Rebuilt, bombed and saved - Sefton Palm House celebrates 125th birthday

Throughout its history, the Palm House has undergone many transformations.

It’s been 125 years since the original opening of the Sefton Park Palm House in 1896. Throughout its history, the Palm House has undergone many transformations. In 2001 it reopened to the public after a campaign by locals after falling into disrepair.

It has also been 80 years since it sustained damage in the May Blitz 1941.

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It has been 55 years since the building was listed in 1966. The building had sadly fallen into disrepair and was rescued by the Liverpoolcommunity; this led to the creation of the preservation trust in 1996, 25 years ago.

Colourful history of the Palm House

The Palm House was originally gifted to the City of Liverpool by Henry Yates Thompson. At the outset of the Second World War, the glass domes were disguised with camouflage paint after fears that reflected moonlight would make it a landmark for enemy bombers. Despite these precautions, tragedy struck during the blitz bombing of Liverpool when the explosion from a nearby bomb shattered the glass.

By the 1980s, the Palm House had fallen into a poor state of repair. With limited funds for maintenance and fears for public safety, the much-loved visitor attraction was closed to the public.

Saved by the community

After a public campaign and multi-million-pound restoration, this Grade 2 listed building reopened its doors to visitors in 2001 and has since enjoyed a new lease of life as a lively arts and cultural venue.

Sefton Park Palm House is owned by Liverpool City Council and managed by Sefton Park Palm House Preservation Trust, a registered charity that maintains the Palm House for the benefit of the local community.

The Trust employs a team of staff and is supported in its work by volunteers and casual event assistants. By generating income from heritage grants, private hire, events and donations, the Palm House is open for everyone to enjoy for free.