Today we went Croxteth Hall in north Liverpool, the stately home which belonged to the Molyneaux family, the Earls of Sefton. Mark’s mother’s name was Molyneaux, and she was born just a little north of here, so we are almost certain that we should have a claim on this house. Croxteth Hall was built over many centuries. This is the Queen Anne wing.

Around the corner is the Georgian wing.

Over the other side is the Victorian wing built in the Tudor style, plus the original Elizabethan part of the house which is just to the left of the big square central tower in this shot.

We went inside and saw many grand rooms as well as the servants’ areas downstairs. We were a little disappointed by the interiors – not all the rooms were furnished (there had been a massive sale when the last Earl of Sefton died), and there were some parts of the Hall which were off limits as they had been severely damaged in a fire some decades ago. It was very busy in the grounds and gardens, but Mark and I were the only people inside the house. In several of the rooms there were mannequins dressed in Edwardian costume to give a sense of how the house was lived in. We found them creepy, as would most children I’m sure. Whenever you entered a room you tripped a sensor and this turned on an audio track of “conversations” of the mannequins. It was bizarre. Croxteth Hall is owned by the Liverpool City Council, which doesn’t seem to have the money to make improvements to the visitor experience. If this were a National Trust property it would be in far better condition, probably fully furnished, and there would be a volunteer guide in every room telling you about the place. Sad, because the house is very grand as has so much potential to inform and entertain.

The grounds are extensive and very beautiful.

We spent some time in the walled garden with its herbs, fruits and vegetables, greenhouses and flowers.

There were all sorts of fruit trees growing in different shapes.

For lunch I had made ciabattas with chicken, avocado and cheese, and we ate them in the Rose Garden.

Croxteth Hall also has a Home Farm. This is a lovely Clydesdale horse.

I liked the pigs. They are massive.

They also snore loudly.

Piglets!

The posters reminded you that you were on a farm and that these animals are destined for the table. I love British sausages, and we’re having roast pork for dinner tonight, but I couldn’t help feeling a little sad for the piggies.

Many of the cows were heavily pregnant.

This is Hamish. He’s a Highland Bull. Don’t you just love his hair?

Hamish was my favourite animal on the farm.

We finished the afternoon with an ice cream!

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