Make yourself at home

Join us for a special housewarming weekend as we re-open the doors to the Calderstones Mansion House

Saturday 14th – Sunday 15th September

8.30am – 8.00pm

Come along to celebrate a new chapter in the life of the Grade II listed Calderstones Mansion House as we throw open the doors for a special housewarming that promises something for everyone!

Home of The Reader, the Calderstones Mansion House

10 reasons to come in and explore:

  1. Take a tour to hear about the people and the stories behind the Mansion – from its original owner, and its connections to a world-famous shipping line, to its place in the hearts of the ordinary people of Liverpool – many of whom still remember it fondly today.
  2. Be among the first to see the ancient Calder Stones that give the park and local area their name, restored and resplendent in a new purpose-built exhibition centre that tells their 5,000-year-old story.
  3. Join in a family storytelling session and get crafty at our imaginative story centre, the Storybarn.
  4. Drop into ‘Round the Clock Dickens’ as we attempt to read the whole of Dickens’ historical novel A Tale of Two Cities from start to finish across 2 days.
  5. Turn a literary quote into an origami bird and leave your mark on the Mansion with our special celebratory installation.
  6. Find out what Shared Reading is all about by joining in a taster session, inspired by one of our programme themes. Shared Reading is for everyone, there’s no pressure to read, just drop in and give it a try – you might even make a new friend!
  7. Get refreshed in the new Café in the Mansion or pop over to the Ice Cream Parlour in the Courtyard for a scoop of your favourite flavour.
  8. Imagine what life was like as one of the Neolithic ancestors who built the Calder Stones by joining in a special reading of the children’s classic Stig of the Dump.
  9. Enjoy some of the foods from your favourite books in our literary-inspired menu.
  10. Unwind your body and your mind in a yoga taster in the Mansion’s new yoga studio.

All activities are free and open to all.

Project Update and FAQs: June 2019


The Reader Mansion House is finally starting to look like a finished building and we can’t wait to offer a warm welcome to everyone who comes in to explore when the doors open later this Summer. Highlights from the last few months include:

  • The installation of a huge new sliding glass wall in the Garden Theatre, which will allow for use of the space as was originally intended when it was built in the 1940s, or as a large internal room.
  • The stonework steps and ramp, that will make the main entrance accessible and welcoming to visitors, have been laid.
  • The Reader Café seating area, on the South East side of the building is looking beautiful. When creating this area, we were excited to uncover the original cast iron fence posts that had been hidden from view.
  • The enclosure for the Calder Stones is now almost complete, with its living roof flourishing. This month the interactive elements of The Calderstones Story heritage attraction will be installed.
  • The first floor and basement are very nearly finished – lights are on, carpets are down.

If you’re interested in getting involved, we’re still looking for volunteers who want to help make the Mansion House a home – click here for details of the roles available.

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Project Update: Spring 2019

Despite Storms Gareth and Freya doing their best to rip off new roof tiles, The Mansion House is standing strong, and these last months have seen massive progress:

  • the Calder Stones have returned, taking pride of place in the Garden
  • the community theatre roof work is finished
  • flagstones are being laid for the outdoor Café seating area
  • the new Park toilets in the basement are coming along well.

We’ve also had to deal with an unexpected car park closure and a burst water main, which closed the whole site, so thank you for your patience!

The return of the Calder Stones has been a highlight. Following the much-needed conservation work carried out by Orbis Conservation, the Stones are safe and sound in their new enclosure. Before their unveiling, they’ll be treated to one final clean.

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended our recent volunteer information events, the energy and passion for the project was incredible. We must also say thanks to all of our hard hat tour visitors and everyone who shared their thoughts at our four community co-creation workshops. Your input has helped shape the exciting new programme that we’ll be launching when we open the doors this Summer. Full details of what you can expect will be available very soon, so watch this space.

Project Vision

Having signed a 125-year lease for the site, Calderstones is central to The Reader’s mission to bring people together and books to life. This Summer, following a £5M refurbishment, we will open the doors of The Reader Mansion House, a place where anyone can come to experience literature, find and share meaning, be nourished, develop new skills, explore creativity and, above all, feel valued as part of ‘something real’.

Joining the Storybarn and Ice Cream Parlour, The Reader Mansion House will include new reading rooms, heritage activities, space for workshops, exhibitions and community groups, a shop and Café. The refurbished Garden Theatre will be a licensed space where we can all enjoy engaging community events. It will also be available to hire for your own celebrations.