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History of Kirkdale

Kirkdale occupies an area of flat land on the banks of the Mersey, formerly consisting of sand hills, for which this part of the Sefton coast is still well known. It is one of the oldest coastal settlements, pre-dating Liverpool itself, and containing evidence for centuries of human occupation.

Chirchedale, Domesday; Kirkedale, 1185; Kierkedale, 1200.

Origins: from Norse kirk (church), and dale (valley / ‘road to’); therefore the name may mean “the road to the church”, referring to the road from Liverpool to its mother church at Walton-on-the-Hill. This would help explain the fact that there are no traces of an ancient church in the area, and only scant sign of an original village. Kirkdale Road was an important route into Liverpool too, once the emerging town became a market destination for traders and producers across Lancashire.

[J.A. Picton recorded that in 1699, when a case was being made for Liverpool becoming a parish in its own right, separate from Walton, one of the reasons was that parishioners were being distracted on their way to church by the ale house in Kirkdale! In that sense the place name referred to a village sitting on the road between Liverpool and Walton, namely Kirkdale Road, which becomes Walton Road at the suggested old centre of Kirkdale itself.]

Morley Street (on a site now occupied by football pitches) can be considered the next best thing to a founding village: it was the place where settlement existed before Liverpool engulfed the area, and can be seen on the early Ordnance Surveys. Kirkdale Marsh lay to the north of here, while Beacon Gutter, a small stream running to the south of Blackfield House, formed the southerly boundary with Liverpool.

Landscape

James Picton, historian and architect, could write in the 19th century that Kirkdale consisted of two hills, with a road (the ‘dale’) running between. The Blackfield Terrace area was one hill, whilst the second hill can be found in the area formerly occupied by the Liverpool Industrial School (see below).

A stream ran between the two hills, from the suburb of Walton to the place where Canada Dock now sits. This route can now probably be identified with the rough direction of Bank Hall Street, which runs south west towards the River Mersey from Stanley Road. The stream entered the Mersey at Bank Hall, an important building in the history of Kirkdale.

The Moores and Bank Hall

Kirkdale became home to the Moore family from the 13th century onwards. Up until that time John de la More had owned a house – Moore Hall, first mentioned in 1236 – in the north part of the town of Liverpool. But the family began to acquire lands in Kirkdale, and eventually built a new home out there. This was called Bank Hall, and the ‘Old Hall’, which gave its name to Old Hall Street, was left to the family’s Lady Dowager to live in.

The Old Hall continued in use until the 19th century, although it passed into the hands of the Stanley family as the fortunes of the Moores waned. The Perry map of 1768 shows the Old Hall as a large house with wings and gardens to one side. In the hundred years which followed this, the house was gradually altered and eventually demolished.

Bank Hall itself was a moated house, with a causeway between two lakes giving access to the building itself. It stood on the corner of what are now Bankhall Lane and Juniper Street, although the roads have seen some reshaping in the intervening years.

The coast to the west of Kirkdale was, before the arrival of the docks, popular as a destination for bathers and those seeking the fresh air. Later, when the Wellington, Huskisson and Sandon Docks were built, Southport replaced Kirkdale as the preferred holiday destination for discerning Liverpudlians.

Kirkdale Gaol

While Kirkdale was still an open landscape, a large gaol was constructed, incorporating a courthouse. Eyebrows were raised in Liverpool around the need for such as huge house of correction, which was said to be able to hold the entire population of Liverpool at the date it opened (1818). The building replaced the previous gaol, closer to the seafront, which had been described by the prison reformer John Howard as ” insufferably dirty, grimy and wretched”.

In 1835 the court moved to Liverpool itself (eventually to St George’s Hall), but the gaol’s catchment area covered the whole of south Lancashire. Prisoners who would previously have been sent to Lancaster now came to Kirkdale, and a good number were executed here in public.

The building itself was at the end of Sessions Road (appropriately), a place used since its demolition in 1897 as a recreation ground. The layout used the fashionable model of the ‘Panopticon’, with two towers in the centre which each looked over its own wing. The prison officers were thus able to watch the prisoners in their cells without the prisoners knowing precisely when (or by whom) they were being watched.

Kirkdale Industrial School

This school was another state-run institution, for the teaching of ‘pauper’ children, and stood on a site to the north east of the Gaol. It opened in 1845 to the designs of Lockwood and Allom, and was considered an attractive building at the time (some illustrations show a rather palatial-looking building).

The 400 children were taught reading, writing and arithmetic, as well as religious instruction and useful trades like carpentry, shoemaking and needlework. Eventually the buildings proved too small for the number of children needing to be taken care of, and new buildings were designed by Picton & Son.

When the need for such institutions fell out of favour in the 20th century, the building became the Kirkdale Homes for the Aged and Infirm, and were eventually taken into ownership by the council and Hospital Board. Now, however, the buildings have been demolished, and a network of modern roads and houses occupy the site.

Kirkdale, Liverpool and urban development

A village so close to the ambitious and growing town of Liverpool could not expect to stay rural for very long. The old Moore Hall on the edge of town was already becoming surrounded by buildings as the 18th century wore on, and was altered and demolished to make way for road improvements from 1820 onwards. Picton tells us that Kirkdale was still mostly rural at the beginning of the 19th century, and was still only half-developed by around 1850, and the 1851 Ordnance Survey backs this up. But new roads were being added onto Liverpool’s northern fringes to cater for the growth in businesses which were spreading out from Dale Street and Castle Street.

As Liverpool’s wealth increased, the richest merchants looked for room to build the large houses that would reflect their status in society. Kirkdale was one of the first areas to become a suburb, and a fashionable one at that. As the Industrial Revolution approached, the area of Kirkdale began to be developed with large houses and new roads, along with other desirable places like Toxteth Park and Mosslake Fields.

