In a most unlikely setting, at the edge of a modern industrial estate and bordering on the runway of Liverpool Airport, stands this enchanting black and white, half-timbered Tudor mansion. Having suffered long periods of desertion and neglect, it is little short of a miracle that the building has survived at all, but even more surprising is that is has remained virtually unaltered since it was first built for the Norris family some 500 years ago. It is considered to be one of the most outstanding examples of its kind. Its present form dates from the period 1490-1612, but there was an earlier house on or near the site of the present building. The known history of the manor of Speke, or 'Spec' (brushwood in Old English), goes back to the Domesday survey of 1086 which records that it was one of several properties held by Uctred in 1066. When Adelaide Watt came into her inheritance of Speke Hall, she set about developing a huge new farm complex, and was determined that such an historic property should be preserved for all time, irrespective of the massive amount of industrial development that was fast spreading out from the city. Having made a limited provision in her will to save the house, the estate was sold after she died in 1921, and the farm complex transformed into an aerodrome. It is amazingly surreal to be wandering along the uneven corridors of the hall, quietly absorbed in the atmosphere of a romantic Elizabethan courtyard house, when suddenly the throaty sounds of a 21st century jet rudely interrupts the visions of a more genteel way of life.