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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 …

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Old drawing of tygs, three handles cups

Rainford Prized Pots

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. This session was slightly different, in that as well as a talk, Jeff Speakman showed attendees pottery excavated …

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Community Archaeology in Merseyside – sieving through our past

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. This talk was given by Vanessa Oakden, now Curator of Regional & Community Archaeology at the Museum of …

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Artillery being fired at Fort Crosby, 1 August 1940, with soldiers standing by

Fort Crosby: protecting the Mersey coast

The following post about Fort Crosby is based on a talk Alison Burns gave at the Recent Developments in Merseyside Archaeology conference, held in the Museum of Liverpool on 13th October 2018. Alison has also written about the Formby footprints (see the previous link for details). New research is shedding light on a piece of …

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Photograph of Lunt Meadows nature reserve, Sefton, Lancashire

Lunt Meadows – update on the Mesolithic site

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. It’s based on a talk given by Ron Cowell, who has excavated at Lunt Meadows for a few …

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Photograph of entrance to Kazimier's pub garden

Breathing Spaces, or A Sense of Placed

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 …

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Book cover of Liverpool, by Hugh Hollinghurst

Liverpool: unique images from the archive of Historic England

Historic England are the government’s adviser on the historic environment, so they have a duty to encourage the enjoyment of England’s history. Part of this remit is to manage the Historic England Archive, from which a new series of books takes its content. The volume I review here is, you’ll be shocked to learn, Liverpool. …

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

The City and the City and the Liverpool Landscape

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 …

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Photograph of Hale Lighthouse, where Hale Ford once crossed the Mersey

Hale Ford

Hale township occupies a spot at the widest part of the River Mersey. Because of this the water slows down significantly. So much so that, at times in the past, a sandbank could once be seen to poke above the level of the water. This, the so-called Hale Ford, was an important crossing point of …

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

Hale Lighthouse

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. …

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Engraving of Hale Hall by Neal, 1824

Hale Hall

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 …

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Allerton Hall

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 …

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Illustration from the 1938 discovery of a possible Viking boat at Meols

Viking boat at Meols

In 2007, Professor Stephen Harding and a team of archaeologists from the University of Nottingham brought attention to a possible Viking boat buried under the car park at the Railway Inn, Meols. In 1938, workmen laying the car park first spotted the remains. But with the risk that an archaeological dig would delay building work, …

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Photograph of an Albright and Wilson Self-Igniting Phosphorous grenade

World War II Grenades found in Kirkby

In 2009, workmen discovered twenty Second World War grenades in Ruffwood Drive, Kirkby, while digging foundations. Police carried out controlled explosions on the grenades. The AW Bombs (manufactured by Albright and Wilson) were too unstable to move, and were originally designed to explode on impact. Later in the week, another two A.W. grenades were found …

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Cover of Beatles Landmarks book

The Beatles’ Landmarks in Liverpool, by Daniel K. Longman

A lot of local history revolves around nostalgia: people’s memories of 50 years ago are filled with family, friends, making-do and getting by, as well as reconnecting with old communities on new digital forums (including this one!). Being a mere whippersnapper, I’m not often caught up in this, with a couple of exceptions. I grew …

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A traveller to the Pool

The town grew up around a ‘dark pool’, from which is took its name. The pool flowed into a wide river which would one day be famous across the globe, almost synonymous with the town. The river in turn empties into the Irish Sea, for a long time an important trading route both east-west and …

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Ridge and Furrow, Medieval farming remains in West Derby

Ridge and Furrow formations are possibly one of the best-known archaeological features which survive into the modern day. You can see these long, sinuous raises beds of earth across Britain. They survive particularly well in Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Derbyshire, as well as in other counties. The remains of this farming technique are visible in two …

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Photograph of the dragon slide at the International Garden Festival, Liverpool, 1984

Liverpool in 1984: first hand history

Ever had that feeling where you wish someone at the time had taken photos? Imagine the Victorian wealth of knowledge we’d have if even more people had hopped on the photography bandwagon! And sometimes, don’t you wish you’d taken more photos? This local history lark, perhaps without me realising it, has become centred around collecting …

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Photograph of the Oratory at Liveprool Anglical Cathedral

Accents, buses and lost architecture

I’ve got another bunch of links for you today. I’m still catching up with my saved sites, so some of these pages have been around a while. Even if you’ve seen them before, I hope you enjoy revisiting them again now! Map of Williamson Tunnels The Williamson Tunnels team are local history heroes. The bunch …

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Yeoman’s House, West Derby Village

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 …

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Paton Street Aerial cropped

Paton Street, Kirkdale, in aerial photos and maps

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 …

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Rail remains of Liverpool Riverside Station

Following the curve of Princes Parade, on the north west side of Princes Dock, are a set of rails which are one of the few clues left to the presence of Liverpool Riverside Station. Today the rails might look odd, as they are constructed like a tramway’s, with heavy stone setts bringing the level of …

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Photograph of South Parkside Drive, Liverpool

Parkside Drive – a West Derby bypass?

Plans were once put together to make West Derby a more peaceful village. Only a few clues now remain to those plans. Martin’s Note: I’m indebted to the West Derby Society again for revealing this feature to me, in a post on their Facebook page back in December 2015. Having been a political centre for …

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