West Derby Yeoman’s House up for sale

by Martin

This is an exciting post to write, although the topic is often bitter-sweet. The so-called ‘Yeoman’s House’ in the centre of West Derby village is currently up for sale, for the princely (or yeomanly) sum of £200,000.

The house dates from the 1580s, according to the sales particulars, and is one of several cherished historical features in the village, including the similarly-aged courthouse across the road, the stocks to one side, and the beautiful red brick cottages around the entrance to Croxteth Park. That’s not to mention the other monuments dotted around the area too, and the great history of West Derby in general.

Of course, I’m not particularly excited by the prospect of the sale itself (especially as it brings more uncertainty to the future of an already uncertain and neglected piece of heritage) but I am excited by the chance an estate agent has had to get in and take pictures. Oddly enough, I’ve never seen the inside of the building before, though I have seen photos of the back and the garden.

Having recently bought a house myself, I’ve looked at a lot of estate agent photos, and I have to say that these are a class apart. It’s a slightly bare and sparse interior, but whoever took the photos knew what they were doing compared to most agents!

So, without much of a further ado, and with apologies for stealing a few images (I’m sure the extra publicity for the sale goes some way to paying it back) here are my highlights. See captions for my comments, and click on each image for a larger version.

So if you’re in the market for a historical ‘doer-upper’ then maybe this is the one for you. By the looks of the photos the condition of the place, from a heritage point of view, is not too bad. The current owners have obviously put some work in (and the agent’s page mentions things like underfloor heating), so that thing so crucial in preserving old buildings – care and attention – has been paid.

However, it would be great to know it was in proper user by a live-in owner. I’m not sure when it was last properly lived in. Growing up in West Derby I can’t ever remember it looking occupied, though I’m sure it must have been in those decades.

There is some talk on the West Derby Society’s Facebook page that a previous prospective buyer  had trouble with ‘rival gangs’. I’m not sure what that really means (I think just general trouble in the area), but it made the buyer pull out. Apparently, they were a chef, so it might have been interesting to see what they did with the place to turn it into a restaurant. That would also have meant that members of the public could have enjoyed a few hours inside the place to enjoy a meal.

I’m going to keep an eye out for progress reports on the sale, and if I happen to win the lottery in the mean time, perhaps I’ll put in a bid…

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