stopping place of many famous actors appearing in Liverpool: included in the names scratched on the windows are those of Ellen Terry and Henry Irving.
Elm House Elm House, a sandstone Georgian house with Gothic details
and battlements in sympathy with the church and the Abbey.
  Mossley Hill

Mossley Hill

During the nineteenth century Mossley Hill was one of the most exclusive residential areas of Liverpool. Merchants and ship owners built individual villas in large grounds on sites with fine views over the slopes down to the River Mersey. These spacious properties are bounded by high sandstone walls affording privacy to the occupants, and the area is further enhanced by the large number of mature trees.

modern There are many individual houses of architectural quality including the Gothic mansion at the southern end of North Mossley Hill Road, now St. Saviour's Convent, and Sudley, now open to the public as an art gallery with its splendid collection of Victorian paintings.

At the centre of the Conservation Area is the Church of St. Matthew and St. James, sited prominently at the brow of the hill and forming a notable landmark on the southern side of the City. Most of the villas are now occupied by institutions or have been converted into flats.

Mossley Hill Conservation Area was designated on 31 March 1971.
Sudley is a classical stone house of c. 1830, with later Victorian additions. It belonged to Emma Holt, of the shipping-line family, who left the house and the art collection to the City.

Drinking fountain
A Victorian drinking fountain set in the wall outside the Church of St. Matthew and St. James.

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