Two arrivals in the 19th century put paid to Kirkdale’s days as a semi-rural suburb. The first was the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, which brought trade and goods into north Liverpool, and immediately attracted a huge number of businesses to its terminus around Leeds Street. The second was the Liverpool & Bury (later the Lancashire & Yorkshire) Railway which opened in 1848. This not only encouraged even more industry into the area, but itself contributed to the smokey, sooty atmosphere taking over from, no doubt, the mellow airs of cut grass and cow dung.

Kirkdale’s proximity to the docks was always going to make it a great place to build houses for the thousands of casual workers who were too poor to live more than walking distance from their potetnial employers. As Liverpool’s growth reached its peak in the late Victorian period a grid-iron pattern of terraces crept across the landscape. The richer classes – from the clerks all the way up to the shipping line owners – moved further from the town centre. The clerks tended to move to Anfield and Walton while the richest built new villas in the countryside around Woolton and West Derby, or north of Bootle.

Finally, Kirkdale was incorporated into Liverpool itself in 1835, and was one of the earliest suburbs to do so.

Twentieth Century Slum Clearance

The swathes of unsuitable housing which blighted places like Kirkdale in the 20th century were the inevitable result of unscrupulous landlords throwing up as many properties as possible for the lowest cost. The bombing of the Liverpool docklands during the Second World War spilled over towards Scotland Road and the surrounding houses, and combined with ambitious slum clearances the post-war council took the opportunity to reshape the inner city.

Parts of Kirkdale became a blank canvas on which to draw in physical form the shape of Liverpool’s hoped-for resurgence. The most obvious feature, looked at on a map or from the air, is the loop road leading to the Kingsway Tunnel entrance, but many other parts of Kirkdale were reshaped too, and now the area immediately north of Liverpool city centre is dominated by large industrial units and warehousing, where there was once a mixture of dense housing, and a multitude of workplaces. Many of the roads in Kirkdale, such as once-major thoroughfares like Bevington Bush, have changed beyond all recognition: reshaped, remodelled, diverted, demolished.

The living and working conditions of Kirkdale have no doubt improved a lot since this process took place, but communities were separated when the houses came down, and nothing can quite reproduce the way of life experienced by millions of Liverpudlians in the 200 years since the area urbanised. Some people stayed in Kirkdale, and Logan Towers, one block, was the tallest prefabricated building in the world. Liverpool rivalled, or maybe even surpassed, London as a centre of high-rise living.

Sources

Books

Greaney, M., 2013, Liverpool: a landscape history, The History Press, Stroud

Picton, J, 1875, Memorials of Liverpool : historical and topographical, including a history of the Dock Estate, Longmans, Green, London

Philpott RA 1988 ‘Historic Towns of the Merseyside Area: a survey of urban settlement to c1800′ Liverpool Museum Occasional Paper, No 3, 60 pp.

Online

Kirkdale (British History Online) http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41286

Kirkdale Gaol, Liverpool Mercury Nov 9th, 1857, Liverpool Life http://www.old-merseytimes.co.uk/kirkdalegaol.html

Liverpool, Lancashire http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Liverpool/

106 Comments Post a comment
  1. O would like to know more about Back Westminster Road and the two very old cottages that are on the right hand side ?they have thick walls , and untill recently the did not have windows in the side elevation. i remember when i as a child they earth floors .
    volin

    July 14, 2011
    • Martin #

      Hi Colin,
      These cottages could be very old indeed. Looking at the First Edition Ordnance Survey map (1:10,560) they are in a still rural area. Two major buildings nearby are Kirkdale Gaol, and the Liverpool Industrial School.
      The houses which still exist on Bootle Lane are marked, and it seems very odd that a row of large houses and a row of small cottages are squeezed back to back between large fields. Perhaps the cottages were associated with the houses, for example as service buildings. Alternatively, perhaps the cottages are older, with the newer houses on Bootle Lane being built on the main road.
      Looking at the layout of the gardens, it could be that the larger houses had only short gardens (having been built later), with the rest of the land belonging to the cottages, Back Westminster Road running between cottage and garden.
      The two cottages you mention are the only ones left out of the whole row, which extended north to what is now Goodall Street. It’s amazing what survives down the centuries.

      July 15, 2011
      • Robin #

        Hello Martin,
        interesting to read your comments and yes it is amazing what survives through time. Including me. I was born in one of the dank cottages and lived for 23 years in the other and if you really want a tale about Romanies, poverty, betrayal, racism, education, violence and many other social issue’s then I have the true story that should be documented in a book.
        I remain extremely angry at my early life as a Romany and the manner in which we were treated or ill treated down “the Lane”.

        Rob.

        June 19, 2013
        • Hi Rob,

          Thanks for your comments. Yes, I’m always astounded by the hardiness of many of those born into mid-20th century Liverpool poverty. I’m from a rather pampered generation by contrast, and wouldn’t last a week in those conditions!

          If you do want to write a short account of your early life experiences then I would be more than happy to post something here, fully attributed to you. I’ve done something similar before (see e.g. http://www.liverpool-landscapes.net/2011/09/toxteth-some-distant-childhood-memories/). My readers are especially interested in the landscape, how the places shaped your experience, but whatever you have to offer would be fascinating.

          Regards,
          Martin

          June 20, 2013
          • Robin #

            Hi Martin and thanks for your comments. However I am not sure if this is the best format to document the true story. It is much bigger than a few paragraphs would allow but thanks anyway.

            I need to speak with a ghost writer to pen the whole story.

