Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Training Ship HMS Clio

Digital photo of the Clio from the Liverpool Arms, Beaumaris, Anglesey
HMS Clio was a training ship moored in the Menai Straits, off Bangor in North Wales, a ship that could accommodate up to 260 young lads who had been convicted of petty crime. The ship was built at Sheerness Dockyard and was launched in 1858, and was used as the Australian flag ship between 1870 and 1873. From 1876, the Clio was used as a training ship. The idea was to have a kind of 'floating borstal' while at the same time, instilling discipline and training young lads in the hope that they would be inspired to enter into the Navy. However, life was harsh and there were reports of bullying, harsh punishments and poor living conditions. There is evidence that some parents and guardians of the children also had to pay for their upkeep aboard the ship. There are a number of graves for over thirty young boys between the ages of 12 and 15 who died on the ship in Llandegfan church yard on Anglesey. The ship was scrapped and broken up in 1919.

Here is a list of the boys that died on the Clio, followed by a number of photographs of the HMS Clio graves at Llandegfan church yard:

  • John Butler, died 1914/15 aged 13
  • Robert Edward Chittin, died 1887 aged 14
  • William Crook (or Crookes), died 1906 aged 13. Of Bury, Lancashire.
  • James Cunliff, died 1890 aged 15
  • Thomas Cutler, died 1908 aged 13
  • Frank Alfred Davey, died 1915 aged 12
  • George Dawson, died 1891 aged 13
  • George Joseph Dean, died 1916 aged 12
  • Samuel Gill, died 1883 aged 14
  • William Green , died 1917 aged 13
  • Samuel Evans, died 1902 aged 15
  • John Healy, died 1880, aged 13, after falling from the ship’s rigging.
  • Norman Heaps, died 1918 aged 14
  • Alfred Hector, died 1890 aged 15
  • James Hennett (or Hemmett), died 1878 aged 12. Of Manchester. Fell to his death after climbing a mast for training.
  • Samuel Holmes, died 1916 aged 13
  • Arthur Ingram, died 1918 aged 13
  • Richard Jones, died 1901 aged 15
  • Thomas Jones, died 1883 aged 14
  • George Juckey, died 1880 aged 14
  • William Keith, died 1918 aged 14
  • James Longworth, died 1892 aged 13
  • Charles Matthew Mace, died 1893 aged 14
  • Frederick Macormick, died 1905/6 aged 14
  • George Matthew Mann, drowned 1893. Of Warrington. His body was discovered at Y Felinheli (then known as Port Dinorwic).
  • William Marsden, died 1908 aged 14
  • James Naylor, died 1902 aged 15
  • Herbert Roberts, died 1902 aged 13
  • John Price Roberts, died 1917 aged 14
  • Walter Shaw, died 1915 aged 12
  • J Thomas, died 1882
  • Frederick Ward, died 1888 aged 14
  • Joseph Welby, died 1914 aged 15
  • John Alfred Welling, died 1908 aged 12

All photos  taken with permission by Dr David Harrison unless otherwise stated.

© Dr David Harrison 2016


Friday, 26 August 2016

St. Elphin's Church, Warrington; Graves and Historical Graffiti

We think of graffiti as a modern phenomena, but it has been around for thousands of years, the desire to let the world know you have been at a certain place by etching your name on a building or an object being too overwhelming for some. Here are some photos of historical graffiti on St. Elphin's Church in Warrington, a church mentioned by the Domesday Book of 1086. There are stone mason's marks on some of the medieval stone, and what appear to be practice etchings (professional looking letters and numbers), while some are just blatant eighteenth and nineteenth century vandalism. Included are some rather interesting modern examples.

Also included are some interesting grave stones that can be found in the church yard. There are a fine collection of Masonic grave stones and graves that reveal symbols of mortality; skulls, hourglasses, scythes, and Angels of death. The graves presented here are just a small of selection of what can be found.


'A.E.R.O. 1941'

'J.J' and what could be 1936.

'A.G' The rest of the lettering and possibly numbers are weathered.

'J.R' on the south side of the church, situated near a shot mark, which probably dates from the Civil War.

'J.J' again.

Another shot mark in the south wall. Probably from the Civil War. This is the oldest part of the church.

An eighteenth century grave stone showing symbols of mortality.

Another selection of symbols of mortality.

A grave stone of the Molyneux family.

Masonic grave stone of Charles Wainright. He may have been a member of a lodge under the Grand Lodge of Wigan.

The Masonic grave stone of William Hunt M.D. Hunt was a member of the Lodge of Lights in Warrington.

