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History of Woolton

Woolton is a very old centre of settlement in the north west. Situated in the southern part of the city today, historically it consisted of two distinct areas – Much Woolton and Little Woolton.

Uveton, Domesday Book; Wlvinton, 1188; Wolventon, 1305; Wolvinton, 1341; the common form is Wolveton, with variants Wolfeton (1347), disclosing the local pronunciation.(VCH Lancs: III)

Much Woolton: Mikel Wolverton, 1301; also Wlvetun, 1220 etc; Wolton occurs from 1345; Wollouton, 1345; Woleton, 1350; Wilton, 1380; Miche Wolleton, 1429. The Domesday Book also names it Wibaldeslei. Brettargh appears as Bretharue and Bretarwe in the Whalley Coucher.

Origins of the name:

The Landscape

Woolton sits on the southern slopes of a ridge running North-West to South-East across the district. The centre once known as Much Woolton occupies the greater part of the township. At the beginning of the 20th Century the area was described as ‘park-like’, and the wooded hillslope gave shelter to a thriving agriculture.

A cross once stood in the centre of the village.

There were two windmills standing in 1613. Only one had survived by 1900

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Transport

The eastern and western borders of Woolton lie on roads coming out of Liverpool, which meet at the south-east corner of the township, near Hunt’s Cross Station. A third road passes between them, crossing the road to Garston as it passes through the centre of the village itself.

The Liverpool to Manchester branch of the Cheshire Lines Committee railway stopped at Hunt’s Cross

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Industry

Woolton contained a sandstone quarry.

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Little Woolton

Little Woolton originates as a separate manor at the time of the Domesday Book. By the turn of the 20th Century, it had developed into a wealthy suburb of Liverpool, “removed from the smoke of the city” (VCH). The roads through Little Woolton lead to Liverpool via Childwall, Wavertree and Toxteth, while another runs south east to Halewood.

The Calder Stones lie in the far west of this district, reflecting the early settlement that occured in Merseyside. (The stones have been known variously as the Caldway Stones, Roger Stones and dojer stones).

Field names survived until relatively recently. Dam Meadows, Dam Croft and Naylor’s Bridge all suggest the area was cross-crossed by streams which could be harnessed for industry and agriculture. Other evocative field names include Monk’s Meadow, Causway Field, Hemp Meadow, Tanhouse Meadow, Shadows, Winamoor, and Creacre. Coxhead Farm hasa name derived from Cock Shed.

Little Woolton was in the possession of the Stanlaw Monks in the 13th Century.

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9 responses to “History of Woolton”

  1. […] but a couple of places in the area were very important at the time, and get an entry: West Derby, Woolton, Toxteth and Childwall amongst […]

  2. Paul Rollins says:

    My ancestor JOSEPH ALLEN (1787-17 July 1845) died in Little Woolton and was buried in Gateacre. In the 1841 Census, he was listed as living at Holt Farm. Does anyone know where that is/was?

  3. Carole says:

    Hi, does anyone know anything about the history of the land where Sylvan Court now stands, ( off School Lane, woolton). Thank you

  4. Lynne Forsyth says:

    Can anyone tell me if the dip/car park that was once a pond was ever a sheep dip? I think my father told me it was but I cannot find any information. Many thanks

    • Martin says:

      Hi Lynne,

      On the maps that I’ve got access to (back to 1849) it’s always marked as Lodes Pond, though that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been a sheep-dip either prior to that or, unofficially, at the same time!

      Martin

  5. joshua says:

    I have recently moved into a house by school lane and have found a sandstone pillar, it has three initials chiseled on three of the four sides. One side has M.S. which is possible it could be N.S. and it has worn away, another side has G.H. on it and the other has S.H. I have tried to put the puzzle together trying to match the letters with areas around Woolton, I have even tried to find local land owners that share the same initials and also local stone masons. If anybody knows anything it would be amazing, thank you very much.

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