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A Grade II Listed Building in Clatterbridge, Wirral

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Latitude: 53.3255 / 53°19'31"N

Longitude: -3.0507 / 3°3'2"W

OS Eastings: 330112

OS Northings: 381465

OS Grid: SJ301814

Mapcode National: GBR 7Y4Z.BM

Mapcode Global: WH87L.3NJZ

Entry Name: Copley

Listing Date: 15 January 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393089

English Heritage Legacy ID: 504323

Location: Wirral, CH63

County: Wirral

Electoral Ward/Division: Clatterbridge

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Thornton Hough All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Chester

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Listing Text

1755/0/10044 MANOR ROAD
15-JAN-09 Thornton Hough

Large country house with attached garage, potting shed and stabling ranges, c.1866-68, rock-faced red sandstone, ashlar dressings, pitched slate roofs, Gothic style with strong Scottish baronial influences, 2-storeys plus basement and attic, 4-storey NW tower.

PLAN: Large L-shaped house with an attached 2-storey garage/coach house range to rear with 1 1/2 storey potting sheds to NE end, shorter 1 1/2-storey stable and garage range set parallel across a yard. Latter range linked to main house by a decorative wall.

EXTERIOR: Main house: Leaded light sashes and casements set mainly within 2 and 3-light stone mullioned windows, decorative ridge crests, substantial ridge and side wall stacks, gables with kneelers and finials. Main front (SW) elevation: 4-bays. Projecting gabled outer bays; that to left is slightly taller with ground-floor canted bay, first-floor window with timber mullion and transom glazing bars, 2-light window to attic with blind arched opening to apex of gable incorporating trefoil design. Right gabled bay with wide 3-light window to ground floor incorporating stained glass and mullion and transom glazing bars, canted oriel window to first floor, slender arched niche with hoodmould to gable apex. Ground floor of bay to left projects to gable face to form porch containing Tudor arched main entrance with studded double doors with moulded fillets, hoodmould above. 3-light windows to left and first floor; taller to ground floor. 4-storey tower set back to NW corner, crenellated parapet incorporating carved shield motifs with small corbelled turret to NE corner, slender paired and lancet windows to front and left return (mainly segmental pointed), plain glazing. NW (left) side elevation: Mixture of projecting walls and gables. Slender lancet, 2-light and 3-light square-headed windows. Gabled bay to centre left with later timber porched entrance, carved blind panels to centre of upper floor windows. Altered chimneystack behind with brickwork. Mid-late C20 half-dormer window to centre of elevation. Small single storey C20 flat-roofed extension to far right (blind right return). High wall with segmental pointed doorway to far left connects house to garage range, with small internal yard area behind. Enclosed external timber stair with cusped stained glass lights and inlaid lower panels connects main house to first floor music room in attached garage range. C20 fire escape. NE Garden elevation: 3-bays. Door with segmental pointed head to ground floor right with decorative surround incorporating hoodmould with foliage style bosses, carved spandrels. 3-light window above in similar style, continuous hoodmould incorporates adjacent tall 9-light window to left with Tudor arched top lights with decorative patterned leadwork, smaller stained glass lights to middle, carved spandrels. Replaced glazing to first-floor windows. Double-height canted bay window to left gabled bay stepping in at first-floor level, stained glass incorporated to ground-floor glazing, carved trefoil to gable apex containing shield relief. SE garden elevation: 4-bays. Gable to bay 2 with flanking dormer windows. Cross windows to first floor of bays 1 & 2, paired windows to rest of elevation (narrower to bay 3). Single slender segmental pointed window to ground floor of bay 4, corbelled wall stack above. Truncated original timber conservatory attached to right gable end and rear of garage range, segmental pointed partly glazed door, plainer partly glazed door to right return.

Garage range: Decorative ridge crest (missing in places), roofline stepped down in graduation to create 3 blocks, corbel table to eaves line. Potting sheds to NE end, gable wall fronting Manor Road has attached gate pier (remaining gate pier and pedestrian side gate attached to Copley Cottages), recessed 2-light mullion windows containing 1-over-1 sashes with chamfered reveals. Recessed doorways and two wide segmental arched coach/vehicle openings all with chamfered reveals. Three wide segmental pointed coach/vehicle openings to SW end block, adjacent door with chamfered surround, slender window to right, 4 single light windows (some with replaced glazing) with angled sides to first floor lighting music room, 3-light rooflight above. Plain rear elevation with attached timber conservatory to SW end (truncated), two dormer windows above belonging to first-floor music room, rendered rebuilt section to right. Wall with crowstepped top to NE end emerging from range at right angle, doors to right leading into potting sheds. Stable range: 1 1/2 storeys, similarly styled ridge crest, small gabled roof vents, corbel table to eaves line. 6-bay front elevation, lower 3-bay section to right set back slightly. Recessed segmental pointed doors and fixed-pane windows with angled sides. Paired windows to bays 1 & 3, single windows to bays 4 & 6, doorway to bay 5, wide opening to bay 2 with internal porch, corbelled half-dormer above containing small panelled loading door. Three panelled doors set within porch to each side and rear, Jacob's ladder. Wide arched opening with double doors to NE end elevation, window opening above (glazing removed). Mixture of recessed square-headed windows and small segmental pointed windows to rear elevation, slender chimney stack rising from roof. High wall to SW end links stable range to NW elevation of main house. Wall incorporates large segmental pointed gateway with hoodmould, crenellated parapet (crowstepped to centre over arched opening), slender circular turret to right rear, carved alcoves to rear of wall flanking opening.

