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Report - - Knolle Park aka St Gabriel's Convent (Liverpool, Oct, 2017) | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Knolle Park aka St Gabriel's Convent (Liverpool, Oct, 2017)


urbanchemist

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Background. Knolle Park, later known as St Gabriel’s Convent, is a grade II listed building in Woolton, Liverpool. It was built ca 1840 and later run as a children’s home by an order of German nuns. A different set of nuns took over in 1914 and a number of additions were made to the site during the 1960s and 70s including extensions and some outbuildings. The convent finally closed in the last decade amid some scandal. At the moment it is being renovated, with planning permission for seven apartments in the main house, erection of a new build block of 24 flats in place of the ‘German Wing’ extension (currently burnt out) and houses in the grounds.

On walking round it is evident that the renovation stalled some time ago - there have been a number of fires recently, the basement has been looted for metal and local kids are getting in. Nevertheless some of the original features remain, although no decent fire surrounds. The highlight is probably the perforated dome in the entrance hall. The outbuildings, including a nursery and a children’s home are not worth looking at but there is a rather nice gatehouse. Pictures start in the basement and go up to the roof. Visited with urbanchemist junior and the dog.

Burnt-out wing on the right of the front view.






























Old lath and plaster ceiling removed but comings left in place - plaster boards for new ceiling.




































Top bedroom grate (dane).












Mini Grecian gatehouse.

 
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Jim Goddard

28DL Member
28DL Member
Well done for getting in and getting some great photographs. I visited the site myself just before the fire, about six months before yourselves. The front door was open and I wandered around freely. More of the innards of the main building remained, but it was otherwise similar to how you show it here. I wandered around the place for about an hour and took lots of photographs. In my case I had a very personal reason for visiting, which was that I had lived there as a child between the ages of four and six. I have some good memories of that time, back in the late 1960s. Others I know have less positive memories of the place. I hope the building is put to use eventually.
 

urbanchemist

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Interesting that you remember the place when so young - must be practically your earliest memories. The suprising thing to me was that this grand old place was just sitting there unprotected, although I think things may be a bit more secure now.
 

Jim Goddard

28DL Member
28DL Member
Yes, they are my earliest memories. Back then, the home was alive with dozens of children of all ages and nuns hovering about supervising everything. The house and grounds seemed much larger then, of course. I got in incredibly easily when I visited last year. The site was even less secure before the fire. One could easily sneak through the side of the security fence and the front door of the house was wide open. I even came away with a memento; a stair rail, which is now sitting in my house. There were piles of them out front. There may be other former children's homes in this state, though most homes from that era seem to have long since been converted into private properties of various kinds.

I've looked at your website before and got photographs of West Cheshire Mental Hospital from when it was derelict. It was the home of my mother at the same time as my brother and I were at Knolle Park. I'm pleased you are recording some of these places as so many people have memories of them.
 

urbanchemist

28DL Regular User
Regular User
I've looked at your website before and got photographs of West Cheshire Mental Hospital from when it was derelict. It was the home of my mother at the same time as my brother and I were at Knolle Park. I'm pleased you are recording some of these places as so many people have memories of them.
Erm, not my website of course. But I agree about the archival aspect - must be loads of places for which the only record is on 28DL, although local libraries can sometimes be a good source (I didn't try and find any old photos for the convent).
 

Markone

28DL Member
28DL Member
Well done for getting in and getting some great photographs. I visited the site myself just before the fire, about six months before yourselves. The front door was open and I wandered around freely. More of the innards of the main building remained, but it was otherwise similar to how you show it here. I wandered around the place for about an hour and took lots of photographs. In my case I had a very personal reason for visiting, which was that I had lived there as a child between the ages of four and six. I have some good memories of that time, back in the late 1960s. Others I know have less positive memories of the place. I hope the building is put to use eventually.
0
Well done for getting in and getting some great photographs. I visited the site myself just before the fire, about six months before yourselves. The front door was open and I wandered around freely. More of the innards of the main building remained, but it was otherwise similar to how you show it here. I wandered around the place for about an hour and took lots of photographs. In my case I had a very personal reason for visiting, which was that I had lived there as a child between the ages of four and six. I have some good memories of that time, back in the late 1960s. Others I know have less positive memories of the place. I hope the building is put to use eventually.
Jim i was at st gabrials convent from 1959 till 1963 i was happy there sister arsinius used to look after me i was in the nursery on the ground floor anc the boys dorm was upstairs up the spirol staircare do you remember that it was as you came in the main door in the white house the girls dorm was in the german building now burned out back then we had a farm with chickens pigs lambs ect and a fruit farm hope life turned out ok for you all the best
 

bignickb

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I like your Pikie detector! Great shots too! good work!
 

BlushingHorror

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Great photos, the place still looks the same nearly a year later. Visited this place only yesterday, can't believe how massive the actual place is! Did you go into the nursery at the back and the side burnt out building? I love the ceiling dome and the stained glass windows you brilliantly captured.
 

urbanchemist

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Great photos, the place still looks the same nearly a year later. Visited this place only yesterday, can't believe how massive the actual place is! Did you go into the nursery at the back and the side burnt out building? I love the ceiling dome and the stained glass windows you brilliantly captured.
Glad to hear it hasn't been trashed further - we looked at all the buildings - as far as I remember the nursery was partly full of builders waste.
 

Peter121

28DL Member
28DL Member
0

Jim i was at st gabrials convent from 1959 till 1963 i was happy there sister arsinius used to look after me i was in the nursery on the ground floor anc the boys dorm was upstairs up the spirol staircare do you remember that it was as you came in the main door in the white house the girls dorm was in the german building now burned out back then we had a farm with chickens pigs lambs ect and a fruit farm hope life turned out ok for you all the best
Yes, they are my earliest memories. Back then, the home was alive with dozens of children of all ages and nuns hovering about supervising everything. The house and grounds seemed much larger then, of course. I got in incredibly easily when I visited last year. The site was even less secure before the fire. One could easily sneak through the side of the security fence and the front door of the house was wide open. I even came away with a memento; a stair rail, which is now sitting in my house. There were piles of them out front. There may be other former children's homes in this state, though most homes from that era seem to have long since been converted into private properties of various kinds.

I've looked at your website before and got photographs of West Cheshire Mental Hospital from when it was derelict. It was the home of my mother at the same time as my brother and I were at Knolle Park. I'm pleased you are recording some of these places as so many people have memories of them.
Jim, I wonder if you remember one of the staff at knolle Park, a lady called Teresa (Teresa Mary Tyrrell). She was a relative of ours and grew up there and stayed all her life working there at the children’s home in the nursery. She would teach dancing and put on lots of shows and would always decorate the convent at Christmas.
 

Peter121

28DL Member
28DL Member
0

Jim i was at st gabrials convent from 1959 till 1963 i was happy there sister arsinius used to look after me i was in the nursery on the ground floor anc the boys dorm was upstairs up the spirol staircare do you remember that it was as you came in the main door in the white house the girls dorm was in the german building now burned out back then we had a farm with chickens pigs lambs ect and a fruit farm hope life turned out ok for you all the best
I wonder if you remember one of the staff at knolle Park, a lady called Teresa (Teresa Mary Tyrrell). She was a relative of ours and grew up there and stayed all her life working there at the children’s home in the nursery. She would teach dancing and put on lots of shows and would always decorate the convent at Christmas.
 

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