Wellington Rooms, Liverpool

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Coordinates: 53°24′14″N 2°58′14″W / 53.4038°N 2.9706°W / 53.4038; -2.9706

Wellington Rooms
Wellington Rooms 2017.jpg
General information
Architectural styleNeo-classical
Town or cityLiverpool
CountryEngland
Construction started1815
Completed1816
ClientWellington Club
Design and construction
ArchitectEdmund Aikin

The Wellington Rooms, also known as the former Irish Centre, is a Regency building in Liverpool, England. Designed as assembly rooms, the building is situated on Mount Pleasant, close to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.

The building has been closed since 1997 and is currently subject to emergency repair work to preserve it for future use.[1]

History[edit]

The Neo-classical building was designed by the architect Edmund Aikin and built between 1815–1816 as a subscription assembly room for the Wellington Club, it was originally used by high society for assemblies, dance balls and parties. The Wellington Club was wound up in 1922.

Between 1923 and 1940 it was the Embassy Club and was used for tea dances, classes and weddings. During WW2, the building became the first base for the Rodney Youth Centre though bomb damage in 1941 damaged all of the original ceilings with the exception of the ballroom.

The building officially opened as Liverpool Irish Centre on 1 February 1965 hosting ceilis, music, drama performances as well as serving as a base for clubs and societies;[2] the Irish Centre relocated in the 1990s, and the building became derelict.

Architecture[edit]

The building was designed with a central entrance that leads into an octagonal room from which three further rooms can be accessed; these were originally used as a drawing room, refreshment room and ballroom. The building had three separate entrances which were intended for men, ladies and sedan-chairs & carriages.

The Wellington Rooms were designated a listed building (Grade II*) in the 1950s, but this official protection did not prevent the property becoming derelict after the Irish Centre closed in 1997.[3]

Current status and proposed regeneration[edit]

The building was placed on the national Heritage at Risk Register in 1999, and has been one the sites featured in the Liverpool Echo's Stop the Rot campaign.

The building suffers from dry rot, dampness and loss of plaster from walls and ceiling which has been exacerbated by repeated lead theft from the roof.[4]

Plans were announced in 2016 to turn the building into a Science and Technology Hub as part of the Knowledge Quarter plans.[5]

Emergency repairs were approved in November 2016 with the work intended to be started in February 2017. £121,000 was to be spent repairing the roof and walls to prevent water getting into the building with half the money coming from Liverpool City Council and half from Historic England.[6] In October 2017, the Liverpool Echo reported that the awarding of the tender for the restoration work had been delayed from February and was hoped to be awarded that month. [7] £100,000 of emergency works began in February 2018. The works aim to survey the roof with a view to making the building watertight so that further restoration work can be carried out at a later date.[1] A public consultation was launched in March 2018 to hear suggestions from local people for future uses for the building.[8]

See also[edit]

Architecture of Liverpool

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Houghton, Alistair (12 February 2018). "Harp lager and Guinness pumps are still on the bar at the old Irish centre". liverpoolecho. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  2. ^ Parry, Josh (25 May 2016). "Liverpool's former Irish Centre to appear in BBC documentary tonight". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  3. ^ Houghton, Alistair (19 November 2016). "Urgent repairs to Liverpool's Irish Centre set to get go-ahead". Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  4. ^ Parry, Josh (25 May 2016). "Liverpool's former Irish Centre to appear in BBC documentary tonight". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  5. ^ Houghton, Alistair (23 October 2015). "Wirral Waters could see cash boost with councils offered £18m for house building". Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  6. ^ Houghton, Alistair (25 November 2016). "Urgent Irish Centre repair plans get approved". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  7. ^ Shennan, Paddy (5 October 2017). "What is happening with the former Liverpool Irish Centre?". liverpoolecho. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  8. ^ "City holds public consultation over future of Liverpool's 202-year-old Wellington Rooms - Liverpool Business News". Liverpool Business News. 20 March 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018.

External links[edit]

Historic England. "Details from image database (359117)". Images of England.