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"You had abandoned all hope of being dug out?"
"Long ago."
"You know that you are recalled to life?"
"They tell me so."
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Once Upon a Time…

Back in 2012, The Reader (we’re a national charity, based here in Liverpool) successfully bid for a 125-year lease on the Mansion House and the other buildings in the park (you may already know the Storybarn or the Ice Cream Parlour?).

From then, we began raising the £5 million needed to bring the Mansion House back to life. In 2014, the National Lottery Heritage Fund pledged the first funding, which was followed by investment from some philanthropic organisations, and a grant from Liverpool City Council, as an investment in an asset owned by the City of Liverpool.

Building work started in early summer 2018 and the plan was to open by spring 2019. But, with a 200-year-old building to renovate, unpredictable things emerged, including the need for a new floor in the old café and a new roof! New tiles and a lot of concrete later, we were delighted to finally open the doors of the Mansion House and were thrilled to welcome so many of you to our housewarming weekend earlier this month!

Round the clock Dickens

Stig of the Dump reading

Formby Brass Band

Nest of Singing Birds

Our housewarming weekend was just the start, over the coming months we'll be releasing further details of our exciting programme of possibilities. With more Shared Reading groups, yoga sessions, Reader days and family fun at the Storybarn - all held together by the golden thread of literature, there's something for everyone. 

Read on for highlights of what's happening and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and announcements.




Sunday School
- Home by Marilynne Robinson

Sunday 29 September,
10.30am - 4.30pm, £50

Spend a dynamic day with Jane Davis, The Reader’s founder and director, and one of the great novels of this century. It’s full of secrets and silences, and through it, we’ll explore large questions about family, humans and the way we see each other.

Book Tickets

George Eliot

George Eliot at 200:
Reader Day

Sunday 23 November,
10am - 4.30pm, £50

It’s 200 years since Marian Evans was born, daughter of an estate manager, near Nuneaton, in 1819. That midlands country girl grew up to be one of the world’s greatest writers, George Eliot, and this day is a celebration of her life and work, through reading.

Book Tickets


The Friday Flow

The Friday Flow
- Yoga @ The Mansion House

Every Friday, from 4 October
5pm, £5

‘We think by feeling’, Theodore Roethke wrote. Join us for an energising Vinyasa yoga flow class to end the week. It uses breath and continuous, repeated movements to help enable more feeling, less thinking. Suitable for beginner to intermediate level.

Book Tickets

Practice with Poetry

Practice with Poetry
- Yoga @ The Mansion House

Every Saturday, from 5 October
10am, £7.50

A gentle yoga practice, followed by 15 - 30 minutes sharing a selected poem together – expand body and mind, and connect to the world we live in. Suitable for people who are new to both yoga and poetry.

Book Tickets


Screamy Reads

Shared Reading
- Screamy Reads

Every Thursday, 11am
Free, drop-in

A Shared Reading group for parents and carers who’d like to spend some time reading grown-up stuff, with a little one in tow. We'll choose the book or poem and read aloud above the noise and through the feeds.

Find out more

Shared Reading
- Science Fiction

Every Tuesday, 4pm
Free, drop-in

Join us weekly as we delve into stories and extracts, past and present, found at the very limits of the human imagination. Visit other worlds, transcend our known laws and ask how technology is changing us.

Find out more


Happy Houseplants
Every Tuesday, 5pm
Free, drop-in

A weekly group for anyone to drop in with a houseplant, or a houseplant problem. We’ll learn how to look after them, learn about the Mansion’s plants and read some of the great writing there is about nature.

Find out more

Tea Masterclass

Tea Masterclass with
Whittard of Chelsea

Sunday 20 October,
4pm, £15

Join The Reader and Whittard Of Chelsea for an afternoon of great literature, accompanied by a tea-drinking masterclass, sampling blends from around the world.

Book Tickets

Incy Wincy Rhymers

Incy Wincy Rhymers
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Our sessions for little ones, newborn to three, and their grown ups. We'll explore classic stories, family favourites and nursery rhymes through storytelling and sing-a-longs.

Book Tickets

The Storyhunters

The Storyhunters
Every Saturday and Sunday

Our sessions for adventurers aged three to eight and their grown ups - part interactive theatre, part literature-based experience where we explore the astonishing worlds of our imaginations.

Book Tickets


Volunteer at Calderstones

Be part of the next chapter

Want to make amazing things happen? We’re looking for people of all skills, interests and ages to help make the Mansion House a home.

Maybe you saw a show in the Garden Theatre, celebrated your wedding here, or walk the dog in the park. Whatever memories you have, help make more for future generations and become part of a warm family.

Find out more

Hire a space

Hire a space and make a difference

The magnificent 1940s Garden Theatre is back to its former glory and is now a licensed space for events. You can hire it for family celebrations and corporate occasions, and we can even lay on a spread from our catering kitchen.

There's The Studio at Calderstones for wellbeing activities, the Making Room for crafts, and many more spaces besides. We have dedicated parking, access to AV technology, whatever your requirements – just ask!

Find out more







The Reader at Calderstones is supported by

Copyright © 2019 The Reader
Charity Number 1126806 (Scotland SCO43054), All rights reserved.
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The Reader, Mansion House, Calderstones Park,
Liverpool, Merseyside L18 3JB, United Kingdom

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The Reader · Calderstones Mansion House · Calderstones Park, Calderstones Road · Liverpool, Merseyside L18 3JB · United Kingdom


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