Orbis are excited to begin a new important project. The Calderstones are six megaliths of various sizes decorated with prehistoric rock art. The stones are a scheduled ancient monument but are not in their original setting having been moved in 1845 by the owner of Calderstones Mansion who arranged them as a ‘stone circle’. The Calderstones are made of sandstone with carved decoration. They were originally part of a megalithic tomb dated to the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age (c. 2800 – 2000 BC). The stones were probably part of a burial mound with a roofed passage leading to a simple chamber, like the passage tombs at Bryn Celli Ddu and Barclodiad y Gawres in Anglesey.
The stones were moved in 1954 from near their original location to a Liverpool Corporation depot where they underwent cleaning before being placed in a purpose built glasshouse – known as Harthill Vestibule - in 1964 where they are today. The glasshouse was part of the Liverpool Botanical Gardens which was demolished during the 1980s. The stones have been locked away in this glasshouse with minimal interpretation resources, bad public access and a poorly controlled environment which is leading to their deterioration.
The Reader, with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Liverpool City Council have commissioned this project with the local community in mind. The house will host a number of enterprises including a café, theatre and gallery, with any income generated supporting the sustainability of the project for years to come.
Orbis will manage the conservation and re-display of these magnificent objects in a secure house at the rear of Calderstones Mansion House right in the heart of the park.
Our aim at Orbis is to carry out a thorough conservation treatment and create a more suitable home for The Calderstones which will encourage the engagement of visitors with their heritage and make them as accessible as possible to the public.
We will begin the first phase of the project at the end of May when we go to Liverpool to laser scan the stones before removing them and bringing them back to the workshop.