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

Hartley Huts, Albert Dock

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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 […]

Photograph of the Liverpool Castle Reconstruction, Rivington, Lancashire

Liverpool Castle

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]

Photograph of Hale Lighthouse, likely taken in the early 20th century

Hale Lighthouse

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The River Mersey at Hale Point can be dangerous, as the Hale Ford demonstrates. Conditions change with each tide, and formerly dry land can become swift and deep channels. The opposite is also true: hidden sandbanks can put paid to river trips heading to the manufacturing towns inland or the globally connected docks at Liverpool. […]

Engraving of Hale Hall by Neal, 1824

Hale Hall

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Hale Hall was a quadrangular building, begun in the early 17th century, built of local stone with a red shale driveway. It was altered near the end of the century, and in 1806 John Blackburn added a large south front. This now matched and balanced the existing north front. John also added a lodge to […]

Allerton Hall

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Perhaps the most significant of the merchant houses in the history of Allerton is Allerton Hall itself. The wealthy Lathom family built the first house on the site back in the reign of James I. They held the lands of the estate from the 15th to the 17th century, but had them taken from them […]

Yeoman’s House, West Derby Village

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The ‘Yeoman’s House’ (as it is known locally) dates from the 1580s, so is a cherished historical feature in the village of West Derby. Others include the similarly-aged courthouse across the road. The stocks to one side, and the beautiful red brick cottages around the entrance to Croxteth Park add to the historic landscape. That’s […]

Photograph of Speke Hall, Liverpool

Speke Hall and the Speke Estate

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Speke Hall is one of the most famous historical features on Merseyside. Its distinctive black and white appearance, highlighting its amazing timber structure, make it a memorable sight for visitors. Speke Estate is centred on Speke Hall, and although much of that estate has been cut off from the Hall in the last 100 years, […]

Clarke Gardens Pillbox

Clarke Gardens Pillbox, Allerton

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There is an octagonal pillbox in the grounds of Allerton Hall, seemingly ‘defending’ Springwood Avenue from an invisible army. While many no doubt pass it day to day without a second thought, a lot of people are puzzled as to why a pillbox is so far inland, and what feature of any importance is being […]

Blackburne Place ventilation shaft and the Wapping Tunnel

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This red brick and sandstone tower on Blackburne Place is a beautiful ventilation shaft for a railway which once ran beneath it, and could be seen as representing the tunnel and railway in a nutshell. The tunnel itself, Wapping Tunnel, is partly bored through the local natural sandstone, with brick lining above, mirroring the architecture […]

Extract from the 1890 Ordnance Survey Map of Edge Hill, Liverpool

Edge Hill – the First Ever Passenger Station

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Edge Hill has had two stations. The earlier of these was the first passenger station in the world, along with Liverpool Street in Manchester. The first of the two stations opened in 1830, and sat in a sandstone cutting with three tunnels at one end. The passenger terminal at Crown Street lay at the end […]

Photograph of Lewis's department store, Liverpool

Lewis’s Department Store

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David Lewis founded a small shop selling men’s and boy’s clothing in 1856. The sale of women’s clothes began in 1864, and by the 1870s Lewis’s Department Store was in full swing. There were sections for shoes and tobacco in addition to clothing. Branches were opened in other cities, beginning with Manchester in 1877. Birmingham, […]

Early 20th century plan of Liverpool Castle

Liverpool Castle, and Leverhulme’s reconstruction

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The Liverpool corporation pulled down Liverpool Castle itself in 1715 and built St George’s Church in its place. However in 1895 E.W. Cox drew a reconstruction for the Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire. In the first decade of the 20th Century the first Viscount Leverhulme built a reconstruction of the ruins of the castle […]

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