Signature Living creates 70 jobs at new hotel

A Grade-II listed country house in Merseyside is about to be reopened by Liverpool-based Signature Living as a new hotel and wedding venue, creating 70 jobs. Tony McDonough reports

Signature Living
Rainhill Hall is a Grade-II listed country house just outside St Helens


Liverpool developer and hotel operator Signature Living is set to open a new hotel in Merseyside before the end of 2020, creating 70 jobs.

Rainhill Hall is a Grade-II listed country house just outside St Helens that was once the home of a princess. It sits in an 18-acre woodland setting, was built in 1824 by landowner Bartholomew Bretherton and was a family home until 1923. It was later sold to the Jesuits who renamed it Loyola Hall and turned into a Catholic retreat.

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. In 2014, it was closed as a spirituality centre and was bought by Signature Living three years later. St Helens Council gave approval for its transformation into a hotel and wedding venue in 2018.

Signature Living has added 14 rooms on the lower ground floor, a function room and spa. The upper ground floor has 10 rooms with function rooms, restaurant and dining facilities, 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.

Lawrence Kenwright, co-owner and founder of Signature Living said: “First and foremost with Rainhill Hall yet again we have preserved and restored one of the region’s much-loved heritage buildings and given it a sustainable future.

Rainhill Hall
Bridal suite at Signature Living’s Rainhill Hall


“This historic venue offers a blend of timeless character and contemporary charm and has a wonderful chapel, so everything is here on one site for the perfect wedding. It is truly a magical place with amazing trees and very few members of the public have stayed here for nearly 100 years.”

Rainhill Hall will open in time for Christmas. When visitors arrive, they will be greeted by elves, who will check them in for the night. They will then have afternoon tea with a choir singing festive songs before they embark on a secret garden walk.

The hall’s transformation into a hotel is the latest chapter for a building with a rich history. 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.

And during the ownership of the Jesuits, the North Korean national team also stayed there ahead of their 1966 World Cup quarter final defeat against Portugal at Everton FC’s Goodison Park.

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