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#276629 - 17th Dec 2008 10:02pm Hillbark Mystery
Doctor_Frick Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 24th Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Loc: Prenton
Ok heres a conondrum for ya..


Whilst researching Hillbark in Frankby i stumbled across some strange fingings. The History of the house from Hillbarks website reads as follows:

"The house was originally built in 1891 (on Bidston Hill) for the soap manufacturer Robert William Hudson. Germany’s Crown Prinz Wilhelm was so impressed with the house that in 1913 he built a copy for himself in Potsdam; the famous Potsdam Agreement at the end of World War 2 was signed there. Hillbark was sold in 1921 to Sir Ernest Royden and in 1928 was moved to its present site, brick by brick, finally being completed in 1931.

Ok so it states that it was not moved until 1928 to franky ? However in Philip Sulleys The Hundred of Wirral from 1889 he states that Hillbark was built by John Robin in 1868. Also stating that it contained a mere in its gardens known as Frankby Mere. If you check the online Tithe maps:

http://maps.cheshire.gov.uk/tithemaps/

It shows a building in the same space as Hillbark today, in the same shape, owned by John Robin. Am i missing something here or have Hillbarks website got their own History wrong ??

Answers on a postcard

Doctor Frick

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#276631 - 17th Dec 2008 10:39pm Re: Hillbark Mystery [Re: Doctor_Frick]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9654
Loc: Birkenhead
Good spot fricky...

Pure conjecture but ... I think that area was already called Hillbark and the building just took the area name. Plot 169 on the tithe map is the building you mention and is recorded as a barn (though must have been BIG), perhaps this was called Hillbark first.
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In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#276654 - 17th Dec 2008 11:25pm Re: Hillbark Mystery [Re: Doctor_Frick]
uptoncx Offline
Veteran

Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral

"Bidston Court" was built in 1891 for Robert Hudson, as you say, there was, however already a house called "Hillbark" which is described as being 'of the same type'. This house was demolished in 1929 when "Bidston Court" was moved there and given the name of the old house.


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#276695 - 18th Dec 2008 12:49am Re: Hillbark Mystery [Re: uptoncx]
uptoncx Offline
Veteran

Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral
Picture of the original Hillbark:




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#276735 - 18th Dec 2008 7:18am Re: Hillbark Mystery [Re: uptoncx]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9654
Loc: Birkenhead
Isn't that building still there on the left as you go in Royden Park - is it Royden Hall community centre? About 15 years since I last went there though.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#276906 - 18th Dec 2008 11:36pm Re: Hillbark Mystery [Re: diggingdeeper]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9654
Loc: Birkenhead
Ok - I will argue with myself as usual - no it is probably not that building, or was it, I remembered it having a tower. Can anyone tell me if this is Royden Hall.


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
FrankbyRoydenHall.jpg

Description: Other building in royden Park


_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#276929 - 19th Dec 2008 10:25am Re: Hillbark Mystery [Re: diggingdeeper]
Colgo Offline

Old Hand

Registered: 8th Dec 2007
Posts: 338
Loc: wirral
That building is known as the Coach House.
Royden Hall is HERE but I don't think its the building you are on about

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#277033 - 19th Dec 2008 8:30pm Re: Hillbark Mystery [Re: Colgo]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9654
Loc: Birkenhead
Until the mid-nineteenth century the site of Royden Park was still largely farmland. However, by 1844 there were in existence areas of 'plantation' which were to form the basis of a parkland landscape which still exists today. The land was purchased in 1865 by Septimus Ledward Esq. J.P. who built a sandstone house called 'Hillbark' on the site of an ancient tithebarn. The house was erected between 1868 and 1870 and the surrounding grounds were laid out with gardens and glasshouses, a dovecote and a bowling green.

The present house of Hillbark was erected in 1931 by Sir Ernest B. Royden after whom the park is named. This mock-Tudor building, originally known as Bidston Court, was built near Bidston Hill in 1891 for the soap manufacturer R. W. Hudson, and then moved brick by brick to its present commanding position. Following the death of Sir E. B, Royden the park was acquired in 1961 by Hoylake Urban District Council for use as 'public open space'. Hillbark is now an hotel and conference centre and is not open to the public.

from http://www.wirral.gov.uk/LGCL/100006/200073/1008/content_0000984.html

Thanks Colgo
Sorry to temporarily pinch thread Fricky


Edited by diggingdeeper (19th Dec 2008 8:33pm)
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In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#277056 - 19th Dec 2008 10:47pm Re: Hillbark Mystery [Re: diggingdeeper]
uptoncx Offline
Veteran

Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral
Just to join all of the above together, and to help remove any confusion (well, I’m confussed even if nobody else is):

In 1865 Septimus Ledward esq. J.P. bought a piece of land in Frankby from the executors of John Robin. Between 1868 and 1870 a house was built on the land, on the site of an ancient tithe barn on the summit of Frankby Hill. The house, named “Hill Bark” was designed by G T Grayson of Liverpool and enlarged in 1882. It may have looked like this:



The surrounding grounds were laid out with gardens and glasshouses and covered an area of 2 acres.

