24 February 2009

Absolutely Stunning.......

St George's Hall here in Liverpool is said to be on of Prince Charles's favourite buildings and I can see why. Most of the building is open to the public but for the past few weeks we have been able to go into the Grand Hall and see the 'Minton' tiled floor.

I went down to see it on Friday afternoon for the grand price of £1. Words can't describe the floor and another room I saw - 'absolutely stunning' is all I can say. Hope you agree when you look at the photos I took.

A bit of background about St George's Hall to start with:-

St George's Hall was designed by Harvey Lonsdale Elmes, a young architect who won two separate design competitions, one for a concert hall for the people of Liverpool, and one for the city's Law Courts. Both these designs were then incorporated into one building - St George's Hall which was opened in 1855.
The building has several distinct areas, the Great Hall, with its world famous Willis Organ, Minton tiled floor and high vaulted ceiling, can seat 800 people.

At either end are two court rooms, the Crown Court and the Civil Court which were last held court in 1984
There is also a wonderful Concert Hall which can seat 480 people and is thought to be the best example of interior design by Charles Robert Cockerell, as well as various other functions rooms and the old prisoner accommodation in the basement.
After the Law Courts moved elsewhere the Hall was left to languish until 1992, when partial refurbishment meant the Great Hall and associated ante rooms could be opened for public use.

This area continues to be in huge demand for exhibitions, conferences, dinners and concerts. Since the 23m refurbishment in April 07 when the building was officially opened by Prince Charles we are now able to use 90% of the building and offer accessibility.
This major works effectively restored fabric and infrastructure securing its survival /accessibility, for future generations. (C) http://www.civichalls.liverpool.gov.uk/stgeorgeshall/history/index.asp
The highly decorated floor in the Grand Hall consists of 30,000 Minton tiles and is usually covered by a removable floor to protect it. Every few years this is taken off so the public can see this amazing floor.
The Grand Hall looking towards the organ.

View from organ end of Grand Hall.

The ceiling of the Grand Hall.

Stained glass window of St George and the Dragon.

Close up of floor tiles.

You can see from the following photo why the floor is kept covered for most of the time.

One of the statues that holds up the organ pipes.

Floor from the viewing gallery.

Close up of centre

Close up of part of the ceiling.

The next set of photographs are taken in the Concert Room. Charles Dickens held ‘penny readings’ here.
This is the view that you get when you walk through the doors, awe inspiring itsn't it.

Close up of the ceiling.

The stage with a view of the ceiling in the mirrors at the back of the stage.

When I was paying my £1 to get in the lady on the till said the manager was hoping to be able to open the Great Hall every year. So if they do and you get the opportunity to visit I recommend you do, you won't be disappointed.


Doreen G said...

Thank you Susan for showing me this wonderful old building-there is so much history here.

Pat said...

Stunning indeed, thanks for sharing.

Papoosue said...

Wow, that is truly amazing isn't it? The stained glass window is absolutely stunning. x

Jacq said...

Thank you for sharing all the wonderful pictures.