Carlett Hall


Location   Eastham
Year demolished   1971
Reason   Bought by Cheshire Council for the site, house replaced by a college

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Text written by, and copyright of, Nicholas Kingsley - many thanks

In 1846 an area of land at Eastham adjoining the River Mersey was advertised for sale by Sir William Massey Stanley as a series of plots for the erection of suburban villas. At the same time, a larger piece of land to the south east called Carlett Park (Cheshire) which had been laid out by Mr W. Laird, was offered for sale as the site for a larger house.

It was bought by John Torr (1813-80), scion of a gentry family from Laceby (Lincs) and a prominent citizen of Liverpool, who commissioned T.H. Wyatt to design a new house in 1859-61. This was a two-storey house, apparently of red brick with stone dressings, and like so much of Wyatt's work it was stylistically confused and lacked visual coherence. Essentially loosely Tudor in style, it had a three-storey tower with a French pavilion roof above the entrance, and on the garden front there was another flat-roofed tower with shaped Dutch gables set against it as well as a first-floor oriel window. A veranda and conservatory were attached to one side and a lower service wing to the other. John Torr became one of the MPs for Liverpool in 1873, and was succeeded by his son, the Canon William E. Torr (1851-1924), who built a detached chapel in the grounds to the design of John Douglas of Chester in 1884-85.

After his death, his son sold the estate in 1925 to the Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic teaching order, for use as a novitiate. After the Second World War, the house was acquired by Cheshire County Council as a college of further education, and the house was demolished and replaced by a multi-storey slab of concrete and glass in 1971. This in turn was demolished after the college closed c.2008, and the site was then redeveloped for housing; the Victorian chapel survives.