The Turner family lived at Dingle Head, an area of the city close to the River Mersey bordering Toxteth Park, where the growing prosperity was seeing increasing land development in what were to become the suburbs.
Charles Turner, originally from Yorkshire, established his merchant business in Liverpool and soon made a success of the venture. He was committed to charitable causes and local politics and was a member of parliament, as well as holding office as the first chairman of Liverpool’s port authority.
In 1875 Charles Turner died and within five years his only son also died. For Anne Turner, the bereaved wife and mother, this double tragedy caused her to seek a way of providing a memorial to her loved ones.
Anne Turner commissioned this life-size marble sculpture of her late husband and son. They are seen inspecting cloth, where the sculpture is located in the main entrance hall.
Architect Alfred Waterhouse was renowned for his ability to transform the Victorian urban environment. Born in Liverpool in 1830, he was best known for his work on the Natural History Museum in London.
Designed in a Romanesque style he was widely acknowledged to have re-inspired use of the unpopular material terracotta with his ornate decoration on the interior and exterior of the building. Critics use it as an example of the attention to detail which characterised his work.
The museum still houses more than 130 exquisite pencil drawings of Waterhouse’s original designs. He started practicing in Manchester after winning a competition to design the town hall and assize courts in the 1850’s and 60’s in his distinctive.
In 1884 building work was completed on the romantic style of the Gothic Revival and “The Turner Memorial Home of Rest for Chronic Sufferers” opened its doors for the first residents. In accordance with the trust the Home is for men only and this continues to present day.
Anne Turner endowed a generous trust fund and personally supervised the running of the Home until her death in 1905.
A Caring Tradition
For over a century this building has been home for a great many men of all ages, including those who fought in world wars.
Whilst times have changed, along with the residents and staff, the tradition of care and support remains as a tribute to philanthropy at its very best.