Palm House, Sefton Park, Liverpool. Mackenzie and Moncur, Ltd. 1896. Restored 2001. There are older, larger and more elaborate Victorian glasshouses than Sefton Park's, but this Grade II* three-tier palm house by Mackenzie and Moncur, who also built the north and south blocks of the temperate house at Kew, is very beautiful. Octagonal, with four entrance porches, it has eight main support beams, which along with the rest of the cast-iron structure hold together 3,710 individually-cut panes of flat glass (Discover Sefton Park Palm House).

Unusually, the structure has a dual function, serving as a cultural as well as a botanical space. Several sculptures, including two highly popular ones by the Liverpool-born sculptor Benjamin Spence (see below), are housed inside, and eight sculptures are mounted on projecting pedestals outside as well, four in bronze and four in marble. Appropriately, these are figures of explorers and botanists, by the French sculptor Leon-Joseph Chavalliaud. One work in each medium is also listed below.

Just next to the path around the Palm House, on one side, is the Liverpool version of Frampton's Peter Pan.

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Photograph and text by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2009. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.


Discover Sefton Park Palm House. Liverpool: Preservation Trust Leaflet, n.d. Available on the web here.

Last modified 31 October 2023