DiCamillo Companion

Leasowe Castle (Leesowe Castle) (Mockbeggar Hall)

  • Built / Designed For: Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby

    House & Family History: Leasowe was built in the late 16th century by the 5th Earl of Derby, a patron of Shakespeare. It's likely that Lord Derby built Leasowe as an observation platform for the Wallasey races, which took place on the sands in the 16th and 17th centuries (these races are considered the forerunner of the modern Derby). Leasowe is particularly noted for containing the ceiling of the famous Star Chamber from the Palace of Westminster. The ceiling, together with oak paneling, a chimneypiece (see drawing in "Images" section), and tapestries that depict the four seasons, were brought here 1836, after the Star Chamber and the Court of Westminster in London were demolished in 1806 (the oak paneling was removed in 1893). Between 1911 and 1970 Leasowe was a railway convalescent home. Between 1974 and 1980 the house was owned by Wirral Borough Council; it became a hotel in 2000.

    Comments: In April 1786 John Adams, later second President of the United States, visited Leasowe and other houses in the area. After his visits he wrote in his diary "Stowe, Hagley, and Blenheim, are superb; Woburn, Caversham, and the Leasowes are beautiful. Wotton is both great and elegant, though neglected."

  • John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. II, p. 126, 1853.

  • House Listed: Grade II*

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • Past Seat / Home of: Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby, 16th century. Cust family, 19th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Corporation

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Hotel

    Ownership Details: Today Leasowe Castle Hotel

  • House Open to Public: By Appointment

    Phone: 01516-069-191

    Fax: 01516-779-275

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: http://www.leasowecastle.com

    Historic Houses Member: No