Visit the house at Speke Hall
Step into the Tudor mansion to discover five centuries of stories and see how its past residents lived. The house is open 12.30pm-5pm (last entry at 4.30pm), Wednesday-Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday, except for bank holidays).
Planning your visit
- When's best to visit the house?: We'd advise you to visit us in the afternoon, so that you're here for when the house is open between 12.30-5pm. Any queues are likely to be shorter later in the afternoon, so we'd recommend heading to the main entrance of the house from 2pm.
- Tickets: Please purchase a 'whole property' ticket when you arrive - this gives you entry to the house, gardens and estate. Entry is free for National Trust members.
- Queues: While we're admitting visitors, you may need to queue for a short while on the bridge and along the hedge on busy days. There is no cover, so please be prepared for the weather. If the queue is long, why not explore more of the gardens or go for a refreshing drink at Home Farm and come back again later?
- Buggies and bags: Once you're admitted, there will be an area where you can leave any bags, but please be aware these will be left at your own risk. Buggies will be stored in the courtyard, so waterproof covers are recommended. Please only bring large bags and buggies if necessary.
- Toilets: Located opposite the exit of the house in the Dairy Courtyard, including one accessible toilet and baby-changing facilities.
- Access: The upper floor is only accessible via stairs. Wheelchairs are welcome (you can borrow one if you wish), however we can't allow large outdoor-type mobility vehicles. Read our full access statement here.
- Room guides: Our lovely volunteers will be there to greet you in each room and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the house and collections.
We may have to close some rooms or the first floor at short notice for staffing, conservation or other reasons. We're sorry if this affects your visit.
Head upstairs to the Green Bedroom to catch a glimpse of a ladder leading up to Speke Hall's priest hole. Used by Catholic priests to escape from soldiers, this hidden roof space was built into the plans for the hall by the Catholic Norris family to provide a safe haven for local priests to evade persecution. You can even experience an audio-visual recreation of a priest hunt as part of our current exhibition.
William Morris wallpaper
Feast your eyes on original William Morris wallpaper. One of Morris’s earliest designs, ‘Trellis’, is displayed throughout the downstairs corridor. In the Library, ‘Pomegranate’, adorns the walls while ‘Daisy’ can be seen peeking out from behind the books. It’s a must-see for any fans of the Arts & Crafts period.
Look up in the courtyard and you will spot a small hole below the eaves. In Tudor times, this was used by the Norris family and their servants to listen in on visitors’ conversations as they waited to enter. Were they a friend or a foe? As a Catholic family living under Elizabethan rule, this was one way for the Norris’s to find out.
Adam and Eve
Standing tall in the courtyard, these two iconic yew trees are estimated to be around 500 years old. They are nicknamed as ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’, as one is female and one is male, and were first recorded in 1712. The trees are evergreen so are a delight to stand beneath at any time of the year and provide a dramatic contrast to the Tudor wattle and daub walls surrounding them.
Painting of the Childe of Hale
John Middleton, born in the nearby village of Hale in 1578, was said to have been over nine feet tall (though later research suggests his height was actually seven feet, six inches). An official portrait of Middleton hangs in the corner of the Great Hall and depicts the local legend - nicknamed the 'Childe of Hale' - as he supposedly looked. Don't miss the chance to explore our fun Childe of Hale play trail in the woods once you've finished touring the house.
Carved in around 1567, the overmantel in the Oak Parlour depicts three generations of the Norris family. It also serves as the only known portrait of Sir William Norris II, who established the family at Speke and began the long tradition of representing Liverpool in Parliament in 1554. Regardless of the history, it’s an incredible piece of craftsmanship.