Bidston Court or Hill Bark House.
Robert William Hudson, a wealthy soap manufacturer built his house on Vyner Road South near Bidston
Hill in 1891. He built the half-timbered mock Tudor residence with courtyard as a replica of Little
Moreton Hall near Congleton in Cheshire and named it “Bidston Court”.
The house attracted the attention of the German Crown Prince in 1911. From plans and photographs
the price had an exact copy of the house erected at Potsdam and called it “Cecilianhof” in honour of his
wife Cecilia. In April 1945 the American Air Force raided Potsdam in great force, but the house escaped
damage. It was in the Russian Zone behind the “Iron Curtain” and was used for official parties by the
Bidston Court was sold in 1921 to Sir Ernest Royden and in 1928 its was moved brick by brick to its
present site in Frankby. The house was finally completed in 1931 and renamed 'Hillbark' after the old
house which was demolished to make way for the new structure. The original site of the house was
given to Birkenhead Corporation and was made a public park in 1969.
The house contains a variety of interesting features: the Great Hall has a 1527 Jacobean fireplace from
Sir Walter Raleigh’s house, a set of William Morris stained glass windows and a pair of 13th century
church screen doors; the library was originally in a stately home in Gloucestershire; and the Yellow
Room restaurant contains a magnificent 1795 Robert Adam fire surround.
Shakespearean Plays are performed every two years in the grounds. The clock tower in the walled
garden is said to be haunted, bats and owls fly from its windows, the walled garden is the home of
wildflowers, sculptures and a ’ghost-like Tudor lady’. Hillbark House is now a luxurious hotel. It can
be used or hired for accomadation, fine dining, weddings & celebrations, and business gatherings and
Name: Hillbark Hotel
Address: Royden Park, Frankby, Wirral, CH48 INP
Telephone: +44 (0)151 625 2400 Fax: +44 (0)151 625 4040