Photograph of the Liverpool Castle Reconstruction, Rivington, Lancashire

Liverpool Castle

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 …

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Engraving of Woolt Hall, Liverpool, by JP Neale

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 …

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Woolton Old School

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 …

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West Derby Castle

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, …

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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 …

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West Derby Courthouse

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 …

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West Derby Chapel

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 …

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Photograph of a pipe at Hale Duck Decoy

Hale Duck Decoy

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, …

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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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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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