All photos by Dr David Harrison

© Dr David Harrison 2016

Thursday, 18 August 2016

St Michael's in the Hamlet, Liverpool

St Michael in the Hamlet was the second church built by John Cragg and Thomas Rickman; after completing St George’s in Everton, they proceeded with the construction of this second ‘cast iron’ church, which was completed in 1816. Cragg apparently shipped the cast iron fittings up the Mersey from his foundry in Tithebarn Street to the shore at the bottom of the ‘Hamlet’, providing the name the Cast Iron Shore or the ‘Cazzy’ as it is sometimes known as – at least that’s one of the theories.

Cragg and Rickman used the same ‘flat-pack’ technique on this church as they did on St George’s; with cast iron pillars, arches, window fittings and even the cast iron fire-surrounds. One notable difference is that with St Michael’s they used brick as opposed to the sandstone of St George’s, though both churches are Gothic in design. Cragg also designed a number of houses in the ‘Hamlet’, creating a model-like village; the houses having Gothic windows and cast iron porches, the whitewashed houses and stables providing an eccentric look to the area. His own house was Hollybank which backs onto the churchyard, and other houses included The Cloisters, The Friars and The Nunnery, all names that remind us of Cragg’s fascination with Gothic religious architecture.

The churchyard also includes some interesting graves; a monument to Robert Gladstone can be found as well as a gravestone for the Herculaneum Potter, indicating that the Church was attracting the affluent industrialists and merchant classes of Liverpool.
The cast iron 'skeleton' inside the Church, retaining the Gothic quality of Cragg's vision.

The Monument to Robert Gladstone in the churchyard.

The 'round house' at the back of Cragg's house Hollybank.
The stables for Hollybank - now a house. The outline of the old arched entrance can still be seen, now bricked up. The stables was used by the congregation of the new St Michael's.

A symbol of a white bird on a Cragg style house.

All photos by Dr David Harrison

© Dr David Harrison 2016

Friday, 5 August 2016

St George’s Church Everton; the first cast iron church

St George’s Church in Everton was built in 1814 and became the first church in the world to use cast iron as a major building material in its construction. The land was donated by wealthy merchant James Atherton (the man who was behind the development of New Brighton as a holiday resort on the Wirral), the church was designed by architect Thomas Rickman and it was built by the Liverpool Iron founder John Cragg. The Gothic style church is built with local sandstone, but the inner ‘skeleton’ framework was constructed of cast iron; the pillars, the window frames, and the ceiling structure is all from Cragg’s foundry, which was based in Tithebarn Street. In essence, the church was the first ‘flat-pack’ building, and many churches like this followed; in Liverpool with St Michael’s in the Hamlet and St Philips (which is now demolished) and churches in Australia were constructed in a similar way using cast iron.

The use of iron was symbolic at the time as it represented the industrial development of Great Britain; iron embodying the might of industry and indeed, the might of the nation. It was a new innovative architectural style and a Liverpool first, something that also represented the Liverpool inventive attitude, especially in architecture with men like Peter Ellis and James Picton.

Everton was once a village, and one of the oldest buildings that still survives is the lock-up, built in 1787. This is only one of two surviving lock-ups in Liverpool, the other being in Wavertree. Both were built to deal with village drunks and petty criminals. Everton still has its library building, though it now lies empty, and a number of late Georgian houses, such as the small row on Shaw Street, one of which once being the home of Liverpool merchant Joshua Rawdon.
The Gothic St George's. On the outside, it looks like a traditional Gothic church made of local sandstone.

On the inside however, the church's inner framework is made of iron; the pillars and the vaulted ceiling revealing an iron skeleton frame, as elegant and strong as stone.

One of the original nineteenth century stained glass windows that survived the bombing of World War II. It shows St George in the centre.

St Michael and St George appear in this window. Cragg and Rickman's next church was St Michael's.

Portrait of landowner and merchant James Atherton. (Photo taken from St George's Church)

Everton Library, currently empty.

The Mere Bank Pub - Mock-Tudor at its best.

The village lock-up, built out of local sandstone in 1787.

Another view of the lock-up, revealing a row of late Georgian town houses on the right. The middle property was once the residence of Liverpool merchant Joshua Rawdon.

All photos taken with permission by Dr David Harrison

© Dr David Harrison 2016

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Christopher Rawdon: Lost Liverpool Philanthropist

The new book on Christopher Rawdon the lost Liverpool Philanthropist will be published in October by Arima Publishing. Anyone who lives in the Anfield area of Liverpool will remember the Rawdon Library, the drinking fountain and the playground off Richmond Park, all given as a gift to people of Anfield by Charlotte Rawdon in memory of her husband Christopher, who resided in Elm House. Christopher Rawdon was born in Yorkshire, but moved to Liverpool with his family to manage the family business. He was a merchant, a banker, a Unitarian and along with George Holt and William Rathbone, a leading philanthropist, supporting local education and the Anti-Corn Law League.

The book will be available through Amazon and local book shops.