            Kind regards Rob

            June 21, 2013
    • Jeff illingworth #

      Hi Colin I think my father used to own no 1 Back Westminster Road, I have the receipt here for it. He bought it off A David Lewis a Glazier in 1948 for 250 pound.

      regards Jeff NZ

      February 19, 2014
  2. Jane #

    Hi Martin

    I’m trying to find out what area in Kirkdale my father was born. His address on his birth certificate says 21 Sharp Street. This was in 1918.

    How would I be able to find anything out about his house and area?

    Hoping you can help

    Thanks

    March 6, 2012
    • Hi Jane,

      According to some top research by Rob Ainsworth at the Liverpool History Society, Sharp Street has been redeveloped into Archer Close (Archer Street next to it has kept its name over the years). This is the place today: http://g.co/maps/sg2gj

      I hope this gets you started in your research (there are plenty of books on the area), but is there anything specific you’d like to know?

      Regards,
      Martin

      March 6, 2012
  3. Hello Martin, I lived and grew up in one of the two remaining cottages in Kirkdale you were talking about earlier, they are very old and I remember most things from when I was 5 yrs old until I left to get married, Nice to speak to you. Yvonne #

    Hello Martin,

    I grew up from when I was 5 yrs old in one of the two remaining cottages you were talking about in Kirkdale, I remember the stone walls and floors and how cold it used to be in the winter, I was there until I left to get married.

    Regards,
    Yvonne

    March 12, 2012
  4. Gill #

    Hi, I am currently researching the Molyneux family name, and research has shown that the family were Corn Millers, employing 7 men in 1851. The census shows the address as Molineux Mill & Cottage, Bootle Lane, Kirkdale, and the 1861 census shows the address as Windmill Yard, Bootle Lane, Kirkdale.

    Do you have any information on the mills? I am assuming that they no longer exist.

    Thank you.

    March 15, 2012
    • Hi Gill,

      The main reference to this windmill I’ve found is on Wikipedia, which states that it burned down in 1834, and references the book Windmill Land by Allen Clarke (1916) as its source. However, I’ve not been able to get at a copy of the book myself to check.

      Its early demise means it doesn’t appear on the Ordnance Survey maps (the earliest of these being 1851). A windmill (“Spellow Mill”) appears on some earlier maps just north of Bootle Lane (now Westminster Road), though I’m not sure that this is the same one – it’s north of the still-present Spellow Lane, and may have used Bootle Lane as its address. If anyone else has an opinion on this do respond below.

      I’ve added a scan of the Yates and Perry map of 1768 to the Historic Liverpool Facebook page to let you make up your own mind.

      I hope this gives you a start in your research on the mill.

      March 19, 2012
  5. Elaine Neary #

    Hi Jane

    You mention you are researching Sharp Street. Sharp Street was one of two side streets which ran off Sandheys Street. The other being Wilkin Street. They ran into Archer Street which ran from Walton Road, down past St Marys park and church and finished at Westminster Road, just by the baths. My family lived in Sandheys for a very long time and everybody knew each other. What was your father’s name.

    April 15, 2012
    • Jimmy #

      my grandparents lived in number 5 and number 10 sandhey street

      May 27, 2012
  6. Elaine Neary #

    Hi Jane = just put a little info about Sharp Street on the site. Let me know if I can help

    April 15, 2012
  7. Hi,

    This link gets you to a map that shows the position of Molyneux mill, Bootle Lane.

    http://www.british-history.ac.uk/mapsheet.aspx?compid=55125&sheetid=4742&ox=0&oy=0&zm=1&czm=10&x=284&y=80

    The windmill that burnt down on Bootle Lane, 1834, was the mill that was owned by Jeremiah Shaw.

    http://archive.org/stream/historyofcornmil04bennuoft#page/198/mode/2up

    The Annals of 1843 Gores Directory says:

    Shaws windmill at Bootle entirely destroyed by fire. This mill was one of the oldest in the neighbourhood of Liverpool. There having been one on site upwards of 200 yrs.

    On the map above it shows New Mill which was the one that jeremiah Shaw built in place of the windmill that was destroyed by fire. His daughter and her husband ran New Mill on Bootle lane, after Jerry’s death in 1840.

    I do have a picture of New Mill but I am not sure how to get it on here.
    Any problems with the links let me know.

    regards Gillian

    May 16, 2012
    • Hi Gillian,

      Thanks so much for those links – excellent sources which I will use more in future. It’s also good to see something describing the continuity between two parts of a building’s life (or rather, the reincarnation of a building destroyed).

      If you’d like me to put your picture (fully credited of course!) under perhaps the Landmarks section of this page then you can email it to me at martin [at] historic-liverpool.co.uk.

      Regards,
      Martin

      May 17, 2012
  8. Gillian Orritt #

    Hi Martin,

    I will try and email the picture to you later. Unfortunately the quality isn’t as good as I

    would liked as I had to use the camera on a phone to take it, because our camera was

    broken, and I had promised to send a copy to someone, hence the phone camera. We

    have not been able to replace our camera yet. The picture is also under glass in a frame.

    Do you know where online I could find a copy of the Yates and Perry Map 1768 as I am

    interested in having a look at the map to the area to the left of the map you put on

    facebook for Gill.

    Regards Gillian

    May 17, 2012
  9. Jimmy #

    My grand parents lived in Sandhey Street one in number 5 and the other in number 10 right opposite each other i remember Joe
    Armours stable many good memories of that and all the other streets around there

    May 25, 2012
    • Hi Jimmy,

      Thanks for adding your memories of Kirkdale to this page. Lots of visitors to this site seem to have fond memories of the area.

