Retro design alert! This site is undergoing some design updates, so things might change, or not work at all, for the next few days. Your patience is appreciated!

Future heritage

Photograph of the Liverpool end of the Leeds Liverpool Canal

Following on from the previous post, looking back to 1984, I want to look in the other direction. Heritage, in its most common use today, usually refers to something around the legal, social, and environmental parts of our landscape. ‘History’ is what happened in the past, whereas ‘heritage’ is the stuff that history left behind, and which we maintain and protect for future generations. It’s also the discussions we have in the present about what to do about our heritage, and how to live around and within it, how we deal with it and how we enjoy it and make the most of it.

Ronnie Hughes has been writing great posts which combine simply living in Liverpool with his love of the city’s history. He walks its streets, taking in the landscape we’ve inherited from our forebears, and pulled no punches in telling us what he thinks of people who would risk throwing it away for whatever reason (usually monetary or political, but Ronnie never speculates).

And more recently he’s been getting more hands-on with history, helping to bring old houses back into use, and not only getting streets back to how they were, but making them better. The latest project he’s taken an interest in is Ten Streets. A recent blog post airs his first thoughts following an introductory night attended by Harcourt Developments and Mr Mayor himself, Joe Anderson.

Ronnie is critical of the woolly nature of the project, at least in the way  the launch event tried to describe itself. I have to admit too that I’m always a little cynical of attempts to create “a vibrant creative quarter”. I’ve always seen creativity as something that is nurtured, allowed, but rarely planned. Especially not by development corporations with ‘master plans’. Still, Liverpool has no shortage of creative talent, and perhaps its silently crying out for 5 million square feet of space to create in.

Walking to Leeds

But Ronnie is also interested in the heritage that is all around, and this is a good point to mention his and his partner, Sarah’s, latest expedition: walking the Leeds-Liverpool Canal (or should that be Liverpool-Leeds Canal? 😉 ). Bringing the two topics of Ten Streets and living heritage together, Ronnie makes a good point of how two young girls, building a raft of sorts on the canal early on in their trip,

are, of course, part of what will make ‘TenStreets’ work or not. How could it be otherwise?

The canal itself that he and Sarah walk down is heritage, re-used. Eldonian village is another.

So long as it’s really a creative conversation that leaves plenty of room for the people already living and working here to stay here, take part in shaping the place and then stay on to live and thrive here.

And so we’re reminded that heritage is not just stuff that we’ve been given by the past, or that we need to pass on to the future. It’s one long continuum, and what we do with what we have will create the things that our inheritors will have. It’s the people who get involved in projects like TenStreets who are most often at the forefront of this transition.

Read more of Ronnie’s thoughts on the A Sense of Place blog:

Image: The end of the Leeds Liverpool Canal, released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license via Wikimedia Commons.

2 responses to “Future heritage”

  1. john paul says:

    Are you, at Historical Liverpool or Ronnie Hughes aware of the application for planning to demolish the historic property named ‘FORTY PITS’ (280 Allerton Rd L18 6JP)and build flats on the land and site.
    This property dates back to 1650 when the original property was built on the site and has been updated progressively until 1933 when the current house was completed. The timbers of the existing Lych gate are made from the original (1650) property. The current property is in excellent structural order having been maintained to a high standard and occupied until recently sold to a developer whose intention is to demolish the house and build flats much to the disappointment of hundreds of residents and calderstones park users as it is directly opposite to the park. This would amount to civic vandalism if allowed to get the go ahead from the city planners and any assistance with preventing this nightmare scenario from progressing would be greatly appreciated

    • Martin says:

      Hi John Paul,

      I totally agree. There seems to be a lot of this around at the moment, and I’m sure Ronnie Hughes is aware of it too. I’m not sure what the latest on this property is, though there was a reprieve last thing I heard.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mapping the History of Liverpool

Interactive maps of Liverpool's suburbs, old maps of Merseyside, and details of our protected, listed heritage.

Cover of the book 'Liverpool: a landscape history'

And don't forget the book, Liverpool: a Landscape History


If you've found Historic Liverpool to be useful, or at least interesting, please consider a small donation. :)