INTERIOR: Surviving original floor plan with minor alterations. Separated into two residences; one residence to front and one to rear wing. Corridors on each floor level linking front and rear blocked off. Original features survive throughout including moulded cornicing and skirtings, segmental pointed doorways and panelled doors, Gothic style stone fireplaces, built-in cupboards, original flooring including parquet floors to principal rooms, original timber stair in observation tower. Inner entrance vestibule with partly glazed doors set within a Tudor arched surround with decorative ironwork, lower panels incorporate octagonal-shaped reliefs, tall side lights with ironwork in same style. Large panelled entrance hall with arched opening to rear with Corinthian style columns and grotesque-style bosses separating entrance hall from stair hall behind. Full-depth room to right side with geometric plasterwork ceiling, decorative panelled dado, arched opening with built-in Gothic style cupboards, stained glass incorporated to windows to each end; that to SW end depicts a hand holding the coronet of Scotland, plant, bird and insect imagery and reads 'VIRTUTIS GLORIA MERCES' ('glory is the reward of valour'). Front left reception room with white painted wall panelling and exposed joist ceiling, upper panels with carved trefoil designs and tracery work, substantial stone fireplace with tall hood, slender red marble column supports, marble hearth. Enlarged former billiards room to rear wing with replaced fireplace, rear door leads into conservatory (also accessed from adjacent butler's pantry). Stair hall with large fireplace incorporating decorative tilework, carved trefoil designs, foliage bosses and shield relief. Main oak dog-leg stair with pierced cusped balustrade, carved newel posts (one to first floor landing incorporating a lantern), top-lit by decorative domed lozenge-shaped skylight. Wide Tudor arched opening to half-landing in similar style to that in entrance hall, rooms beyond. Corbelled Tudor arch to first floor landing. Plainer dog-leg servants' stair to rear left of house. Servants' rooms to rear left of house and attic (some with fireplaces), some segmental pointed doorways. Decorative double doors with cusped leaded lights and leaded overlight to rear left of first floor lead to highly decorative enclosed external timber and stained glass stair connecting to first floor music room over garage block. Music room with decorative hammer beam-style roof trusses incorporating cross tie beams, large carved stone fireplace to NE end with red tiled cheeks, decorative grate and hood depicting a dragon in relief. Integral stage to SW end. Music room also accessed by plain timber stair flight from ground floor butler's pantry. Series of basement rooms along NW side of house with stone stairs, original shelving, plain tiled flooring, servants' kitchen ranges. Stable & garage ranges: Intact stalls to right stable with corner feeders, later loose boxes to left stable, original Jacob's ladders, panelled dados. Groom's room with stone Gothic arched fireplace, moulded cornicing, timber stair to first floor hayloft. Steel RSJs inserted into some garages to support late C20 replaced floor, early mechanic's pit.

HISTORY: Copley was constructed c.1866-68 to the designs of an unknown architect as a private residence. It is believed to have been built for Stephen Williamson, Scottish Member of Parliament whose son, Archibald Williamson, became Baron Forres in 1922. Copley was later bought by the 1st Viscount Leverhulme (who owned and lived in the neighbouring property Thornton Manor) largely for its land. The house (and associated lodge, cottages and outbuildings) and one of its fields were then subsequently re-sold. The house remained in private ownership until WWII when it became a corn exchange. In c.1947 the house and its associated buildings were bought by the 2nd Viscount Leverhulme and the main house split into two residences.

M Airs, The Victorian Great House (Oxford, 2000)
English Heritage Survey of London: Volume 40
E Hubbard & N Pevsner, The Buildings of England Series: Cheshire (New Haven & London, 2003).

Copley is designated at grade II for the following principal reasons:

* It is an important survival of a mid-Victorian Gothic country house built in a Scottish baronial style that retains its associated ancillary buildings and gardens
* The highly decorative house interior is of a superior quality and incorporates Gothic inspired designs throughout
* Original features survive throughout the house including stained glass windows, Gothic stone fireplaces, segmental pointed door surrounds and doors, wall panelling, parquet flooring, and the main and secondary stairs. The stable and garage ranges also retain original features including stalls, and a mechanic's pit
* Stylistic continuity is maintained throughout both externally and internally, including to the basement, servants' quarters and attached stable and garage ranges
* The main house and attached ancillary ranges have group value with Copley Lodge and Copley Cottages in forming the Copley estate

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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