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Bowring Park, Merseyside, Historic Building Survey

Quartermaine, Jamie and Phelps, Andy (2018) Bowring Park, Merseyside, Historic Building Survey. [Client Report] (Unpublished)

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In June 2016, planning permission was granted to Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council for the regeneration of Bowring Park, a public park formerly known as Roby Hall Estate (16/00346/FUL). The works, which were the subject of a successful Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) application, seek to restore and enhance the historic character and public amenity value of the park and include the refurbishment of two buildings known respectively as the Coach House and Stables and the regeneration of the Walled Garden.
All three elements represent surviving aspects of Roby Hall, a Georgian mansion which was demolished in 1950-51, and has been identified as being of heritage value (Mouchel, 2015). Planning permission was granted subject to the implementation of an historic building survey of the two buildings and in July 2017 Oxford Archaeology North (OA
North) were commissioned to carry out the historic building survey to an agreed written scheme of investigation (WSI) (Appendix 1). The fieldwork was completed on 20th September 2017 and this report sets out the results of the work in the form of a short document.
The structures occupy land at the north end of Bowring Park, a public park in the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley, located within a suburban residential area known as Roby, some five miles to the east of the city of Liverpool (SJ 42731 90434).
The former Stable Block is the oldest surviving structure on the site, probably dating to 1761, it formed the detached western wing of Roby Hall and may represent the most
substantial remnants of the Halls original layout. The Coach House, while perhaps erected a century later than the Stable Block, is formed of elements of three buildings. This
includes a fragment of the original detached Eastern Wing of the Hall, the southern portion of a probably mid-nineteenth century L-shaped Coach House and Stable Block and a slightly later western extension to the Coach House. Fortunately, the Stable Block and Coach House survived the demolition of the Hall in the early 1950s and was converted to
new uses.
The Walled Garden dates to at least the 1820s, although it has undergone a series of significant alterations during that period, notably with the development of the glasshouses
across the northern third of the site, the remodelling of the garden layout during the second half of the nineteenth-century, and again in the early twentieth-century.
The above ground structural remains, including the Stables, Coach House and Walled Garden make a substantial contribution to our understanding of the former Roby Estate. In addition, the Stables provide evidence of contemporary domestic transport arrangements during the later half of the eighteenth century during a time when the road system was still in its infancy. Similarly, the Coach House, although erected perhaps a century later, reflects the continued importance of the horse during a period which saw the introduction and rapid growth of the railway system. The Gardens illustrate the changing fashions and technological innovations in horticulture throughout the Victorian period and into the next century.
It is possible that the removal of significant areas of plaster and any floor surfaces from the interior of the former Stable Block might reveal further evidence of the building’s original layout and use and it is recommended that an intermittent watching brief be maintained
during any works to the interior. Similarly, within the Walled Garden any below ground works have the potential to reveal structural evidence associated with the glasshouses and possibly features relating to earlier phases of the layout of the garden.

Item Type: Client Report
Subjects: Geographical Areas > English Counties > Merseyside
Period > UK Periods > Post Medieval 1540 - 1901 AD
Divisions: Oxford Archaeology East
Depositing User: barker
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2020 13:51
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2020 13:51
URI: http://eprints.oxfordarchaeology.com/id/eprint/5800

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