An aerial point of view: St John’s Beacon 360

| 3 Comments on An aerial point of view: St John’s Beacon 360

St John’s beacon has been a landmark of the Liverpool skyline since it opened in 1969. Originally designed as the ventilation tower for the new St John’s Market, the architects took advantage of the tall building’s opportunity to add something else. This is a flying-saucer-shaped gallery originally used for a revolving restaurant and later a […]

Parkgate, Wirral

| 1 Comment on Parkgate, Wirral

Parkgate is a small town on the western coast of Wirral, facing across the Dee to Wales, and downstream from Chester. It’s popular with people from the region for days out (and home to a famouse ice cream parlour!). But it’s not widely known that Parkgate not only has a history to rival that of […]

Photo of a gateman hut at albert Dock, with the Museum of Liverpool in the background

Hartley Huts, Albert Dock

| 1 Comment on Hartley Huts, Albert Dock

The Hartley huts are three squat buildings at the entrance to Canning Dock. They were built in 1844 for the ‘gatemen’, those charged with operating the gates to allow ships to enter and leave the docks, some of which would be on their way to the graving docks nearby. The working life of a gateman […]

Wright’s Moat, Halewood

| Leave a Comment

Halewood was rather rural in character, before the landscape transformed it in the 20th century. Being on the edge of Liverpool contributed to the preservation of some interesting features. Two of these, once standing close to each other, were the Old Hutt and Wright’s Moat. Wright’s Moat was a mysterious thing. It’s name comes from […]

Cobbles and cottages on Fisher Street

| 2 Comments on Cobbles and cottages on Fisher Street

In early 2020 a Twitter user by the name of PhoenixME (@Phoenix1270) got in touch to ask about the ‘Forgotten Street’ (as they put it). This led to a very interesting little journey to discover a road that is blocked off at one end by a gate, and at the other by buildings. But Fisher […]

Black and white photo of Lime Street and St George's Plateau, Liverpool

Five postcards from Georgian Liverpool

| 5 Comments on Five postcards from Georgian Liverpool

A good friend of mine recently sent me a handful of postcards he’d found, showing photos of Liverpool in the first quarter of the 20th century. He’d house-sat for me and noticed my existing collection, in a folder on a bookshelf, and I don’t know whether he checked, but he managed to get some that […]

Liverpool University and its Institutional Landscape

The area coming to be known as Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter (how many quarters can one city have?) has distinct landscape characteristics. The university is just one resident in a neighbourhood of academic and other institutions. The excellent Building a Better Society (2008, hard copy from Hive; download free PDF) by Colum Giles highlighted these. The […]

Photograph of the Liverpool Castle Reconstruction, Rivington, Lancashire

Liverpool Castle

| Leave a Comment

Liverpool Castle is one of Liverpool’s greatest lost landmarks, alongside the Customs House and the Sailors’ Home. This page collects aspects of the castle’s history as I find it, updated from time to time. As such, it’s not yet a complete history in its own right. See also: Liverpool Castle, and Leverhulme’s reconstruction Reconstruction in […]

Engraving of Woolt Hall, Liverpool, by JP Neale

Woolton Hall

| 2 Comments on Woolton Hall

When William Brettagh (of Holt) died, he left a cottage that would later become Woolton Hall. It was bought by the Broughton family, who began to extend it, and bring it up to date. By 1700 it was a three-storey building. Traces of an older building still survive in the south west corner. Samuel Derrick […]

Woolton Old School

| Leave a Comment

Woolton Old School has a date stone showing 1610. There has been a suggestion that the last figure is the result of later restoration, but this can’t change the supposed date of building by much. A gift of £60 was given by Edward Norris in 1606 to pay for a master, so the institution was […]

Photograph of the Liverpool Castle Reconstruction, Rivington, Lancashire

West Derby Castle

| Leave a Comment

Edward the Confessor chose West Derby for his hunting lodge, and after the conquest West Derby was given to Roger of Poitou. The castle was probably built around 1100 by Roger, and was sited near St. Mary’s church in Meadow Lane. The site may have been chosen because of its nearness to water (the Alt, […]

Extract from Yates and Perry's map of 1768, showing West Derby Mill marked as 'Mill House'

West Derby Mill

| 5 Comments on West Derby Mill

Mill Lane (Mylngate in documents of 1444 and 1492) is aptly named as the site of the king’s windmill, first mentioned in 1461, along with a horse mill. This stood on the site of the recently built Marks and Spencer building. The windmill was built on the end of one of the NW-SE ridges that […]

