The History of Childwall

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However the house was found to be riddled with dry rot, requiring expenditure of £25,000 on remedial work alone. In view of this and the general unsuitability of the building for use as a college, the house was sadly demolished. The new community college built on the site opened in 1955, but has itself now closed and the premises are now occupied by Lime Pictures. There were at one time, two entrances to Childwall Hall. Half way up Childwall Abbey Road, there is an entrance (see picture below) where the current Lime Pictures access road runs. This road ran all the way to the side of the Hall. The other, and far more extravagant main entrance to the Hall was from the top of Childwall Abbey Road. The road went through the gates at Childwall Wood just behind the current Lodge, and took the route of what is now the moat that runs deep in to the woods. The moat came around to flat land and this opened out to the main drive to the front of the house.

View the excellent Hale Village Website:

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In association with Liverpool Today:

The earliest reference to Childwall Hall is from the 1700's. In 1728, Isaac Greene married Mary Aspinall, heiress of the Ireland family of hale. This building (much like the Church Tower) was demolished in 1780 and a new Hall was built by his grandson.

In 1756 Mary married Bamber Gascoyne. Their son, also called Bamber Gascoyne, settled at Childwall in the 1790's serving as Member of Parliament for Liverpool from 1780 to 1796. Interested in literature and friend of a number of famous contemporary authors, he had an extensive library and also collected old master paintings. He also held local shooting parties amongst the local hills. In the early 19th century he commissioned John Nash, the architect, to work on the hall, transforming the house in to a yellow sandstone, sham mediaeval castle. Other improvements included the Octagon Room, a billiard board, an oak Gothic sarcophagus and Grecian lamps. Bamber Gascoynes only child, Frances Mary, married Viscount Cranborne, 2nd Marquess of Salisbury in 1821, this uniting the extensive estates of both families.  Frances Mary did not live at Childwall Hall after her marriage and the house was let to many tenants. In 1947, the 5th Marquess of Salisbury presented Childwall hall to Liverpool Corporation, who intended to establish a county college.

 

At the outbreak of WWI Miss Schintz, took Arrowe Hall in Birkenhead and set it up as an Auxiliary Military Hospital.  She paid for the fitting out of the hospital for the staff, and provided a fleet of vehicles to transport patients. One patient was Frederick Rapson who had been a driver for the Kings messenger Service on the Western Front and South Africa, and before the war had driven for the royal household.  When he was sufficiently recovered from his injuries Miss Schintz took him on as her chauffeur and from late 1916 he lived and worked at The Garage, Childwall Hall. By 1918 he had a team of men working under him on the Schintzs fleet of cars. Rapson was not only an experienced driver and mechanic but also a prolific inventor, principally of devices for motor cars.  Rapson was now associated with considerable wealth and meeting Miss Schintz was to give him the financial support he needed for a new business life.

 

In 1919 Miss Schintz moved away from Childwall Hall and purchased Ottershaw Park in Surrey.  She maintained that this was to benefit her mother who would appreciate the countryside but it also benefited Rapson, who was by now working on an unpuncturable tyre design and Ottershaw was ideally located for easy access to Brooklands motor circuit where he carried out many trials.  Over the next decade Miss Schintz invested heavily in Rapsons tyres and other inventions, to the extent that she eventually became bankrupt in 1930. For further information on Miss Schintz, Frederick Rapson and Ottershaw Park please go to the link:

 

My grateful thanks go to John Athersuch for the above information and below pictures!

 

I (Jonathon Wild) was recently contacted by a member of Lime Pictures to ask if I would like to view the area as this was once the 'footprint' of Childwall Hall. I didn't need asking twice and after grabbing the camera, headed up to discover the history. The pictures were strictly limited to the original walls and surrounding area of Childwall Hall and we are very grateful to Lime Pictures for the kind opportunity and Chris Lovgreen for the excellent guided tour!!! We have produced the pictures below with kind permission from Lime Pictures.

John Athersuch was recently in contact with me to provide updated information on Childwall Hall and to provide some amazing pictures, never seen before! John met with the grand niece of Miss Schintz and her daughter in law.  They had a wonderful collection of family phots including some of Ottershaw Park and Childwall Hall. They are not dated but but must be pre 1920 as Miss Schintz was at Ottershaw by then.Our thanks go once again to John and to both Sheila and Annabel Collenette for permission to use the photographs.

 

 

 

Miss Susan Dora Cecila Schintz as a young woman (The Daily Mirror 10th December 1932)

 

 

 

Frederick Rapson with the Schintz 1914 Silver Ghost outside the stableyard at Childwall Hall. Rapson is demonstrating his engine powered Rapid jacks. (The Autocar 28th July 1917).

 

 

 

Between about 1901 and 1919 Childwall Hall was leased by the wealthy Schintz family.  Hans Gaspard Schintz was born in Zurich in 1837 but settled in Liverpool some time before 1861 and was granted British Nationality in 1875. His wealth came from saltpetre nitrates sourced in Tarapaca province, northern Chile, by his company the Tamarugal Nitrates Co.

 

Hans Gaspard Schintz married Julia Anna Bleuler with whom he had three children, all born in Liverpool.  The eldest child, Hans Caspar Ferdinand Max, was born in 1865 but died without issue in Switzerland in 1911. The second child, Julia Lucy Schintz was born the following year and married John Smith Moreton in 1897. The youngest child was Susan Dora Cecilia Schintz who was born in 1869 and remained a spinster.The Schintz family lived at several addresses in Liverpool and had moved to Childwall Hall by 1901. In late 1912 Hans Gaspard died.  Although he did not leave anything to charity in his will, his widow donated to various charities in Liverpool from his estate.  Susan Schintz inherited a share of her fathers fortune the income from which enabled her to spend generously on charitable works. Miss Schintz, like her mother, supported numerous charities including a Home for Incurables and the Schintz Nursing Home in Liverpool.

Frederick Rapson with the Schintz 1914 Silver Ghost inside the garage at Childwall Hall demonstrating permanent manual jacks which replaced the engine powered type on this car.  

 

(The Motor 16th October 1917)

 

John Athersuch - Ottershaw Park:

Contemporary drawing of the Hall. - In a poor state - 1940.

 

During demolition - 1949.

 

This area is the entrance to the former stable yard, now used as a surplus car park. There is a great deal of original sandstone brickwork here with some very nice archways leading out of both sides of the stable yard. At one point, this would have been a covered area but now all that remains are the surrounding walls.

Towards the rear of Lime Pictures, there was evidence of a sunken garden, foundations for out-houses and another sunken boundary wall.

With access from Childwall Woods, the rear of the wall throws up many more puzzles as to why it is there and what it was originally used for. There are steps leading down to the right hand side of the wall, but  further back there are also concrete steps that lead nowhere! It would appear that this may have been a seperate 'porch' for Childwall Hall or perhaps an out building for storage. Certainly the arched doorways are too good for a 'standard' out building but the real puzzle is the steps that lead to a 4ft drop!

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The views here show the gateway to the side entrance to the stable block. The picture on the right shows the outer walls of the stable block - the window itself can  be found on pictures of Childwall Hall.

 

The stable block and side entrance! The shortened wall can be seen on the right hand side picture - exactly the same place as the pre 1920 photograph!

 

 

The views here (left) show what was part of the original roadway from the era of Childwall House and is still used to this day. There is a set of sandstone blocks which form the entrance to the other side of the stable yard.