An historic abandoned cottage located in the St Michaels area of Liverpool rumoured to be ‘cursed’ by residents and passers-by, undergoes transformation.


The property on Southwood Road, previously received attention due to mysterious picture frames and cryptic messages located on the gates. 


Seeing the historical significance and the prominent figure the property had within the St Michaels area of the city, Direct Developments bid for the standout premises at auction in February 2022. Works then began in the Summer of 2022 on the house, oozing with history, as works began to restore it back to its former glory. 


The Cottage, which is estimated to be over 100 years old, is the last remaining building on the land, with the three properties ‘St Michaels Mount’ ‘The Friars’ and ‘The Grange’ no longer standing. The property itself is believed to have been a gate house for St Michaels Mount.


Existing features found on the land included a large sandstone gate post decorative ball in poor condition, which is believed to have topped one of the gates to the old houses in Priory Wood. A step in the ground near the rear of the garden with links to possible stables. Two safes were also found in the basement of the premises, with no valuable contents inside when opened.


The Direct Developments team underwent an array of challenges during the restoration, with the back garden area taking numerous weeks to complete due to overgrown plants and trees over the years, and crumbling brick debris from the outhouse and garage area.


Rooms within the Southwood Road property were also filled waist high with rubbish and belongings, with the hallway and roof showing signs of fire and water damage.


Andy Berry, MD of Direct Developments Ltd team said:


“The house has so much history and I had the vision to see how it must have been in its heyday! I’ve enjoyed working on it and my team have all been enthusiastic to see the finished house.”


The restoration stirred up a lot of attention, with bystanders intrigued about what was happening with the historic house. News of the property being restored has received a positive response, with locals happy to hear the place has now been salvaged after a long period of time.


As far as any history with regard to the Southwood Road property, land registry documents show that the original registered owners of the cottage were Arthur Robert McKay and Paula Marjatta McKay. The couple lived at the property with their son Erik McKay. The property over time has seen mysterious pictures and accompanying messages attached to the locked front gates of the cottage. Warning messages on the pictures stated: “Whoever removes this from its position will receive 48 hours of regret.”


Speaking about the supernatural links to the property, Andy continued:


“I had a fright when I first went round after buying the house as there was a large hole in the brick work at the side of the hoarding over the back door. I heard movement in the room inside and found an ‘urban explorer’ with an expensive looking camera having a nose around – I asked him to leave straight away! If you look online there are some YouTube videos of at least 2 people who have been ‘exploring’ in the house.”


“Some of the lads were convinced they were being called when working in rooms on their own, but no one claimed to have called them – I think they were winding each other up!” 


Despite the challenges of the run-down property, Andy and the team managed to strip the whole house back to brick, insulate all external walls, install new electrics and new heating including underfloor heating in the basement.


The property has also received a new kitchen, utility, and bathrooms, with outside raised decking accessed through new aluminium bifold doors and an open plan kitchen/dining room. Other new features include a new double garage and drive that can accommodate several cars, and the roof renewed in traditional slate.


Original features salvaged were three decorative timber window linings in the reception rooms of the property.


The new layout inside of the five-bedroomed property offers a unique ‘upside down’ living. Unlike most properties, the newly restored home boasts three bedrooms downstairs, with an en-suite to the master, and a large family bathroom. There are also two storerooms in the basement, one of which has an interesting brick lined barrel ceiling. Upstairs has two bedrooms, a cosy front lounge, spacious utility room, W/C, and a modern kitchen/dining room featuring a characteristic exposed brick fireplace. The kitchen/diner has bifold doors leading onto a decked terrace with steps down into the south-facing rear garden.


Direct Developments plans to sell the property on full completion, with the property valued from £780,000. 


On the sale of the venue, Andy continued:


“The property is being marketed by Homesure Property, who advise getting your viewings booked asap to avoid disappointment. A property of this size and standard, in one of Liverpool’s most sought-after locations, isn’t going to be on the market for long.”


For further information visit 5 bedroom cottage for sale in Southwood Road, Liverpool, L17 (



The full address of the property is:-


43 Southwood Road, Liverpool, L17 7BG