      Martin

      May 28, 2012
  10. Jimmy #

    I grew up in Sellar Street just across Westminster Road went to ST Mary’s sunday school and church We lived at the back of the wood yard

    May 25, 2012
  11. Paula Collins #

    Hi,
    My great-great grandfather Thomas Sanderson was a saddler who operated from his home at 41 Westminster Road up until 1920. I know it’s a long shot, but would anyone have any photos of this property or nearby buildings,or does anyone else out there have any stories or links connected to him.
    Thanks
    Paula Collins

    June 8, 2012
  12. Carol #

    Hi Martin,
    Mywas listening to my mum and Uncle reminiscing about the olden days and they were trying to remember the name of the old pub which was on the corner of Kirkdale Rd/Netherfield Rd around the war times.Can you help with this I have treid researching this and asking around but with no luck.
    Thanks,
    Carol Ball.

    July 5, 2012
    • Hi Carol,

      Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply! Was it the Cumberland Arms or the Crown Vaults? I’ve found this great website on lost pubs in Liverpool, and these two are both in the area (around Netherfield Road). http://www.closedpubs.co.uk/lancashire/liverpool.html Have a look on that page, as there are a few others which might fit the bill, and do post back if you have any luck!

      Regards,
      Martin

      July 23, 2012
  13. Robert Ready #

    Recently a Photo Was Printed on The Im From Kirkdale Web Site of Fountains Road From The Corner of Westminster Road ,Showing St Johns Church on The Right and A Comment Was Left Saying That on The Left of There was A Jewish Synagog The Photo Was Dated Early 1900s Was There a Large Population of Jewish People Settled in Kirkedale at That Time.

    September 10, 2012
    • Hi Robert,
      There’s been a Jewish community in Liverpool since the 1800s, and although one of the first places to see a large number of Jews was around Lime Street / Brownlow Hill, there were certainly other places where communities grew up. Kirkdale is an area of Liverpool which naturally gained a range of immigrant communities, as housing was affordable for those coming in on ships, and particularly in the early 1900s, when the greatest number of Jews arrived in the city.

      Martin

      September 23, 2012
  14. Alane Beyer #

    Hi Martin, Looks like my Great Grandfather Arthur Lewis Beyer lived at 89 Lambeth road in Kirkdale in 1901. Do you know if his home is still there ? I tried googling it and I think its still there … but who knows it could be a knewer build in its place now. Would be neat to know if anyone remembers our Beyer family. All of Arthurs children remained in England to my knowledge except my Grandfather Albert Leo Beyer. Alane.

    September 29, 2012
    • Hi Alane,

      You’re right, the road is still there but all the houses currently on it are only around 30 years old. In 1901 the street was packed with terraced houses – the type with small back yards and a rear alleyway. These were demolished in the middle of the 20th century as part of the city’s ‘slum’ clearance schemes, although to what extent these were slums is often a matter of debate.

      Maps from the 1950s and 1960s show gaps in the rows of houses, with the modern street layout appearing in the 1980s.

      Martin

      October 14, 2012
  15. Alane Beyer #

    Hi Martin, Thanks for the reply and your help.

    Thats sad to hear Great Grandpa’s house is also gone, just like Great Great Grandpa Beyer who lived in Anfield in Ash Leigh, his Villa is also gone.

    I guess with Great Grandpa being the last born out of 8 children, he was not well off living in Kirkdale, must have been a rude awakening for him coming from a home of priviledge.

    We will be in Liverpool next year so hope to find some hidden treasures still remaining. Rumford place is still there right ? Thats where GG Grandpa had a business, along with his son I believe they occupied 11 and 12 Rumford place. Ernest Beyer was a cotton merchant, so hope to find some information on him, maybe his home still exists ?? !

    Best Regards Alane

    October 29, 2012
    • Hi Alane, yes Rumford Place is still there, right in the middle of town not far from the Town Hall. Hope you can find out some stuff about your ancestors There’s plenty of Beyer family history around the web, so something should come up!

      Martin

      October 29, 2012
  16. Alane Beyer #

    Hi Martin,

    Good to hear Rumford place still exists !

    Thanks for your help … Regards Alane

    October 31, 2012
  17. Jane Asbury #

    I am trying to locate where ROMEO STREET either is or would have been in Kirkdale. I am assuming as I cannot find it on the map that it no longer exists.
    Does anyone have any idea where it was…I would be most grateful for any information.

    November 26, 2012
    • Hi Jane,

      Sorry, it’s taken me almost a month to reply – perhaps someone has already helped you! Romeo Street was one of a handful of streets named after Shakespeare characters which was situated near Bank Hall Station in north Liverpool. My Plan of Liverpool – North Sheet shows the location of Romeo Street as it looked in 1890. Hope this is of some help.

      Regards,
      Martin

      December 25, 2012
  18. Paula Blackburn #

    Hi Martin, my dad, Harry Blackburn was born at 66 Harebell Street, his parents lived at 66, 50 and had a shop on Stanley road that sold prams. This was in 1923, they moved to Commercial Road where they lived until my grandparents died in 1955 and 1960. Can you tell me about the history of the flower streets and the tobacco factory where my nan worked? Many thanks

    February 18, 2013
    • Hi Paula,

      Can you tell me more about where the tobacco factory was? The flower streets first appear on the 1890 map, and so were part of the rapid expansion of the city at that time. I’ll see what else I can dig out about them.

