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 […]

S. Mary’s Well, Allerton

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From The Ancient Crosses of Lancashire by Henry Taylor: This holy well is referred to in the following terms in the Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey:- Grant in frankalmoign from Robert, son of Richard de Allerton, to God and St. Werburgh of Warburton and the canons there with the consent of Gilbert, son of Robert de […]

Walton-on-the-Hill Village Cross and Stocks

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From The Ancient Crosses of Lancashire by Henry Taylor: In the Binns Collection, vol. ii., p. 26, an illustration is given of this structure, consisting of a classical pillar carried on three steps. Adjoining it are the stocks, so arranged that the culprits sit on the bottom step. The pillar may have carried a sun-dial, […]

Wavertree Cross and Well

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From The Ancient Crosses of Lancashire by Henry Taylor: Considerable doubt exists as to the history of this structure. Three views of it are given in the Binns Collection in the Liverpool Free Library; two of them are practically identical, showing an Early Gothic arched recess in a wall, below which is a well square […]

Walton-on-the-Hill Churchyard Cross

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From The Ancient Crosses of Lancashire by Henry Taylor: The pedestal of this cross was dug up by the  gravedigger a few years ago and has been left above ground in the churchyard. It is of rough stone and much time-worn. The stone measures five feet square at the base, is two feet thick, and […]

Roby Cross

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From The Ancient Crosses of Lancashire by Henry Taylor: The site is on the southerly side of the road, between Liverpool and Prescot, distant three miles in a south-westerly direction from the latter town. The remains consist of a portion of the shaft, four feet six inches in height and twelve inches square, socketted into […]

The Chantry Well, Huyton

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From The Ancient Crosses of Lancashire by Henry Taylor: These words occur on the 1848 six-inch ordnance map close to some old cottages, about one hundred yards to the north of the church. They have recently been pulled down. The well, when I saw it (in April, 1900), was a walled-in dipping well, on 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 […]

Mr. John Dewsnap and the teaching of history

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On the morning of 14th February 2013, the funeral of Mr. John Dewsnap took place. He was my teacher in year 6 of primary school at Blackmoor Park in West Derby (c.1992-3), and was an inspiration. It might not be too far fetched to say that, if not for him, you might not be reading […]

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 […]

Photo of Formby Point, to the west of Lunt Meadows

Lunt Meadows Mesolithic settlement

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Ron Cowell of the Museum of Liverpool discovered a Mesolithic settlement at Lunt Meadows in 2012. Ron had been leading an excavation there on behalf of the Environment Agency. Archaeologists analysed the stone tools from the site, as well as the layers of soil from which the tools were extracted. The results showed that the […]

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 […]

Extract from an 1885 map of Liverpool by Bacon

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 […]

Photograph of the Blue Plaque dedicated to Jesse Hartley

Liverpool Heroes 4: Jesse Hartley

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Continuing our look at the men and women who have had the greatest impact on the Liverpool landscape, this time we examine the work of Jesse Hartley, dock engineer. Jesse Hartley (1780-1860) is best known as the architect of the Albert Dock. But this was just one of his achievements as Civil Engineer and Superintendent […]

Extract from a 1950s Ordnance Survey map of Liverpool, with the location of Williamson's Tunnels outlined

Joseph Williamson’s Tunnels

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Joseph Williamson’s Tunnels are the maze-like remains of excavations under Edge Hill. They are the work of Joseph Williamson under the streets of east central Liverpool, constructed in the early part of the 19th Century. Williamson had bought land on Mason Street on which to build houses. He employed a number of men to dig […]

Shirdley Hill Sand, Sefton Coast

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Wind dropped Shirdley Hill Sand across a vast swathe of land in the millennia since the last glaciation. The sand lies along the Sefton Coast several kilometres inland, and has created dunes up to 75m (246ft) tall. The sandy Sefton coast has attracted humans for centuries. The beaches on this coast are the location of […]

Photograph of Liverpool taken from an aeroplane

Merseyside Uplands

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The Merseyside Uplands include the higher ground to the east of Croxteth, and strips at Mossley Hill and elsewhere. They have had an important influence on Merseyside and Liverpool throughout the region’s history. During the last ice age, glaciers drove in from the north west and moved south towards the Midlands. As they did so, […]

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