Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Minton Floor goes on show at St Georges Hall

ONE of Liverpool’s hidden treasures is on display to the public for the next two weeks after the huge success of a previous viewing.
The Minton Tile mosaic masterpiece, at St George’s Hall, is normally hidden beneath wooden flooring.
But yesterday the covering was temporarily removed to allow the Great Hall’s ornate tiles to be revealed in all their glory.
It is the second time this year the floor tiles have gone on public display, after the success of a previous viewing in February. They are usually only revealed once a year.
The floor consists of 30,000 hand crafted tiles, many depicting the world famous Liver Bird along with Neptune, sea nymphs, dolphins and tridents. More than 15,000 people visited the hall when they were unveiled earlier this year. Cllr Tina Gould, who has special responsibility for the Hall and was recently appointed as a trustee, said: “When we last unveiled the floor, the response was huge.
“It makes sense to open it up to the public once again and give anyone who missed it another chance to see this amazing display of craftsmanship. The Hall and its Minton tiles really are one of Britain’s finest Victorian wonders.”
The tiles were first revealed in April 2007 after the completion of a 10-year, £23m restoration of the Grade I-listed Hall.
More than 167,000 people visited St George’s Hall last year, making it one of the city’s top six heritage attractions.The ornate floor was first laid in 1852, at a cost of £3,000. It was designed by Alfred Stevens, the 34-year-old son of a Blandford house decorator.
The mosaic was originally covered in the 1860s to provide a more hardwearing surface for dancing.
The tiles will be on display until August 23, and can be viewed from 11am with the last admission at 4.30pm every day.
There is an admission charge of £1 for adults, with free entry for children. At 2pm each day, there will be a talk on the history of St George’s Hall by experts in the Reid Room, admission by donation.
There are also evening tours available, with admission limited to 25 people. The tours take place every day from 5pm (except Sunday) and cost £5 per head. To book an evening tour call (0151) 225 6909.
Entrance to the venue is from the Heritage Centre on St John’s Lane.

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