      Regards,
      Martin

      February 20, 2013
      • Alan Cornes #

        Hi Martin. The tobacco factory was next to Tilliotsons on Vauxhall Road, I believe and I think it was a branch of the British American tobacco company (BAT). My dad worked there for a while as I recall (although this could be a senior moment on my part)

        Regards
        Alan

        July 9, 2013
        • Alan Cornes #

          Just found this.
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/exacta2a/540862142/

          Commercial Road not Vauxhall road

          July 9, 2013
        • Hi Alan,

          Thanks for the extra info, plus the link to the photo. Always good to add more detail to what’s on this site, especially when it comes to finding out things for other commenters! Much appreciated.

          Regards,
          Martin

          August 6, 2013
  19. Laurie Hardman #

    I was born in Brunswick Square Kirkdale.
    Any information regarding the history prior to it being redeveloped would be greatly appreciated.

    March 30, 2013
    • Hi Laurie,

      I found this detail about the painter Joseph Campbell who lived in Brunswick Square on the Liverpool Museums blog: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/online/pre-raphaelites/news.aspx. There’s also a photo on the excellent Fotolore website showing the Brunswick Square area in 1976. I have a map on this website of Brunswick Square from way back in 1890, so there are definitely a few resources out there covering its history!

      Regards,
      Martin

      April 8, 2013
      • Laurie Hardman #

        Thanks Martin.
        Brunswick Square was unadopted,and I’m pretty sure that it had seen much better days.We moved when I was a small boy in 1955,and I can remember my grandmother saying that pre-war it had been gated. Maybe the gates and railings were taken down to make Spitfires!
        Best Laurie

        April 18, 2013
  20. pete #

    Hi Martin

    I wonder if you can help. I saw a BBC program about historic buildings and it featured a large derelict tudor style building in Kirkdale.

    I have lived in North Liverpool all my life and had never heard of these – are they actually in Kirkdale?

    Thanks.

    Pete

    April 9, 2013
    • Hi Pete,

      I don’t recall any buildings like that in Kirkdale, though of course the programme may have had the exact location wrong. There’s Everton library which is… sort of Tudor, and not a million miles from Kirkdale. It’s also next to a mock Tudor pub. I’ll see if anyone on the Facebook page knows of other buildings in this style around Kirkdale, or who saw the programme.

      Martin

      April 14, 2013
      • Kevin #

        Eldon Grove off Scotland Road

        April 14, 2013
        • Brilliant – yes! I didn’t realise that building was still standing. Hope this helps you, Pete, and thanks Kevin for your comment!

          Martin

          April 18, 2013
  21. Barry Ward #

    Hello Martin,
    My father was born in 1924 at 39 Pluto Street. I know this street no longer exists, and I presume it was demolished during or after the War. I was wondering if any photos exist of Pluto Street, or if you can give me any information about the houses, number of rooms ., when they were contsructed etc ?
    Thanks, Barry.

    April 19, 2013
    • stephen vaughan #

      hi my mum grew up in number 22 pluto street her name was margaret Pettigrew she was brought up by her grandmother we used to go back with her when we were young great memories steve vaughan

      August 24, 2014
  22. I have a letter dated 18 Sept 1852 posted marked Liverpool and noted as being written at “Morley’s Point”. Do you know where this may have been located? It was written by my gggrandfather who was working there at the time. I have been unable to find any reference to this location on a map. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    May 16, 2013
  23. Barbara Hughes(nee moore) #

    Very interesting information on this area…thanks. I lived in latham st and from the house you could see B.A.British American Tobacco Factory.The huge clock was very useful indeed.

    July 8, 2013
    • hi barbara my name is john i was born in latham st i lived in the houses that had an attic i could also see the bat clock. #

      later on we moved to a house between bat and puddifers scrapyard at the top of sandhills.i think it was the only house on that side of commercial rd.

      February 14, 2014
  24. Rae Lee #

    Hi Martin (And others!),

    On behalf of my wife I wonder whether you or anyone else can help me? My wife lived in Newby street when she was younger and she attended a Doctor’s by Westminster road/Foley Street. I wonder if anyone remembers it, as she’d like to get hold of some of her old records (Or does anyone know how we’d go about getting hold of these in another way)?

    Thanks!

    July 18, 2013
    • Hi,

      I’m not much of an expert on medical records, but there’s a discussion here on the Family History website about possibilities of getting old records. It might help you begin your research.

      Regards,
      Martin

      August 6, 2013
    • Was it Dr Simon and Dr Edwards surgery. I am not sure that it actually had a name but it used to be my doctors as well. I moved away in my teens, but it wasnt far from the swimming baths on Westminster Road.

      September 23, 2014
  25. James L. Secor #

    Martin, I need a good history of the Kirkdale area, particularly the flower streets neighborhood. This is for a group of stories I’m writing, a tongue-in-cheek detective series. All of the crimes are social, most legally not crimes–which is my point. But I’m shy on history. I’m not Scouse. I’m a former colonist who had the double-edged sword experience of living in the flower districts in 2009-10, Snowdrop St. If a longer discussion is needed, please feel free to get to me privately. Thanks.
    jimsecor

    August 21, 2013
  26. Pam #

    Hi Martin,

    I am very interested in the houses on Westminster Road, I do actually live in one that was built in 1825 apparently they where the first to be built are you able to give me any information, or how I could find out?

    Thanks
    Pam

    September 7, 2013
    • Hi Pam,

      The website Old Maps is a great place to start – you can search for Westminster Road, Liverpool in the box on the home page, and explore different eras of maps using the toolbar on the right hand side. If you let me know which specific houses you’re looking into, I might be able to have a look at some of my own library and see if there’s anything else helpful for you.

