Parkgate, Wirral

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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 […]

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

Five postcards from Georgian Liverpool

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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 Prince's Dock, Liverpool, looking north

Postcards from Edwardian Liverpool

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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 […]

Photograph of entrance to Kazimier's pub garden

Breathing Spaces, or A Sense of Placed

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My interest in landscape is not just restricted to history and archaeology. I’m just as interested in the modern urban landscape (of Liverpool in the case of this blog), because it’s the product of everything that went before. Archaeologists recognise the ‘layers’ of landscape development as truly as they see the ordered layers in the […]

Photo of St George's Hall, Liverpool, with CGI enhancements

The City and the City and the Liverpool Landscape

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This website is all about the historic landscape. It’s about how the landscape shapes what happens in the city, and it’s about the landscapes that we invent by living in it. Just think of the ‘Knowledge Quarter’ and the ‘Cavern Quarter’. Though they’re sickly marketing-gimmick names they do acknowledge some of the character that certain […]

Paton Street, Kirkdale, in aerial photos and maps

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A question came in back in October 2016, looking for information on Paton Street in Kirkdale. I couldn’t find out any information on this myself, as there were few clues. However, Phil D came to the rescue recently with some aerial photos (truly a rarity!) and some maps to locate ourselves with. Go to the […]

Plan of Port Sunlight from 1914

Port Sunlight: traces of nature in the man-made landscape

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Port Sunlight is a classic and easy-to-read ‘landscape’, in the sense that word is used on this site: it was created in one quick phase, for one purpose, obliterating everything that came before it. And what’s more, it’s seems to have changed little since it was created. Or is that really the case? William Hesketh […]

Aerial view of Croxteth Hall, taken in 1954

Croxteth Park from the air

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Having written about Liverpool history for a while now, I’m lucky enough to be copied in to a lot of interesting tid-bits of the city’s past. This happened recently when Croxteth Park’s Twitter account posted several aerial shots from the middle of the last century. I’d like to share them with you here. The first […]

Liverpool’s Largest Landscape: Western Approaches

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This site often talks about the role played by Liverpool’s geography throughout history. From the location of the ancient Calderstones (wherever that might have been) to the collection of banking institutions on Castle Street, Liverpool Landscapes, Historic Liverpool and the book Liverpool: a landscape history have tried to communicate the importance of positioning to the […]

Alder Hey and the Remains of War

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Those of you trying to drive past Sainsbury’s on East Prescot Road in West Derby back in March 2013 may have found themselves diverted around a police bomb squad. A suspected hand grenade was discovered in Springfield Park as work began on the new Alder Hey hospital. There are conflicting reports as to whether this […]

Stanley Park, landscape of leisure

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North Liverpool is an area that I’ve become much more interested in since I started Historic Liverpool. It’s seen such changes in its time, and been home to every part of Liverpool society. Stanley Park’s a great subject for closer inspection, especially as it’s become something of a metaphor for one of the passionate divides […]

Bootle: seaside village

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This map is taken from a detailed one from the Illustrated Globe Encyclopedia printed in 1878. The point of interest I’m drawing your attention to is Bootle. In 1878, and also visible on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map of the area, the village of Bootle sits alone to the north of Liverpool. The docks […]

Liverpool’s Electric Tramway

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This article all about transport: roads, rail and that in-between technology, trams. Like a lot of Liverpool’s landscape, the trams were both pioneering and behind the times. The first Act of Parliament was granted in 1868, and Liverpool was the first city to be granted such an Act, and yet Liverpool stuck with trams when […]

An 1885 map showing Liverpool's north docks

Waterloo, Victoria and Trafalgar Docks: Liverpool at the forefront of dock technology

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When reading about Liverpool’s ever-expanding dockland landscape, you can’t help but be drawn into the technological advances. These too helped create the dock landscape we see today. The map here is of the northern docklands, specifically Waterloo (1824), Victoria and Trafalgar (both 1836). They were built at the beginning of the age of steam ships […]

Toxteth – Some distant childhood memories.

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The following article is a bit of a departure from the normal round of news or analysis. I was approached by Derek Tunnington who was born in Leeds but grew up in Toxteth, and has many memories of his childhood in Liverpool. What follows is his account of those years. Over to Derek… Toxteth – […]

Detail of Penny Lane Anglican Church 2, by dkwonsh via Flickr

Churches, and Rural Landscapes in Urban Liverpool

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This article was inspired by Celia Heritage’s article on parish churches. Her love of churches, in terms of history, began through researching family history and looking for ancestors’ gravestones. What to look out for in a parish church What to Look Out For in a Parish Church is the first article on the revamped Celia’s […]

Photograph of the monument to Edward VII outside the Museum of Liverpool

7 ways in which Liverpool *is* the Museum of Liverpool

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The ‘Museum of Liverpool‘ is a very fitting name, because this is a museum about the city, and about the people. It’s the largest national museum dedicated to a city in over a century, and opened in a year when the M Shed in Bristol, the Cardiff Story, and Glasgow’s Riverside Museum Project bring similar […]

Photograph of St. James's Church, Toxteth, by SPDP

Toxteth – redressing the balance

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July 2011 marked 30 years since the violence in Toxteth which would hang a cloud over the suburb of Liverpool for decades, at least in the eyes of the public at large. It came to symbolise the economic problems of early 1980s Liverpool, and helped cement the stereotype of inner city, unemployed Scousers which probably […]

A photo of early morning sun among the woodland of Sefton park, Liverpool.

Woodland on Merseyside and the Mersey Forest

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The year 2011 was declared as the International Year of Forests by the UN (see the Echo for some of Liverpool’s plans). The very modern Mersey Forest has seen 8 million new trees planted since 1994. But there’s a much longer and fascinating history of woodland and forest in this area. The origins of the […]

The British Side of Liverpool Cosmopolitanism

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Amongst the many things Liverpool is famous for, its long-held cosmopolitan nature is probably one of those which Scousers are less annoyed at being reminded of. Liverpool’s long history of being a world port, along with its notorious role in the African slave trade have perhaps more than any other factors stamped their effects on […]

Madryn Street, in a map from 1890

Madryn Street: Ringo’s Birthplace and the Welsh Streets

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The childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney are massively popular tourist attractions. George Harrison’s and Ringo’s homes (like 9 Madryn Street) don’t get so much as a blue plaque. But is Ringo’s birthplace really of any historical merit? It depends on how you judge it, of course. Ringo only lived there for 5 […]

Map of Knott's Hole, from the Ordnance Survey Edition of 1908

Knott’s Hole and the Garden Festival Site

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The former site of Liverpool’s historic Garden Festival saw the latest phase of its history in 2010, when work got under way to restore the parkland and kick-restart the building of flats on the site. But the site started life as Knott’s Hole, a little square bay surrounded by cliffs. Knott’s Hole was a real […]

Liverpool ‘one of the earliest seaside resorts’

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In 2008, researchers from the University of Liverpool found diary references to ‘bathing wagons’ and other leisure activities taking place in the growing town from as long ago as the 1750s, much earlier than other local towns like Blackpool and Southport became popular destinations. Once Liverpool began to expand at a massive rate in the […]

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