Wealth & Wiles

This autumn's exhibition will focus on the time when Speke was sold to Richard Watt, and the subsequent generations of the Watt family who lived here. Confusingly they were all called Richard Watt so this is the perfect time to learn more about what Watt did what!

A painting of Speke Hall's West Range

In 1795 Charles Beauclerk sold Speke Hall and its surrounding estate to Richard Watt, a wealthy local shipping merchant.

Visit our ‘Wealth and Wiles’ exhibition and installations to dicover Richard’s fascinating ‘rags to riches’ tale as he rises from humble Lancashire beginnings, leaving England with a position on a ship to Jamaica and returning some years later with a fortune amassed through the acquisition of a sugar plantation at George’s Plain, Jamaica.

Over the next 60 years Speke Hall passed from one generation of Richard Watt to another. Explore the legacy the Watt family wealth had on Speke Hall and its estate, the improvements that each of them made to the Hall and its furnishings and discover the thoughts of people who visited this romantic building during the first half of the 1800s.

The exhibition is included within your visit to the Hall and runs Wednesday to Sunday until the end of October.

Return in March 2018 to learn about the love story and tragic fate of Richard Watt V and his wife Ada, as well as the impressive life of their daughter Adelaide, who gifted Speke Hall and its grounds to the National Trust in 1921.