Save Bark Hill

Bark Hill
Bark Hill

In 2019 Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) signed up to the Universities Studying Slavery initiative, committing affiliated institutions to investigate their historic links to slavery and the slave trade. LBHRG understands that there is a strong requirement for community involvement in the project and would therefore invite LJMU to collaborate with us in this important research looking at the university’s links to the slave economy.

As part of our research into the origins of LJMU we have been interrogating the history of buildings in their ownership. In light of this research we ask that they reconsider your plans for the demolition of Bark Hill, built as the country home of the slave-owning Addison family. Further supporting information is provided in the following link from UCL’s Study of the Legacies of British Slavery

We maintain that although this building is not a listed it should be protected due to its important links to Liverpool’s role in slavery and the slave trade. As part of the Universities Studying Slavery initiative that LJMU has committed to LBHRG is aware that other educational institutions are investigating how their organisations benefitted from slavery. Liverpool should be at the forefront of research into how the slave economy helped develop Britain’s higher educational institutions. That work should start by thoroughly interrogating the history of the buildings owned by your Institution before applying to destroy any of the built environment in your trust with links to this important aspect of the city’s past. 

We further submit that it is entirely feasible to retain Barkhill while allowing for development of the surrounding land and without prejudice to the overall proposals. We believe that Bark Hill predates ‘Holmfield’ which is safeguarded as a listed building and proposed for conversion on another part of the site. We are also aware of a previous Vision Statement (2018) prepared for LJMU by Barton Wilmore Partnership which supports our case. This proposed the retention of Bark Hill in development proposals describing it as a building of some quality that could be converted to residential use. We therefore must question why there has been a change to this position given the current description used of Bark Hill as a ‘heritage asset’

If the proposals are genuinely ‘celebrating heritage and legacy’ as claimed, the future of Bark Hill must be protected.