Marks and Spencer's, Liverpool

Built in 1865 for retailer J.R Jeffrey, Compton House holds a unique international status as a contender for the world's first department store, pre-dating Bon Marche in Paris by some 5 years. In 1873 the building was converted to a hotel following the collapse of the department store and in 1927 Marks and Spencer took over occupancy as their flagship Liverpool Store. Over the years the building has suffered from the usual environmental attacks, unsympathetic repair techniques and overly abrasive cleaning methods. It has also endured the brutal removal of approximately 80 linear metres of decorative cornice, dentil moulds, carved adornments and two impressive oriel windows, all of which made way for more ‘fashionable’ granite cladding!

Burnaby Stone Care Ltd. in conjunction with the local Conservation Officer for Liverpool, were tasked with the complex and technical challenge of restoring this magnificent building back to near original condition.

Works were carried out as follows:-


  • Design, production of working drawings, stone procurement, manufacture and installation
  • 80 linear metres of decorative cornice and dentil course replacement to the shop fronts
  • 500 linear metres of re-pointing in a suitably colour matched lime mortar
  • Extensive stone replacement and restoration to the oriel windows on either corner of the building
  • New fascias above shop windows
  • Installation of polished granite plinths at the base of the shop front columns
  • Detailed carvings to the oriel window on Bassnett Street of an eagle and liver birds to replicate original stonework
  • A low-pressure, sympathetic clean to the whole of the building’s façades, utilising hot water only
  • Removal of paint work to isolated areas of stone

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