Loyola Hall: Jesuit Spirituality Centre

Jesuits finish giving retreats at Loyola Hall Easter 2014

The Grounds

« Prev           Next »

Loyola Hall from the front

The main house was built in 1824 by Bartholomew Bretherton who ran the Liverpool to London stage coach, Rainhill being the first stage. Beside the original building you can see the retreat wing and chapel opened in 1966 and refurbished in 2000.

Loyola Hall from above

From above the extent of Loyola Hall’s grounds can be seen: a blend of trees in profusion, lawns and gardens, and, to the rear of the property, a wild meadow laid out with wandering paths.

Entering the grounds

Visitors say that just coming through the gate the leafy prospect invites you to slow down and begin to relax.

Ornamental beech tree in spring

A prominent feature of our front lawn is an ancient beech tree which past gardeners once trained into extravagant shapes — fully revealed once its leaves have fallen. At the right moment the lawn is a riot of spring flowers.

The beech tree in autumn

The same beech is also spectacular in autumn when the garden seems ablaze for several weeks.

Statue of St Ignatius Loyola

Opposite the front door a statue of Saint Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits and the patron of the House, keeps an eye on proceedings.

A shaded path

The gardens are full of shaded pathways to explore and places to pause.

The large walled-garden

The grounds include two walled gardens, the larger of which is bedded out, between lawns, with seasonal flowers.

The small walled garden

The smaller walled garden, in contrast, provides an intimate space to sit among shrubs.

The back lawn

Several stretches of lawn are kept immaculately mown and feel wonderful underfoot in summer.

The grotto of the Pieta

There are a number of devotional sculptures around the garden: this one, of the crucified Christ with his mother, invites contemplation.

The pond in spring

The grounds have a small wild pond which is home to an array of wildlife including frogs and newts, some regular families of moorhen, and the occasional mallard brood. An opportunistic heron visits regularly looking for dinner.

One of our hibernacula

Wood from fallen trees has been used to create ‘hibernacula’ — places for all kinds of creatures to over-winter in the woody nooks and crannies. At the right time in late spring the area in front is carpeted with sweet violets.

The 'kissing gate'

A ‘kissing gate’ marks the threshold between the lawns and the wild meadow beyond.

The 'wilderness' meadow

The wilderness or wild meadow at the rear of the property was once a horse pasture but now it has been let grow wild again. It provides an untamed space to wander in.

Wild meadow paths

The wild meadow is criss-crossed by many paths. Summer finds it sprinkled with wild-flowers and garden escapees of many different kinds.