Photograph of West Derby court house in 2018

West Derby Courthouse

| Leave a Comment

The court house was, amongst other things, the place where local copyholders deposited a copy of their freehold lease in a secure chest, and had to renew it once a year. They were bound by the contract to keep their dwelling in good condition. Copyholders were generally “men of substance and employers of labour”. The […]

A sketch of West Derby chapel, from the north

West Derby Chapel

| Leave a Comment

West Derby Chapel was situated in the centre of the village, a space now occupied by a monument. It was first mentioned in the mid-14th Century, and mentioned again in Edward IV’s reign in relation to a repair, deemed important as the chapel was useful for holding the king’s court (and this was before a […]

Fountain and Lamp Post, West Derby Village

| 2 Comments on Fountain and Lamp Post, West Derby Village

West Derby’s lamp post / drinking fountain is one of those interesting features of the landscape that dozens of people must pass every day, but never take a second glance at. But this landmarks is really interesting, and points to a certain Victorian view on life at the end of the 19th century. The fountain […]

Photograph of the lumberjack statue on top of the former Dominion pub, Liverpool

Lumberjack on the former Dominion pub, Kirkdale

| Leave a Comment

Credit for this goes to Phil Nash, who posted a couple of photos to the Liverpool Hidden History Facebook group. The former Dominion pub (or Dominion Hotel) at the junction of Regent Road and Bankfield Street in Kirkdale is now the Bankfield Enterprise Hub. This, its latest role, represents the early years of a new […]

Photo of the front of Tate Liverpool, an art gallery

“My future” – a grid outside Tate Liverpool

| Leave a Comment

A photo of this grid popped up on Facebook in early 2019. I had no idea what it really was, but was intrigued. It looked like something from the William Morris school, which I like for both design and political reasons, so I did a little snooping (i.e Googling about a bit). The metal grid […]

Photograph of Prince's Dock, Liverpool, looking north

Postcards from Edwardian Liverpool

| Leave a Comment

Recently, I was contacted by Monica Lewis who had found a collection of postcards belonging to her grandfather. He was in the Navy in the First World War, and Monica thinks these postcards (amongst many from other parts of the world) were accumulated over the course of his career. She’d like me to share these […]

Allerton Oak: ancient and award-winning tree

| Leave a Comment

The Allerton Oak is a 1000 year old sessile oak that stands in Calderstones Park. It’s surrounded by a double fence to protect its ancient structure, and metal crutches installed in 1907 hold up its branches. Calderstones Park is in Allerton, which was mentioned in the Domesday Book and has a long history of its […]

The Calderstones in their new location

Calder Stones: a new, more accessible, home

| Leave a Comment

The Calder Stones have a troubled history, even for a site that’s about 5000 years old. While it’s escaped complete destruction like many of its Irish Sea cousins, there are many of these Neolithic sites which aren’t doing too badly. Even those completely denuded of their turf, soil and/or cobble mound stand proud in fields […]

Photograph of a pipe at Hale Duck Decoy

Hale Duck Decoy

| Leave a Comment

The Duck Decoy at Hale is an impressive, complex monument, now a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It lies in the lowest part of the landscape, amongst streams and wetlands and close the the River Mersey itself. This part of the manor of Hale was drained in the medieval period, […]

Mystery: Unique photos of the John Bibby Sons and Co. copper rolling mills, formerly in Window Lane, Garston

| 20 Comments on Mystery: Unique photos of the John Bibby Sons and Co. copper rolling mills, formerly in Window Lane, Garston

This is another guest article, this time from John Owens. John got in touch hoping that I or you, dear readers, could help identify the source of some photos of a copper rolling works featuring an ancestor of his (see main article). I’ll pass it over to John now, who takes up the story. If […]

A Liver Bird’s point of view: Royal Liver Building 360

| 1 Comment on A Liver Bird’s point of view: Royal Liver Building 360

There isn’t a more iconic Merseyside building than the Royal Liver Building. It sits at the Pier Head, the point at which Liverpool’s wealth flowed into the Victorian and Edwardian town. Its sister buildings embody one of the great shipping companies of Liverpool’s heyday and the Port itself, respectively. And it’s crowned with the two […]

Photo of St Barnabas Church, Bromborough

Filling in the Gaps: the Neolithic and Bronze Age at Mark Rake, Bromborough

| Leave a Comment

This is part of a series of posts based on the talks given at the Recent Developments in Merseyside Archaeology conference. It was held on the 13th October 2018, and took place at the Museum of Liverpool. Mark Adams of RSK Consulting spoke about his site at Mark Rake in Bromborough. The article was updated […]

To top