A coach house and clock tower were built in the grounds, this is now the visitor centre in Roydon Park.



Lodges in the same style as the main house were also built at the entrances to the park.

Meanwhile, in 1891, R.W.Hudson had a house built in Noctorum, based on the plans of Little Moreton Hall in Congleton. The house cost £150,000 to build and was called “Bidston Court”. It had a fine view westwards across the peninsula to the distant Welsh hills. Such was its prominence that, during the First World War, the Germans had thought of using the tall chimneys as range detectors for shelling Liverpool Docks.

Sir Ernest Roydon, who was married to the daughter of Septimus Ledward, bought “Bidston Court” in 1920. When Ledward died, “Hill Bark” came into the possession of Lady Roydon.

The Roydon’s liked “Bidston Court”, but didn’t like its position. They didn’t like “Hill Bark”, but did like its position, so Sir Ernest decided to move, and take the house with him.

In 1929 “Hill Bark” was demolished and “Bidston Court” was dismantled and moved piece by piece to Frankby. The house was re-assembled using local architects and local builders and was ready for occupation by 1931. The house was given the name of the old house, “Hill Bark”



Sir Ernest died in 1960 and Hoylake UDC bought the property a year later. The house was opened as a home for the elderly, this continued until a few years ago when “Hill Bark” became an hotel and conference centre.

There is one further twist to the story of Hill Bark: In 1911 the Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany wanted to buy the house and have it shipped back to Germany, but Ledward refused to sell, he did, however, agree to sell the plans to the Prince.

The location of the German House was not known until Sir Ernest commissioned two agents to go to Germany to confirm its existence. The house, called “Cecilianhof” was built in Potsdam, and it was used for the signing of the Potsdam Agreement after the Second World War.


Cecilianhof in Potsdam

Additional sources:
The Wirral Peninsula, Norman Ellison 1955
The Wirral, Alan Brack 1980
The Wirral Journal Spring 1982
The Wirral Journal Autumn 1986
The Wirral Journal Spring 1990



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#277107 - 20th Dec 2008 11:14am Re: Hillbark Mystery [Re: uptoncx]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9654
Loc: Birkenhead
Thanks for that uptoncx - you could become the resident deconfuser - I need one even if nobody else does. idiot
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#277578 - 22nd Dec 2008 8:28pm Re: Hillbark Mystery [Re: Doctor_Frick]
angie Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 17th Nov 2008
Posts: 108
Loc: wirral
I think you will find this link interesting it is a video of the workmen moving the original Bidston Court from Bidston brick by brick it,s only 58 seconds but so fascinating.http://www.itnsource.com/shotlist//RTV/1930/01/01/BGT407150347/?s=Bidston+Court
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Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.

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#277579 - 22nd Dec 2008 8:29pm Re: Hillbark Mystery [Re: angie]
angie Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 17th Nov 2008
Posts: 108
Loc: wirral
you might need to copy and paste it
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Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.

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#277672 - 23rd Dec 2008 12:41pm Re: Hillbark Mystery [Re: angie]
AR_One Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 14th Nov 2007
Posts: 435
Loc: Wirral
Sorry to ask this (as I'm sure it already has been!) but where's the original site of Bidston Court and is there any evidence still to be found - foundations etc?

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#277675 - 23rd Dec 2008 1:09pm Re: Hillbark Mystery [Re: AR_One]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Here it is on a 1909 map. Looking at the site on Live Search there seems to be a group of houses there now, so I don't think there'll be any remains.

Cheers, Chris.


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
2008-12-23 13-00-28_0178.jpg


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#277699 - 23rd Dec 2008 2:40pm Re: Hillbark Mystery [Re: chriskay]
Colgo Offline

Old Hand

Registered: 8th Dec 2007
Posts: 338
Loc: wirral
just had a look on live search I think the terracing in front of the house as shown on your 1909 map could be here


Edited by Colgo (23rd Dec 2008 2:40pm)

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