Forming part of a historically significant terrace on Canning Street in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter, this expansive Grade II-listed townhouse has five bedrooms and spans over 4,500 sq ft, including a coach house, with studio and garage. Built circa 1830, the building has undergone an extensive restoration programme in recent years, conserving its classical integrity for future custodians. The original carriage house has been converted into a studio space with a separate mews entrance. The Georgian Quarter is a short walk from Liverpool City Centre and has excellent transport links to both Manchester and London via nearby Liverpool Lime Street Station.
Setting the Scene
A house full of history, its most significant resident was Lord Mayor of Liverpool James Aspinall Tobin, who lived here from 1843 to 1850; his mayoral coach used to sit in the carriage house, which still forms part of the plot. Canning Street was originally built for Liverpool’s merchants, who required close proximity to the trading commerce of the city, but the luxuries of a large Regency townhouse. The street is named after George Canning, a British politician who served as Foreign Secretary and, briefly, Prime Minister. It occupies an elevated position over the city centre and the River Mersey. For more information, please see the History section below.
The Grand Tour
Entry to the home is via a broad flight of sandstone steps, which lead to a front door flanked by classical columns. An entrance porch and elegant hallway lie ahead. At the front of the plan is a handsome reception room with an open archway leading to a dining room. Both spaces have voluminous ceiling heights and are flooded with natural light. Finished in a rich shade of ‘Calke Green’ by Farrow and Ball, the pair of rooms retain their original plasterwork, working shutters, stripped floorboards and spectacular marble fireplaces. At the rear of the plan is a quiet study overlooking the private garden.
On the lower-ground floor of the house is a vast kitchen diner. There is a practical, poured concrete floor and walls have been stripped exposing nearly 200-years worth of different plaster and washes of paint. Geometric tiles create a splashback, which is a set above stainless steel units topped with hardy Iroko wood. The rest of the space is big enough for large-scale entertaining and there is a cosy snug at the front of the plan. Several ancillary rooms can be found on the lower-ground floor, including a pantry, storage rooms, shower room, boiler room; front and rear entrances are also on this floor.
The first floor is accessed by a beautiful cantilevered staircase with cast-iron spindles. At the front of the plan is the drawing room with ceiling heights of some 12 ft. Finished in a cool shade of ‘Oval Room’ blue by Farrow and Ball, the room retains a fine, gothic-inspired fireplace made from veined marble. A pretty cast iron, cantilevered balcony runs the width of the elevation, which is covered in a fragrant clematis.
Next to the drawing room is the primary bedroom, which has been finished in a beautiful Chinoiserie wallpaper by Cole and Son. An original sash window frames views over the quiet rear garden, and a beautiful marble fireplace with heraldic shields adds grandeur. At the far end of the first floor is a large family bathroom. A vast oriel window means the room is flooded with light and the walls are papered in the brilliant ‘Palm Jungle’ by Cole and Son. The space has a clawfoot bath, a vanity and a WC.
On the second floor of the house are three bedrooms. Originally the nursery, children’s bedroom and nanny’s room, an interconnecting corridor has been converted into two useful storage closets for the two larger bedrooms. Each room has a beautiful, cast-iron fireplace and large sash windows. A large bathroom sits at the rear with its original late-Victorian tiles and has a shower, a vanity and a WC.
The third floor of the building is home to a wonderful cinema room. Easily useable as a bedroom, the space has two Velux windows and an imposing exposed timber beam.
The Great Outdoors
The long private garden is a veritable oasis in its central city centre location. Designed as a working kitchen garden, the current owners have incorporated an irrigation system and mixture of practical and decorative planting. Espalier fruit trees line the walled garden, and the formal arrangement of rust Corten planters, is complemented by informal planting in terracotta pots and lush greenery against crushed red granite and brick paving. A lean-to extension was removed from the coach house, and the original clay bricks and York flags were repurposed as flooring in both the garden and coach house studio.
Out and About
Almost everywhere in the city, including the waterfront, can be reached within 30-minutes. The immediate neighbourhood of the Georgian Quarter is a shot walk away, and has plenty to offer; the Everyman Theatre, Philharmonic Hall, Tung Auditorium, Anglican Cathedral and St James Gardens are within a 10-minute walk. There are also a host of wonderful eateries and bars within the area, most notable are Buyers Club, Coffi and Pen Factory.
There are at least a dozen other restaurants and pubs within a five-minute walk and another hundred or so more around Bold Street and Ropewalks, within a 15-minute walk, including Mowgli, Duke Street Market, Leaf and FACT Cinema. The Baltic Triangle with its lively creative industries, food market and venues; Baltic Bakehouse is 15 minutes away.
The main shopping areas of Liverpool One are a 20 minute walk away, and the main business district of Castle Street a short drive (with its great restaurants, including Queen’s and favourite newcomer Nord) is about 30 minutes away.
Liverpool Lime Street Station is a 10-minute walk away, with trains to Manchester Piccadilly in 25 minutes, and London Euston in two hours. Liverpool John Lennon Airport is a 20-minute drive away, while the m62 is a 15-minute drive.
Council Tax Band: C
The house has had many interesting occupants, including Julia Carter-Preston and her husband, Professor Michael Pugh. Carter-Preston was a revered ceramicist and would host legendary dinner parties in the house throughout the 70s. The couple lived on Canning Street from 1929 to 1969, and Julia’s graffito ceramic plate with the house number is still on the front elevation to this day.
The Georgian Quarter was designed by John Foster in 1800and built over the late Georgian, Regency and early Victorian period. The extensive residential area uniquely retains its 19th-century houses and original townscape on the original gridiron plan.
The house on Canning Street was listed in 1952 for its architectural significance in the local area and forms part of the more comprehensive Canning Conservation Area.
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