      Martin

      October 8, 2013
  27. Pat Kirby ,or Wynne was my maiden name #

    Does anyone remember the TANNERY, Orwell road?.

    i grew up just across the road from it ,North Dingle

    September 8, 2013
    • Reg Towner #

      You can see a rare picture of Kirkdale Tannery, Chancel Street and Irwins (as well as other pictures of Kirkdale) here :

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/townerassociates/14404269096/in/photostream

      comments very welcome
      RT

      June 19, 2014
      • Thanks for sharing that image Reg – very interesting indeed, especially with the extra information you’ve added from local people. Definitely worth a browse. There’s some other great photos on there too, so thanks!

        Best Wishes,
        Martin

        June 25, 2014
        • Reg Towner #

          Hi Martin. Thanks for your kind comments about my pictures. I am always happy to make a contribution to excellent local interest sites such as yours.
          best
          RT

          July 2, 2014
  28. Maijella Walsh #

    I would like to find photos or any information on Pluto Street. Where would it have been in todays kirkdale map?

    September 19, 2013
    • Hi Maijella,

      Pluto Street was between Vesuvius Street and Smith Street (which both still exist). There was another road, Hewley Street, between Vesuvius and Smith Streets, so I think Pluto Street would be roughly where this north-south row of houses is now.

      Hope that helps.

      Regards,
      Martin

      October 8, 2013
  29. Claire Dixon #

    Hello,
    Does anyone know of a confectioners shop in Kirkdale possibly Westminster road around 1901ish run by Catherine Merrick? I am trying to find out if it existed and where?
    Or if there was a confection shop in that area where she may have worked?

    Thank you

    Claire

    October 3, 2013
    • Pat Kirby(was wynne) #

      There ws a shop on the left hand side on Westminster road,not far from the Police Station and fire station. I can remember being in my pram when i was tiny ,mum had been for a loaf of bread and i am nibbling he corners off the loaf. can’t give any more information as i was only little.

      October 19, 2013
    • Ray #

      My mum worked in a confectioners on the corner of Medlock St and Westminster Rd in the 1930’s………it was owned by a man named Chris Delaney, and was called Delaney’s………..they owned two shops, the other was along Stanley Rd, near the New Strand, near to the Salvation Army…….hope this is of some help!

      July 2, 2014
    • I do actually remember the name Merrick. I thought you may have been talking about Cassidy’s. I was from Kirkdale but all my family are deceased now so Ive nobody to ask, who would remember. I do remember there being 3 sweetshops and one cakeshop on our section of Westminster Road. The one at the bottom end, opposite the Police Station (Bridewell I think it was called), I am sure that was run by two ladies. They used to sell lolly ices made in those tart tins, for 2 old pence and small ones for a penny. If that is the shop it was brilliant. I still have memories of those days. The confectioners at the other end was Cassidys and the one in the middle, I dont remember the name but it did sell stationery and cards, etc. Hope this helps

      September 23, 2014
  30. clare #

    Hiya. I currently live on delamore street. I was wondering if you could tell me a bit about the history of the street. Ive just always wondered what was here before these hpuse were built arpund a hundred years ago. Would also.be interested in what sort of people lived on these houses. All these houses also seem to be haunted too. Wpuld lile to know whos haunting us haha. Thank you for reading this and i hope to hear from ypu soon. Clare…

    October 13, 2013
    • Hi Clare,

      Thanks for your query: Delamore Street is quite easy to find the date for, because on the 1890 map of Kirkdale nearby roads like Roxburgh Street and Carisbrooke Road, as well as parts of Delamore itself, are laid out but not yet fully built on. So I’d say the whole area was being built up around the end of the 19th century. The Liverpool Record Office may be able to help you narrow down the date more if you’d like, but 1885-1890 seems very likely. Before they were built, the land was covered in the Walton Nurseries (a business growing young plants and trees), which lay just outside the village of Walton-on-the-hill.

      The kind of people who were moving into these houses when they were new would have been the lower end of the middle class – the clerks and office workers who caught the tram into town every day and worked in the offices around the Pier Head, Castle Street and Dale Street. Other residents might have been small business owners such as grocers or bakers. The numbers of these people would have been increasing rapidly as Liverpool became increasingly business-oriented and wealthy in the 19th century, and as the population grew. Walton and Anfield were two other area where these people might have lived.

      The range of people who might be haunting you is potentially quite a wide one!

      Regards,
      Martin

      PS: There’s more about the changing population types of north Liverpool in my book Liverpool: a landscape history.

      October 13, 2013
  31. brenda lloyd #

    I lived in Spellow Lane in about 1948 – 1954.There was a small school nextdoor to us. We lived at no 36. I have tried to get a photo of the large houses, they have been demolished and there is just a green space now. I have seen houses all around Oxten Street, County Road etc but none of Spellow Lane. Can anyone help.

    October 13, 2013
  32. brenda lloyd #

    Does anyone remember the ice cream parlour called aindows. I thought it was on the corner of barlows Lane walton. but I have been told it was burtons.

    A few doors away my grandmother had a shop that sold drinks hot chocolate sasparella etc. I think young people met up there. Does anyone remember this.

    October 15, 2013
    • Pat Kirby(was wynne) #

      Regarding AINDOWS,this was on Walton Road,just before the corner ,Burtons was next to it. We would go window shopping and then go in there. I remember a smaller shop ,coming back towards town,,this could be the shop you are thinking about.

