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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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Photograph of Speke Hall, Liverpool

Speke Hall and the Speke Estate

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, …

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Clarke Gardens Pillbox

Clarke Gardens Pillbox, Allerton

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 …

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Photograph of the surviving Calderstones

Calder Stones

The Calder Stones name refers these days to a group of six megaliths which stand in a greenhouse have a new home in Calderstones Park. These are the remains of a Neolithic burial chamber which once stood on the edge of the Harthill estate. The Harthill Estate later became Calderstones Park. Before they were placed …

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Blackburne Place ventilation shaft and the Wapping Tunnel

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 …

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Robin Hood’s Stone

Robin Hood’s Stone (or the Robin Hood Stone) is a Neolithic or Bronze Age standing stone currently to be found within a set of railings on the corner of Booker Avenue and Archerfield Road. It originally stood to the north east in the middle of a field known as Stone Hey, but was moved when …

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Photograph taken from on top of Cmap Hill, Woolton, Liverpool

Camp Hill Iron Age enclosure, Woolton

In the woods above Woolton lie mysterious remains, amounting to little more than some dry stone walls, in a location reputed to have once held so much more. Camp Hill is a name which suggests a settlement, if only temporary, with perhaps a military usage, and for years it has been assumed that the site …

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Teagle (crane) at 11 Dale Street

In the Victorian period Liverpool was Britain’s second greatest port. So there are hundreds of remnants of Liverpool’s trading golden age dotted around the landscape. We’re all familiar with the scores of warehouses, docks and the odd road bridge seen around town. But there are also tiny details which have survived and which give clues …

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Everton Beacon

Liverpool has always been a trading port, and so it’s no surprise that features have come and gone in the landscape which sought to make this as easy and safe as possible. Everton Beacon was one such feature, and took advantage of the natural rise in the ground to the north of Liverpool’s centre. All …

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Springfield Park, Prescot Road entrance

Knotty Ash Village, and Springfield Park, are part of a historic area. They’re on the edge of West Derby and also on the main route between Liverpool and Prescot, and then on to Manchester. The old mail coaches would have flown past in their day, and the tram routes have left their mark in turn. …

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Photo of the dock railway at Hartley Quay

Hartley Quay Dock Railway

The dock railway was built in Liverpool to solve a challenge which other cities did not face. With dock expansion, ships were docking further and further from the central business district. Places like Manchester and Bristol stood astride their rivers, and twice the mileage of docks fit in each mile of river than in Liverpool. …

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Sanctuary Stone, Castle Street

All sorts of stories are associated with the Sanctuary Stone. Its name conjures up anything from slave-related scenes to cheeky apple snatching medieval urchins. You might never see the same story told twice. The Sanctuary Stone sits on Castle Street in the centre of Liverpool. Of greater certainty is that it marked one of the …

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Candles, Carts & Carbolic: A Liverpool childhood between the wars

Is this the best Liverpool memoir? It’s certainly different to all the rest. There are plenty of memoirs and autobiographies written by people who lived through some of Liverpool’s darkest days (or, at least, they lived in Liverpool’s darkest areas – not many memoirs by the Victorian gentry). Some are semi-fictionalised, like Her Benny, and …

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Who’d be a Scouser?

Are you proud to be a Scouser? Are you relieved not to be a Scouser? Which is right? I’ve recently started reading Candles, Carts & Carbolic: a Liverpool childhood between the Wars by J. Callaghan, which is rapidly becoming my favourite out of the many first hand memoirs of living in Liverpool in the last …

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Road sign labelled George's Dock Gates

George’s Dock Gates road sign

Liverpool, as a city, is master of reinventing itself. It re-uses parts of its landscape when priorities (and economics) change. The Pier Head area in general has seen many, many changes. The filling of the Pool, and the creation of the first wet dock, is perhaps the most significant. The road sign declaring George’s Dock …

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Medieval Merseyside

Once the Romans left British shores, we start to see evidence of British and, later, Scandinavian settlements leaving traces in the historical and archaeological records. Modern place names are the most frequent scraps of evidence for the medieval landscape, and we can use them to map the settlements of both ‘native’ and incoming people. The …

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Romano-British Merseyside

Finds from Meols demonstrate that trade contacts extended as far as the Mediterranean, with Roman, French and Carthaginian artefacts all making their way to north west Britain. However, extensive Romanisation simply did not occur – items from the Roman Empire may have been used by the Iron Age Britons, but Roman culture found only part …

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Bronze Age Merseyside

In the Bronze Age, the climate on Merseyside deteriorated, sea levels rose, and sand and shingle ridges formed on the coast, now visible up to a kilometre (0.6 miles) inland. Some small-scale farming may have taken place, but people generally still led mobile existences. Bronze Age settlement sites in Manchester and the Pennines raise the …

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Neolithic Merseyside

Something of a ‘ritual landscape’ can be glimpsed in the locations of the Calder Stones – a former burial chamber – along with the Pikeloo Hill, the Rodger Stone and Robin Hood’s Stone. Only the first and last of these survive in any form, and away from their original position. However, the area (now Allerton) …

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Mesolithic Merseyside

With a variety of Mesolithic sites on Merseyside, ranging from flint scatters at Tarbock and Crosby, and Mesolithic settlements in Ditton Brook and Sefton, we’re left with the suggestion that the Mesolithic landscape consisted of a series of human settlements along the coast. The settlements would have been visited regularly – perhaps seasonally – and …

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Huyton Village Cross

From The Ancient Crosses of Lancashire by Henry Taylor: The church (dedicated to S. Michael) is of ancient foundation. The ornamentation of the font testifies to the pre-Norman date of the edifice. A handsome cross was erected on the village green, near the south-west corner of the churchyard in the jubilee year, 1897. It replaced …

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Garston Churchyard Cross

From The Ancient Crosses of Lancashire by Henry Taylor: Mr. Cox writes (in 1888): “The base of the churchyard cross still lies opposite the site of the old south porch.” There is, however, some doubt whether this stone is the base of the cross, or the base of a column of the nave arcade of …

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Knotty Cross

From The Ancient Crosses of Lancashire by Henry Taylor: These words occur on the six-inch ordnance map at the intersection of roads one-third of a mile south-east from the centre of Gateacre village and about half a mile in a north-easterly direction from Much Woolton Church.

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