Hidden History

Cobbles and cottages on Fisher Street

In early 2020 a Twitter user by the name of PhoenixME (@Phoenix1270) got in touch to ask about the ‘Forgotten Street’ (as they put it).

This led to a very interesting little journey to discover a road that is blocked off at one end by a gate, and at the other by buildings. But Fisher Street, to call it by its official name, once ran all the way from Grafton Street (the gated end) to Caryl Street (the building-blocked end).

It’s particular history has led to it preserving both the cobbled street (in impressive quality) and a couple of cottages. PhoenixME, who works at the site, has seen a fireplace with original hearth tiles, while another Twitter user, OldLiverpoolRailways (@ORailways) showed, through aerial photos, the two cottages themselves.

Old maps of the area also show that Fisher Street itself was once lined with court houses, notoriously small and unsanitary dwellings that thousands of Liverpudlians lived in during Victoria’s reign.

OS 1:500 town plan (left) and the modern aerial view of Fisher Street (click for larger version) eproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

I can see the problem, because there’s little on the street that falls within the usual legal protection. There is no listing law for cobbled streets! And the cottages, while interesting survivors, won’t likely meet the architectural demands of the listing system.

It’s in a part of town which has long had industries around it like the Higson’s brewery building over the road, and the steel manufacturers which front onto Grafton Street on the corner with Fisher Street. As such it might not be there for much longer, and PhoenixME themselves worry that there’s little to protect it. Taller buildings are encroaching on all sides already.

Hopefully it will survive as a small business premises for some time to come!

You can see the layout of the street on my Old Streets of Liverpool map.

My thanks go to PhoenixME for highlighting this fascinating slice of of residences, and for ORailways for contributing too.

2 Comments on “Cobbles and cottages on Fisher Street”

  • Philip Leather


    My great grandmother, Mary Brown, was born in Court No. 6 Fisher Street in 1844, so many thanks for posting this photo. What an incredibly narrow street this is, yet from the OS town plan it looks as if there were once courts off both sides. Searching FindMyPast for people living in Fisher Street comes up with ninety-seven households in the 1841 Census. The parallel street to the north, later renamed Brindley Street, was called Bell Street in 1841 and had sixty-four households. I once made a list of the various industrial processes taking place within a quarter of a mile of Fisher Street (today nothing of the docks just along the road) and these were some pretty horrible things going on, I am amazed though relieved that my great grandmother even survived…..

    Would it be Ok to copy the photo to send to relatives and put on my family history website (a non-commercial, in fact heavily loss-making enterprise)? A Flickr user called Philip Mayer (easily found by searching) has another photo, this time without the railings. I see from Google that the march of ghastly new apartments had reached Brindley Street a couple of years ago. Sadly it will presumably swallow up Fisher Street soon.


    • Hi Philip,

      Yes, please feel free to use whatever you’d like. Everything on this website (unless otherwise stated) is released under a Creative Commons license, so the only condition is to mention the source. Something like ‘Courtesy of Historic Liverpool’ with a link to the page (perhaps with Historic Liverpool being the link text).

      Best wishes,


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