      October 19, 2013
    • Elizabeth Rogers-Ross #

      I was born in No.45 Chirkdale Street in 1936 and I can remember clearly the ice cream parlour. Before WW2 broke out it was called “Fusco’s” the surname of it’s Italian owner. When Mussolini and Hitler joined forces poor Mr. Fusco’s “parlour”was trashed by an angry mob.
      I remember seeing a placard in the broken plate glass window. It said theat he was a naturalized British subject and he had two sons fighting in the British army. Shortly after this attack on his business Mr. Fusco’s family changed their name to Aindow which, I understand, was his wife’s maiden name.
      It was a great day for local children when he was able to make his delicious ice cream again after the Victory in Europe. My older sister and I stood in long queue of children clutching basins and fruit dishes for our “victory” ice cream. It was heavenly!
      Can anyone tell me when and why 45 Chirkdale Street and the houses on each side were pulled down sometime in the 1980s? I would be most grateful.
      With kind regards from Elizabeth.

      January 10, 2014
      • Hi Elizabeth,

        Thanks for your info on the ice cream parlour. There was a lot of trouble before both World Wars for German, Italian and other ‘enemy’-owned shops. Such a shame.

        The houses on Chirkdale Street were probably knocked down in advance of a housing development that got no further (money was rather an issue in the 80s on Merseyside!), or perhaps they were deemed uninhabitable, though that’s always a contested issue.

        Martin

        February 3, 2014
  33. Hi, I am researching the Vernon family history, and am trying to find any information regarding someone who my uncle, Robert Vernon worked for. It is a Mr Revell, Team owner, Foley Street. Robert Vernon was killed in action 1916/1917, just wondering if anyone might have some knowledge of what the team was, and who Mr Revell was?

    October 29, 2013
  34. john burke #

    trying to find any old boys st johns 1956 i lived in tillard st my old school mates would be 73 yrs of age now it would be interesting to hear from you out there

    john burke

    November 3, 2013
    • G Whitcombe #

      Hi John I went to St Johns school around your time,that is when I was in attendance.We lived in Sellar St, opposite the baths.I remember Tillard St well.Ballards on one corner, Roaches on the other,Mr taylor,Daybell,Burke,the huts in Latham St.

      George Whitcombe

      February 14, 2014
  35. shaz #

    can anyone tell me what stanley hospital, kirkdale, was re-named when it reopened in 1966?

    November 11, 2013
    • Al Lemna #

      It is now a sheltered accomidation called Fountains Court.

      March 31, 2014
  36. Mark #

    Hi

    does anyone have any photographs of brunswick square in the 50s, 60s, 70s? My dad grew up there. He used to tie wire to the doors and climb the trees in the square and pull the wire to knock on the doors ha. I managed to find a couple of photographs of brunswick square and his ford taunus was on one of the photographs outside his house. He got very excited when he saw a fence he had built as a kid for a neighbour too! If anybody could forward me any photographs that would be great. Thanks.

    November 16, 2013
  37. John Dowdall #

    I lived inBraemar street 1951 to 1963, it was two up two down terrace house outside
    toilet and one cold water tap in the kitchen,I remember it being very cold in the
    winter,we slept 4/5 in in bed with coats over us to keep warm, the house was very
    damp and full of cockroaches,I remember we were very poor but we never went
    hungry thanks to mam (mother).
    On the corner of our street was a shop called Maggie Kelly’s run by two old ladies
    And we use to get food on tick (credit),in the middle of our street was a sweet shop
    called Koogies,
    On Saturdays we went to the pictures either the prinnie (Princess) which was 9p to
    get in or the Commadore on Stanley road which cost a shilling,the prinnie nearly
    always won.
    Anyone got any old photos

    November 22, 2013
  38. terry turner #

    I lived in miranda rd kirkdale i remember the dowdalls.i went to school with peter tigh he lved just pass coogies shop and my relations the scullys lived on the landing just above the tighs ..my mother had a small shop on the corner of pelops street in the 50 ..60..there were ten of us but we were well looked after ..i dont know how she coped..regards ..terry

    February 18, 2014
  39. Jeff illingworth #

    This is a long shot.
    Does anyone recall a Thomas Illingworth From Tawd Street/ Barlow lane, Kirkdale,
    He used to be a cow keeper and used to deliver milk in the area.
    This would have been i think 1920s/30s
    would love to know anything as he was my Grandfather

    February 19, 2014
  40. Margaret #

    The cottages that you mention on Westminster Rd appear to have been replaced by a pub today, or am I looking in the wrong place? I hope I’m incorrect as it would be such a shame if they had been knocked down.

    February 25, 2014
  41. Jen #

    I wonder if New Mil may be behind the Old St Lawrence School, perhaps where the playground is as it has a strange hill which would be an ideal position for a windmill.

    February 26, 2014
  42. Cathy Harris #

    Am trying to track down information re the Palantine public house at 251 Walton Rd Kirkdale. My maternal grandparents were publicans there until 1926/7 when John Hawthorne Campion my mat grandfather died. Does anyone have any information?

    March 6, 2014
  43. Hilary Rees #

    Research into my family history shows my Great Grandfather Samuel Conley as being transferred from Kirkdale Industrial School in or about 1897 – this information has come from the Liverpool Records Office. But I am unable to find out what happened to and who his parents were. I may have a birth certificate for the right Samuel Conley which does show parents named, but need confirmation. Any help anyone can give would be grateful.

    March 11, 2014
  44. mark philpott #

    Hi, I was born in Newby Street in 1964. My parents and grandparents lived here on opposite sides of the road but I cant remember what numbers.
    Recently I took my partner to see tthe house I ws born in, and its completely different now.
    Long shot but does anyone have any pictures of newby street in the 60’s or any information about the road?
    Thanks,
    Mark
    Also, my dad and grandad are and were called R.A Philpott… could they b related to the Philpott RA 1988 ‘Historic Towns of the Merseyside Area: a survey of urban settlement to c1800′ Liverpool Museum Occasional Paper, No 3, 60 pp.

