Friday, 22 July 2016

The Hidden Village of Wavertree

Wavertree is now a suburb of Liverpool, but was once a village in its own right, being the location of the Liverpool Hunt, a well, elegant townhouses, an 18th century lock-up and a lost windmill. The Liverpool Hunt once met at the Coffee House in Wavertree, one of its famous members being Joseph Williamson, who according to Stonehouse, attended the Hunt on his wedding day in December 1802. Monks Well no longer supplies water but the cross can be seen along with a 15th century inscription on the monument: Qui non dat quod habet, Dæmon infra vide 1414, which roughly transcribes 'He who here does nought bestow, The Devil laughs at him below'. This is based on the belief that travellers should give alms on drinking the water, if they did not, a devil who was believed to be chained at the bottom, laughed. Here are a few of the photos taken on a history walk that reveals the amount of rich history and archaeology that still remains in Wavertree.

On Waterloo Street at the side of the Coffee House can be seen the remains of what looks like a sandstone cottage, with bricked-up windows and a doorway. The sandstone looks of mixed quality, and though the name of the street is commemorating the battle of 1815, this dwelling looks far older.
One of Wavertree's 'oddities', a sandstone block in a wall revealing four horseshoes, situated on the corner of Thingwall Road and Childwall Road. Probably a stone that once was part of a Blacksmith's.
Monks Well in Wavertree, with its 15th century inscription. The well head is now dry.
The village lock-up, dating from 1796. It was used to lock up drunks, but during the Irish famine in the 1840s, it housed travellers and Irish families. Local architect James Picton gave the building a revamp, adding the roof.
The horse mounting steps, well worn from years of use, situated across the road from Holy Trinity Church. Dating from the late 18th century.
Mill Cottage, probably dating from the late 18th century. This can be found just off Woolton Road, down a driveway that leads to an entry. Through the entry brings you to what used to be the location of the windmill, which sat at the top of a hill, overlooking what is now Wavertree Green. The yellowish sandstone common to Wavertree can be seen in the exposed bedrock opposite Mill Cottage. A nearby road off Woolton Road has the name Tor View Road, which is perhaps a memory that the hill may have been referred to as a Tor.
When you come through the alleyway, in the front garden of the corner house on the left, lies a circular brickwork which was the base of the windmill. In the centre of the feature is the millstone.
This is what the windmill looked like, c.1909, before it was demolished to make way for development.
One of the decorative 19th century gravestones in the Church yard of Holy Trinity, that of JP Spencer James Steers. Wavertree was a village that attracted the merchant and upper-classes, as the surviving fine townhouses of the High Street and environs testify.
The grave stone of the first Consul of the German Empire in Holy Trinity Church yard.

The Coffee House on Church Road in Wavertree, dating to the late eighteenth century. It was the meeting place for the Liverpool Hunt, and as a Coffee House, would have been a centre for the wealthy of the village, who would have met to discuss business, politics and would have had a ready supply of newspapers and pamphlets.

All photos taken with permission by Dr David Harrison.

© Dr David Harrison 2016

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