Mansions of Wallasey

St. George's Mount

Rutland House

Another residence that no longer greets the eye in its original forum is 'Rutland House', which stood in St .George's Mount. This house was formerly owned by Dr. William Bell, who died in 1915 at the age of 75. He had lived in Wallasey since 1866, and in that year, in conjunction with Mr Charles Crewe Chambres, of 'The Eyrie' in Breck Road, was responsible for the establishment of the Wallasey Cottage Hospital, then situated in St .George's Road. In addition, Dr Bell was a member of the Management Committee of the Wallasey High School, a Governor of Wallasey Grammar School, Hon. Physician to the New Brighton Convalescent House, and a Justice of the Peace. Whether or not 'Rutland House' was actually built for Dr Bell is not known, but it could well have owed its name to the fact he was educated at Uppingham School in the county of Rutland.

Two of Dr Bell's sons followed in their father's professions. One was Professor Blair Bell, an eminent Liverpool surgeon and cancer specialist, who lived in the closing years of the 19th Century in 'Linden Cottage', Grove Road, while the other, Edward Augustine Bell, educated at Rossall and a surgeon to the Wallasey Cottage Hospital, the New Brighton Convalescent Home and the Homes for Aged Mariners, became a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps in World War I, but unfortunately lost his life in France in 1916, when he was drowned shortly after returning from leave. His wife, who survived until 1967, was a daughter of Canon Cogswell, Rector of St. Hilary's, one of whose sons in turn married a daughter of Dr Bell.

'Rutland House', which had extensive grounds, is now Nos 1 and 3, St George's Mount, and it would also seem that part, at any rate, of the land was sold off to the well known Wallasey builder, Moses Hughes, in 1922, for the construction of some of the houses in St George's Park. In 1926, Moses Hughes sold over 5,000 square yards of land to Wallasey Corporation for £1,165, and this is presumably the present enclosed area in the park.

Monte Bello

Monte Bello in 1891This house, which stood at the north corner of St. George's Mount and Atherton Street, was built about 1860 for a Liverpool merchant, Mr Charles William Harrison Pickering. Prior to moving here, Mr Pickering lived first at 'Withensfield House', Withens Lane, and later at 'Springfield House', the site of which is now occupied roughly by Vicarage Grove. In those days the new house must have commanded unsurpassed views out to sea, and it is not surprising that Mr Pickering named the property 'Monte Bello'. The grounds ran down to St. James's Road, where there was a lodge, while the stables, still standing and used residentially. were situated opposite on the south side of St. George's Mount.

Mr Pickering, after whom Pickering Road was presumably named, died in 1881 at the age of 65 and was buried in St. Hilary's Churchyard, although he worshipped at St. James's Church, where there is, or was, a stained glass window to his memory. His widow continued to live at 'Monte Bello' until her own death in 1895, and the following year the Trustees of her late husband's Will sold the whole of the property, consisting of the house, the stables and over 6,000 square yards of land to a Liverpool Shipowner, Mr John Karran, for £3,010. Four years later he, too, died, but his widow remained in residence for some years, finally dying at Douglas, Isle of Man, on 1907. Round about 1910, the house was leased from the Karran Trustees by Mrs Isobel Robinson, who converted it into a private hotel, still known as 'Monte Bello', and as such it continued until World War II.

In 1944 the Trustees sold off the coach-house and stables separately to a Mr Wood, who died in 1979 and the following year disposed of the remainder of the property to an Estate Company for £3,500. Ten years later it was acquired by Thomas & Caley Ltd, a local building company, the house having been demolished in the meantime, and they developed the area with the attractive smaller residences which are to be seen there today.

The Grennan

Next to the 'Monte Bello' now demolished, and probably built about the same time, stood a great house, known as 'The Grennan'. It was designed in an Italianate style, stucco rendered and painted and significant by the belvidere, an observation tower which dominated the masard roof line. Built in the ridge of St George's Mount it commanded impressive views.

In 1860 it was in the occupation of Mr G.S Robertson, Manager and Secretary of Hamilton's Windsor Iron Works in Liverpool. According to the street directories, Mr Robertson stayed there for ten years before giving way to Mr A.T Wright, Solicitor, son of Peter Wright, at one time Clerk of the Peace in Liverpool and a partner in what became the legal firm of Wright, Beckett and Pennington. Mr Wright spent some time as Chairman of the Wallasey Local Board and a Cheshire County Council Alderman, and occupied 'The Grennan' for nearly twenty years before moving to 'The Springs' in Harrison Drive.His successor at 'The Grennan' was a Mr H.J Houghton, described as a gentleman, who in 1915 gave way to Mr Leonard Meadows, an Oil Merchant, who mingled in public life to the extent that he was Treasurer of the Victoria Central Hospital and the Wallasey Cricket Club, in addition to being a sidesman at St Hilary's Church. He was succeeded at 'The Grennan' in about 1920 by Mr G. Austin Tyrer, Wine and Spirit Merchant, who on the sporting side was capped for Cheshire at hockey in 1904, and captained Wallasey Cricket Club for seven years prior to World War I. In 1925 the house was converted into flats, but in the late 1980's was demolished for redevelopment.