Rainhill Hall gearing up for phased reopening with afternoon teas and walks
Lawrence Kenwright, the owner of a historic country house which he restored and opened as a hotel at the end of 2020 is inviting people to take afternoon tea on the patio and explore the extensive grounds when outside hospitality reopens.
Rainhill Hall is a Grade II listed country house just outside St Helens which was once the home of a princess and in December became the latest hotel in Signature Living’s portfolio of exceptional places to stay, relax and have fun.
It briefly opened as a hotel and was immediately full before the UK was hit with a third lockdown in January this year.
Ahead of the latest easing of restrictions on Monday April 12, Signature Living is opening outside areas for families to enjoy, including a new space for outside casual dining, nestled between the main house and the chapel.
Lawrence Kenwright, co-owner and founder of Signature Living who redesigned and redeveloped the hall, said: “For decades this historic building and grounds simply could not be viewed and enjoyed by the public.
“Now that spring has sprung, and life is beginning to return to normal after repeated lockdowns it’s a perfect opportunity to throw open the gates of one of the region’s much-loved heritage buildings and let people experience what it has to offer.
“We have been working hard over the winter to create an outside area for people to have afternoon and fizz where they can safely relax, socially distanced. And then, of course, we have the garden areas and woodland walks to explore and it’s a truly magical place.”
Rainhill Hall, in an 18-acre majestic woodland setting, was built in 1824 by landowner Bartholomew Bretherton and was a family home. In 1907, Bartholomew Bretherton’s great grandniece Evelyn, who lived at the hall, married Gebhard Blücher von Wahlstatt, the fourth Prince Blücher (1865–1931) of Prussia-Germany.
In 1923 it was sold to the Jesuits who renamed it Loyola Hall and turned into a Catholic retreat and spirituality centre. After World War II they added a chapel with stained-glass windows and sculptures by acclaimed artist Jonah Jones and 50 ensuite rooms for residential visitors.
The North Korean national team also stayed at the hall ahead of their 1966 World Cup quarter final defeat against Portugal at Everton FC’s Goodison Park.
It closed in 2014 and in 2018, St Helens Council gave approval for its transformation into a hotel and wedding venue. Signature Living have added 14 rooms on the lower ground floor, a function room and spa.
The upper ground floor has 10 rooms with function rooms area, a restaurant called Bretherton after the building’s founder, a bar and a reception area. The first floor now has 19 bedrooms, including the bridal suite for wedding events and the second floor has four further bedrooms, with two staircases for access from below.
In total there are 42 bedrooms, with one that can sleep 14 people, with an eight person jacuzzi with seven massage tables in the room to support that perfect ‘girlie’ weekend to recover from the daily grind or from just meandering around the Hall’s gardens.
Fairytale tree houses have also been built in the woodland will make the hall the most talked-about wedding venue and events space in the city region.
Lawrence Kenwright added: “Rainhill Hall offers a blend of timeless character and contemporary charm with a hint of difference and has a wonderful chapel and we can’t wait to open the house up again in May and welcome guests for some amazing experiences.”