Ground breaking ceremony at Calderstones Mansion House in Liverpool

Posted on April 16th, 2018

Calderstones GIMP

A ground breaking ceremony has taken place at The Reader project in Calderstones Park, Liverpool which has been awarded to John Turner Construction to create The International Centre for Shared Reading.

Restoration of the Calderstones Grade II Mansion House will develop a sustainable community hub of Shared Reading and well-being activity. This will create a highly visible and easy-access heritage experience for the people of the local area to read, learn, play, make new friends and find new opportunities.

This Heritage Lottery Funded project will incorporate the relocation of the Calder Stones which once formed part of a Chambered Tomb in Allerton and date back to the late Neolithic (c. 2800 BCE). The six remaining stones are highly decorated sandstone megaliths marked with, amongst others, spirals, concentric circles, arcs, cup marks and footprints.

Refurbishment and conservation works will be carried out across the Mansion House including the function suite and relocation of the cafe; installation of new ramp access with a new lift and staircase to provide DDA access and construction of six glazed enclosures for the Calder Stones to be displayed in below a steel frame backlit ‘green roof’ canopy. Works will also include strip out and replacement of all M&E installations; repair and replacement of defect roof elements, doors, windows and finishings along with reconfiguration of the existing courtyards, footpaths and soft landscaping.

An existing cafe is located in a former Coach House which also includes spaces for local artists to hire. There is also an ice cream parlour and children’s interactive story centre, The Story Barn.

The Reader is an award-winning charitable social enterprise working to build stronger communities through Shared Reading; connect people with great literature improving well-being and create welcoming environments in which personal feeling is recognised and valued.

Calderstones Mansion was built in 1828 for Joseph Need Walker and owned by the McIver family of Cunard shipping.

Calderstones Park has been a public park since 1902 and has played an important role in local life and encompasses interesting landscape features and botanic species.

Present at the ground breaking ceremony, as shown on the photo above, include, from left to right, Neil Hoey, Contracts Manager at John Turner Construction Group; Jane Davis, Founder and Director of The Reader; Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson; Sarah Fletcher, COO/Deputy Director of The Reader and George Hawkins, Heritage Manager at The Reader. Credit: Paul Bartlett (PB Photography).

Neil Hoey, Contracts Manager from John Turner Construction Group said: “we are delighted to be working with The Reader at Calderstones Mansion House to create a community hub for Shared Reading. This interesting project has started on site and we look forward to working together throughout the duration. With building work underway there will be an increase in traffic on site but wherever possible this will occur during quieter times in the park. The Reader hopes to keep disruption for park users to a minimum and welcome any questions or concerns from the local community. There are also opportunities for the local community to be a part of this project, The Reader are inviting anyone who is interested in supporting the project as a volunteer or donor to get in touch.”