Brimstage Hall is located in the central part of the Wirral Peninsula, just adjacent to Higher Bebington
and would have to be the villages most famous dwelling as photographed above.
Although the exact date of construction is unknown, Brimstage Hall is believed to have been built
between 1175 and 1350, making it one of the oldest buildings on Wirral. Brimstage hall was for a long
time the family home of the Domvilles, and most likely of the later generations of the Troutbecks. The
hall is a stone edifice with many claims to attention. It stands in a dominant position upon one side of
the village, on a flat mound. It was formerly surrounded by a deep moat giving a sense of importance
for the family whom owned it and an added sense of security should the need arise. The moat varied
from 14 to 20 yards in width and was help by the small rivulet (stream) that flowed through the village.
The original area and lands of the house was approximately 60 acres, and in some parts it was further
protected by an embankment which no longer can be seen. The hall stood above the small flowing
rivulet, which was crossed by several small bridges. When the building was first built it would have
been of great and strength and importance and was quoted as being:
“One of the most perfect and ancient specimens of domestic architecture in this part of the country” by
Mortimer during his travels.
Immediately beyond the boundary of the moat would have been 150 acres of Country Park which was
tended to by employees. Attached to the hall and forming part of the later structure is a very ancient
square tower, of considerable height, the only remains of a building which has evidently much greater
in extent and was most likely the ancient strong hold of the Hulses, of which the tower would have
formed the central keep. A passage from Mortimer in 1847 describes the hall further:
"A side door opens to a circular spiral stair case, leading to the summit of the tower, which commands an
extensive prospect. The corbels supporting the battlements by which it is crowned, closely correspond with
the style of those of Warwick Castle. The groining of the lower apartment, which has evidently been a
chapel in past uses, is beautifully perfect, and belongs to the decorated style which prevailed in the 14th
century. The groins spring from semi octagonal piers in the side walls and at the angles they are supported
by curiously raised corbels; the front of which are wrought into grotesque heads. The intersections of the
ribs are concealed under elaborately carved bosses. From the general appearance of the fabric, it is
undoubtedly that for which a license was granted 11th February 1398, permitting Sir Hugh Hulse and
Margery his wife to erect an oratory at their residence. In a part of the garden near to the tower, several
bodies have been found, laid out with such regularity as to lead to the opinion that it was formerly used as a
The building's first known occupants were Sir Hugh Hulse and his wife, who were granted the right to
construct the chapel mentioned above in 1398. Tradition holds that the Chapel was established in the
vaulted chamber that stands at the base of the tower. The architectural historians Pevsner and
Hubbard informs us that possible evidence is supported by the ceiling boss which is carved with 3
fishes intertwined and is the ancient symbol of Christianity, but it could also depict the coat of arms
from the Troutbeck Family who occupied the Hall in 1459.
Within the Chapel is a fascinating feature which is that of an unusual ceiling boss with a huge metal
ring hanging from the centre, this was the original well mount for the Hall and surrounding area. The
well was rediscovered in 1957 by Archaeologists from Cambridge university who after careful
excavations found human bones from at least two individuals at the bottom. The dating for these
remains revealed that they dated back to around Cromwells era and would tie in perfectly with the
catholic monks who lived in the Hall at the time and probably died their. Within the Chapel their is also
a small carved stone corbel depicting a smiling cat. The cat is believed to be the original idea that
Lewis Caroll used for Alice in wonderland. He wrote in his memoirs that he "saw a Cheshire cat with a
gigantic smile at Brimstage carved into the wall".
The Hall is reputed to have 2 ghosts within it's walls. Both are of ladies and they have been seen over
the centuries wandering aimlessly around looking sad and dejected. When the floors in the upper
levels were dropped during renovations they forgot to tell one of the ghost and now she is seen as
half a figure with her legs below the new level of flooring. Rumour has it that the black cloaked lady
committed suicide by throwing herself off the tower, after being jilted by her lover in the 18th century.
Documentation and letters are still survive today written in Brimstage Hall dating from 1592 by John
Poole, of Poole, who seems to have been a superior bailiff or steward of the Talbot and resided in the
Hall. These letters are the last traces of a time long forgotten for the grand house.