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Beyond the black & white is a Tudor house with a Victorian personality
Speke Hall is a rare Tudor timber-framed manor house in a most unusual setting on the banks of the River Mersey. Restored and brought back to life in the 19th century, it is a unique and beautiful mixture of Tudor simplicity and Victorian Arts and Crafts' aesthetics.
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. From the Tudor period when a secret priest hole was an essential feature, to years of neglect and decay in the 18th and 19th centuries (including a spell when it was used as a cow shed) and then being dragged into the Victorian era of improvement and technology, the Hall has seen it all.
In the 21st century, Speke Hall and its surrounding estate now provide a real oasis from the hurly burly of modern life. As you come through the gates, relax, take a breath and enjoy all that this wonderful place has to offer. The Hall is surrounded by beautiful restored gardens and protected by a collar of woodland.
Life in Tudor England
Running throughout the month of May, we'll be looking at what life was really like in Tudor England.
Tuck into a delicious traditional meal in the restaurant, walk around the hall and discover how grand palaces and court life compared to the more humble country surroundings here at Speke or drop into one of our series of free talks on Tudor food and feasts, religion and persecution and how to dress like a Tudor.
The Ugly Duckling
Join us on Sunday 24 and Monday 25 May for this fabulous, fun performance of The Ugly Duckling. Introduce your children to outdoor theatre with this classic tale of a poor little duckling that doesn't fit in. Come and show her that it's ok to be different and join in waddling and quacking on her search for her true family.
Performances are at 11.30am and 1.30pm. Tickets cost £5 (£2 for under 2s) and can be booked online here or over the phone on 0844 249 1895.
Relax and unwind
On Fridays in June we're opening the grounds until 8pm for anyone that wants to sit, relax and enjoy an early summer evening in the beautiful surroundings of Speke Hall's gardens.
Each Friday will have a different theme - family fun, relaxation and meditation, food and drink tasting and exploring the gardens. Come along and take part in the planned activities, wander around at your own pace or just bring a book and find a peaceful spot to sit and smell the roses.
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Time for TLC
It takes a lot of work to keep a house this old looking this good. How do we do it? Well, if you visit over the next few weeks, you may notice some scaffolding and the occasional closed room.
All of this is only temporary and allows us to undertake a variety of maintenance tasks including repairing and repainting woodwork, clearing chimneys that have been blocked by pesky jackdaw nests and fitting new UV filters to our windows.