Bright future for Thingwall House site

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AN historic site in Liverpool, with links to the Vikings, is being brought back to life by a charity after being derelict for 12 years. Bright Park in Knotty Ash is the former site of Thingwall House, a manor house built in 1869 by the shipping magnate Henry Bright. The 4.8 acre site is now under the ownership of Love and Joy Ministries and there are plans to build a Heritage Centre and other facilities to host workshops and events for the community. Later this month, a Heritage Open Day is being held where members of the community are invited to tour the site and put forward their ideas for its future use. A Viking ‘leech’ lady who specialises in Viking medicine will be at the event as well as an opportunity to hold and inspect artefacts found at the site. The project is being supported by National Museums Liverpool with an archaeological ‘Big Dig’ planned for next summer. Dr Liz Stewart, curator of archaeology and the historic environment at the Museum of Liverpool, said: “Evidence tells us that there was a Viking community in Wirral and Liverpool, probably in the 10th century. Many of the place names we know today derive from this era including West Derby, Roby, Croxteth and Toxteth. However, there are precious few physical remains from this period surviving to the present day. “The placename ‘Thingwall’, used on Wirral and in Liverpool, indicates that there were enough Vikings to merit having a parliament where people could meet regularly to discuss social issues, law and policy. “The location of Thingwall House could have been a Viking assembly place and it’ll be fascinating to find if any traces of early activity in this area can be found through the project.” Carla Phillips, project manager for Bright Park, said: “The open day marks the rebirth of Bright Park and we’re delighted to be able to bring it back into the consciousness of the community. “We’re grateful to all the volunteers and the local community who have helped us reach this milestone. We are continuing to work with them as we embark on a new chapter for one of the city’s most significant historical sites.” The Heritage Open Day takes place on Sunday 13th September at Bright Park from 1pm. For more information about Bright Park visit www.brightpark.co.uk or follow on facebook.com/brightparkheritage