Friday, 28 July 2017

Hidden Lark Lane, Liverpool

A journey down Lark Lane in south Liverpool reveals some beautiful historical hidden gems. Lark Lane itself was akin to a Victorian village in its own right, with a police station, fire station, school, post office and some of the most elegant Regency/early Victorian houses hidden away from view down one of its side streets. It now has a somewhat Bohemian air about it with its history of 60s and 70s bands hanging around its coffee shops and as a present centre for restaurants, quirky shops and bars.

The old wall at the Aigburth Road end of Lark Lane showing local sandstone and a bricked up section.

The old fire station in Lark Lane.

Christ Church School on Lark Lane.

Just off Lark Lane is a hidden partly cobbled narrow road of historical delights called Hadassah Grove which leads to some of the most elegant early nineteenth century houses in this part of Liverpool.

The entrance to Hadassah Grove reveals two posts (one shown here).

The Police Station. It was here that Florence Maybrick was held while the Inquest took place into the death of her husband James Maybrick at Garston Reading Rooms in June 1889.

The window to the cell that Florence was held in. The old Police Station is open for visits and tours.

A document referring to the interment of the late Charles Maybrick in 1924.

All photos by Dr David Harrison

© Dr David Harrison 2017

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The Rebuilding of Liverpool Castle by Lord Leverhulme

The medieval Liverpool Castle was finally dismantled in the early eighteenth century, but a new Liverpool Castle was constructed by Lord Leverhulme on his estate in Rivington in 1912. More of a folly than an actual castle, the structure looks out over the reservoir much the same as the original castle that it took its name from looked out over the Mersey. It was therefore placed on the list of field trips this summer for the Rawdon history group who, being from Liverpool, appreciated the historical connection of the Rivington area with the city, not just with the castle but with the reservoir itself which supplied Liverpool with clean water during the nineteenth century. Here are some photos of the rebuilt Liverpool castle at Rivington, and they certainly reveal the intricate building work that Leverhulme put into his scheme. For a previous article on Leverhulme click here.

The entrance to the castle

A lost northern Glastonbury looms above the castle

All photos by Dr David Harrison

© Dr David Harrison 2017

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Allerton Hall and Springwood

The recent history walk with the students concentrated on two gems of Liverpool architecture; the Neo-Classical brilliance of Allerton Hall and the early Victorian house that was originally named Springwood, more recently called St. Michael's Mount.
The present Allerton Hall was built by the Hardman family, John Hardman being a merchant originally from Rochdale. Abolitionist William Roscoe moved into the hall in 1799 and added to it, his library being one of the most respected in the Liverpool area. In 1816 Roscoe moved out of the house which subsequently passed through a number of owners. Richard Wright rented the hall in the 1860s, and his son-in-law was the merchant and Confederate Agent Charles Prioleau, who stayed in the hall during the American Civil War period (you can see an article I wrote on the American Civil War and Liverpool here) Captain Raphael Semmes - the captain of the Alabama - stayed as a guest for a while, the hall actually flying the Confederate flag.
Eventually the hall was owned by Thomas Clarke, whose widow gave the Hall and land to the city in 1926. During WWII the house became the headquarters of the National Fire Service, and a 'block house' can still be seen near the road in the grounds. The hall was then used as a banqueting suite for weddings, many of the students actually remember attending wedding receptions there in the 1970s and 1980s. After a fire in 1994, the hall was renovated and is now the Pub in the Park.

Springwood is located on the corner of Woolton Road and Springwood, not far from Allerton Hall. It was built around 1840 by William Shand - so named after his estate in Antigua. Shipping magnate Thomas Brocklebank then purchased the house in 1844, the house staying with the Brocklebank family until it was passed onto the Liverpool Corporation. It was used by the military authorities during the first and second world wars, and had been used by the Springwood Tenants Association as a community centre in 1928. Now the building is used as a care home, but still retains some beautiful architectural features, some of which reminds me of Sudley House, especially the elegant staircase and the skylight that is geometrically positioned above it to flood the hallway with natural light.

All photos by Dr David Harrison
© Dr David Harrison 2017.


Friday, 14 July 2017

Messages From the Past Part II

Liverpool has some of the most historically important places of worship in any city in Britain, from St. Michael's-in-the-Hamlet to the Ancient Chapel of Toxteth. I was honoured recently to be allowed up the tower of St. George's Church in Everton - the 'Cast Iron' Church itself, to not only be treated to the stunning views of the city, but to have a look at some of the historical features to be seen on the way to the top. Brand names and company names from the proud by-gone days of British manufacturing during the industrial revolution can still be seen stamped and etched on their products in various parts of the journey, and here is a collection of makers marks, memorials and graffiti from the past etched into different parts of the tower.

The Church clock located in the tower of St. George's in Everton, Liverpool, made by Christopher Rowson & Son, Liverpool, 1890. Liverpool was a leading centre for clock-making in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

An iron girder located in the tower of St. George's Church, Everton, made in England.

Different stonemason's cutting marks on the sandstone in the tower of St. George's Church.

More stonemason's cutting marks to be found in the tower.

Graffiti in the tower: 'J S'

'J. HOLDEN' carved in a sandstone block in the tower.

'B P + M R' scratched onto sandstone in the tower.

A weathered stone at the top of the tower replaced in 1898?

The stairwell in the tower.

'J.S.' again, etched in a different stone.

The entrance to the tower.

All photos by Dr David Harrison
© Dr David Harrison 2017.