    April 26, 2014
    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks for your comment. RA. Philpott is Dr. Rob Philpott, the Head of Field Archaeology at Liverpool Museum, and still works there down at the Albert Dock! There may be a family connection, but I don’t know of Dr. Philpott’s place of birth! :) I used a couple of his books as sources for this site as well as my own book, Liverpool: a landscape history.

      Regards,
      Martin

      April 28, 2014
  45. Linda #

    My grandparents lived in Barry St, just off Walton Road at the Astoria end. In the next street, Fountains Road, lived my great aunty and uncle. I’ve got happy memories of paying in those streets, now demolished. Does anyone know of any pictures of these streets ? I’ve only seen one from the 1953 coronation taken at the top of Barry St.
    Linda

    April 27, 2014
  46. Patrick Flanagan #

    We are trying to find the baptismal record of Albert Flanagan. He was born in 1899 or 1900 and the family lived at 127 Rosalind St at that time. Parishes have all been mixed and joined together since 1900.
    Can you tell me how I find which parish included Rosalind St in 1899/1900

    Thank you

    Patrick

    July 17, 2014
    • Hi Patrick,

      Rosalind Street was in Kirkdale parish from 1844 onwards, with St. Mary’s as the parish church. Hope this is the information you’re after.

      Regards,
      Martin

      July 17, 2014
  47. Bill Foster #

    I was born in Brasenose Road ‘up on the landing’, and have been trying to find a photo of it, without success. We moved, in about 1954, to Snowdrop Street, number 25. Later we moved onto Stanley Road, opposite the Gordon Institute. My Dad worked for a time at the BAT in Brasenose Road, next to or close to Brooke Bond Tea. Very interesting to read your site.

    Bill

    July 20, 2014
    • Hi Bill,

      Thanks for your comments – so glad you like the site! If I find a photo like the one your looking for, then I’ll let you know.

      Regards,
      Martin

      July 21, 2014
  48. Patricia McGuire #

    I found some old census records from 1891 that show my great great aunt living at 4c Trent Street in the Kirkdale area of Liverpool. The street no longer exists and I’d love to find an old photo of Trent Street and more info about the street and area where she lived. I also found a reference to St. Aiden which may have been the local parish at the time but I’m not sure.

    July 24, 2014
    • Hi Patricia,

      Trent Street has indeed disappeared, and was one of the very small streets in Victorian Kirkdale. It was in the parish of Liverpool St. Martin in the Fields (if I’ve lined up my maps properly – it’s near the border with Kirkdale St. Marys!), but St Aiden was certainly one of the local churches, possibly just inside St. Mary’s parish. Glad you’re enjoying the site.

      Regards,
      Martin

      July 25, 2014
  49. Ste Allen #

    where exactly are these cottages near or on back westminster road??, I would also like to know whats was that building used for which is on the courner of rumney road and westminster road facing towards goodhall street.

    July 31, 2014
    • Hi Ste,

      There are a couple of cottages on the north side of Back Westminster Road, numbered 4 and 6. These are the ones I’ve referred to in my earlier comments.

      The building on the corner of Rumney Road isn’t marked as anything special on the maps, and I think it would just have been a very large house. The inhabitants of this area, when the house was built, were very wealthy, and this part of Kirkdale was much sought after. If you look at the map of 1891 (below) then it makes more sense when seen amongst other houses. It’s larger than the neighbours, but developers often added bigger houses on the end of rows in order to make a little more money. It would probably be occupied by someone slightly higher up the clerical scale, or the owner of a more successful fleet of ships.

      Rumney Road, 1891, Scale 1:500

      (Click for a larger version)

      Regards,
      Martin

      July 31, 2014
  50. Fay James #

    Hi Martin

    I am trying to find out any information about Commercial Road in the late 1800s. My great grandfather Walter Jenkins (son of William and Margaret) was born in 1877 and records show he was from 260 Commercial Road. I would be very interested to hear any information you have of Commercial Road and the area etc from that time. I have tried looking it up but it has obviously changed very much since then!
    Many thanks.

    Fay

    August 15, 2014
  51. Jodi Baines #

    I live in a house in Dumbarton St, off Carisbrooke Rd.
    In our cellar is the original Cast Iron Aga, and copper washing point.
    I have researched the census for earlier family etc. and found that one of the previous tenant’s sadly passed away in the First World War. He was in his early twenties.
    Also our house seems to have luckily had long term occupiers, we didn’t even have house deeds for the house because the previous owners had lived there for that long, I can only trace the history back to two previous families, from the year it was built 1879.
    Any more info or photo’s would be much appreciated.

    August 21, 2014
  52. Ann D #

    My grandmother lived at 126 Westminster Road in the back of what had been a shop until she was rehoused to Huyton in the early 1960s. I remember visiting when I was little. There was a really old fashioned sweet shop on Westminster Road I think it was kept by two old ladies. My mum used to go shopping on Walton Road and always bought our Christmas turkey in Costigans. My mum worked for Delaneys before she was married.

    August 21, 2014
  53. Claire Dixon #

    Hi Ann D

    The Sweet Shop that you mention on your post do you have any more information about it. My great grandmother Catherine Merrick owned a confectioners shop on Westminster Road. Do you know the name of the shop you mentioned or the number on the road?
    I believe the shop was number 70 Westminster Road.
    I would appreciate an information.

    Thank you

    Claire.

    September 8, 2014
    • Was the shop called Cassidy’s. It was next to a pub called the Halfway House on the corner of Whitefield Lane.

      September 23, 2014
  54. Is there anybody who went to the old St John’s RC SCHOOL on Sessions Road, Liverpool in the late 50s, early 60s.

    September 23, 2014

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