Walking with Stephen – Lost Liverpool

My second walk with Wirral historian and teacher Stephen Roberts, following our winter day out from February this year.

No snow today as I showed him a part of Liverpool many people who live here aren’t aware of. Where the 18th Century merchants moved out to as the port grew and the city filled with people and industry. Many of the grand houses they had built are long gone now. But surprisingly, a few remain.

Along this 'secret' path down the side of where 'Dowsefield' used to be.

Along this ‘secret’ path down the side of where ‘Dowsefield’ used to be.

Stephen finds what's left of Allerton Manor.

Stephen finds what’s left of Allerton Manor.

 

How it was.

How it was.

Once the home of Jacob Fletcher, son of a privateer and slave-trader. It was designed by Thomas Harrison, who also designed the Lyceum in Bold Street, Liverpool.

It's now one of the places where the City Council store their grit for the winter.

It’s now one of the places where the City Council store their grit for the winter.

Along Allerton Manor’s carriage way and across the golf course.

To one of Liverpool's loveliest hidden lanes.

To one of Liverpool’s loveliest hidden lanes.

Where we find the back gate into Allerton Towers.

Where we find the back gate into Allerton Towers.

Their cold store.

The cold store.

And the house, as it was.allerton_tower

Home to the Earle family, slave traders.

Much of the house is gone now, but the beautiful orangery, on the right of the picture, remains.

The Orangery, Allerton Towers.

The Orangery, Allerton Towers.

Stephen in the Walled Garden, Allerton Towers.

Stephen in the Walled Garden, Allerton Towers.

Next it’s across Menlove Avenue and up into Woolton Woods, to another walled garden. This one previously part of the grounds of Woolton Hall, owned back in the slavery days by Liverpool MP Bamber Gascoyne, a vociferous anti-abolitionist.

Rarely open on walks in recent years.

Rarely open on walks in recent years.

And lovely, in an old style municipal sort of way.

And lovely, in an old style municipal sort of way.

Lost Liverpool11 Lost Liverpool12 Lost Liverpool13

camp_hillObviously a popular place at one time. With its own post cards!

Out of the walled garden and emerging from the woods to a view across the river, and across Wirral, to Wales.

A hazy day, but it's out there somewhere!

A hazy day, but it’s out there somewhere!

The next house was called Camp Hill. Built on the site of one of Liverpool’s earliest settlements, and entirely obliterating all evidence of it.

The house itself is now gone. Just these bits remaining, looking strangely false somehow, a folly of a Roman Ruin?

The house itself is now gone. Just these bits remaining, looking strangely false somehow, a folly of a Roman Ruin?

But its sunken garden remains.

But its sunken garden remains.

And the house stood on the top of the hill, in the gap between the trees, towards the left.

And the house stood on the top of the hill, in the gap between the trees, towards the left.

Next we cross Menlove Avenue again, stopping briefly at the cemeteries.

The lovely Jewish Cemetery.

The lovely Jewish Cemetery.

Before we get to our final grand house of the walk.

Allerton Hall, once the home of the great William Roscoe, abolitionist.

Allerton Hall, once the home of the great William Roscoe, abolitionist.

Allerton HallLittle changed from Roscoe’s days. Though these days it’s a pub, making much of its money from the local cemetery and crematorium trade.

Its grounds though, are sleepy and abandoned.

Allerton Hall's abandoned stable block.

Allerton Hall’s abandoned stable block.

And walled garden.

And walled garden.

The walk around Lost Liverpool nearly done now.

Pausing for an admiring look at this gorgeous Lodge House as we pass Allerton Towers again.

Pausing for an admiring look at this gorgeous Lodge House as we pass Allerton Towers again.

Next its lunch, at friendly and splendid Onion on Aigburth Road.

And lunch is generous and tasty as always.

And lunch is generous and tasty as always. Very highly recommended.

And after lunch? Well how about another walk?

We're too near The Florrie not to show it to Stephen.

We’re too near The Florrie not to show it to Stephen.

Lost Liverpool25

Photographing home. Wirral from the Dingle.

Photographing home. Wirral from the Dingle.

And he's got to see the Docker's Steps hasn't he?

And he’s got to see the Docker’s Steps hasn’t he?

Lost Liverpool28 Lost Liverpool29 Lost Liverpool30

And we're hot and thirsty now, so stop for a drink at the 'Garden Festival' pub.

And we’re hot and thirsty now, so stop for a drink at the ‘Garden Festival’ pub.

Next calling in at what we now have of the Garden Festival.

Festival Gardens.

Festival Gardens.

Where all seems well.

Where all seems well.

New life is being born.

New life is being born.

Lost Liverpool35

And the waterfall is, at last, flowing again.

And the waterfall is, at last, flowing again.

And crossing into St Michaels we find this. The carefully preserved logo of the 1984 International Garden Festival.Lost Liverpool37

A good day’s walking.

14 thoughts on “Walking with Stephen – Lost Liverpool

  1. jbaird

    What a fascinating piece of Liverpool history! You obviously do much research for your blogs. I’m thoroughly impressed. The landscaped sundial was my favorite of all these wonderful digital captures.

    Reply
  2. Stephen Roberts

    Thanks very much to Ronnie for a very interesting walk.

    Several thoughts passed through my mind at the time, including the similarity between these Liverpool grand houses and parks and Arrowe Park in Wirral, which was built by the Shaw family who derived some of their wealth from the slave trade just like the above people. In addition, I had always thought of Wirral as being LIverpool’s green lung, but the above walk showed that it has its own green lungs in the form of these wonderful parks, gardens and open spaces.

    Ronnie and I also thought about the way people can be so heartless, cruel and selfish by doing such things as investing in the slave trade. We wondered whether we would have been similarly selfish if we were given the chance to benefit from such a thing. We discussed the way in which some people, like William Roscoe, swam against the tide and had the imagination and courage to protest against something which was accepted by the majority. We discussed conscientious objectors in WWI as being a similar phenomenon.

    Finally, I was motivated to look these households up in the historic censuses and newspapers and have found a few interesting points which I can share with you. Thanks again Ronnie.

    Reply
      1. Stephen Roberts

        I will do so Ronnie. Sadly I am a bit behind with everything because my dad died at home in Greasby. As you know, I was very worried about him when we were walking. When I was looking across to the Wirral from the Florrie, I was actually thinking about him and the rest of the family. Late that night, he became ill again and was readmitted to hospital. He was stabilised there and returned home a few days later. He never really got comfortable and died with his wife and children around his bed at 12.30 on Wednesday 21st August. His funeral is on Thursday 29th in West Kirby.

  3. Pingback: Top Liverpool Links, 30th September 2013

  4. Stephen Roberts

    I have continued to think about the sights and sites we explored on this walk and I remember that we discussed Herculaneum Dock and the origin of the reinforced storage rooms around its edge. I have found some good information in “Liverpool Docks” by Michael Stammers.It is a book of photographs with very informative captions. On pages 95 and 96, he says that the dock was opened in 1866 and that the strongrooms were used for storing oil. This must be why they look like magazines – they were designed to be fireproof. I have found out quite a lot about the people who lived in the above grand houses, but it is a bit too much to put in the blog. I’ll have to send you the information in the post. I have also got a lovely book about William Roscoe and am researching my colleague’s ancestry in order to see if he is related to the great man, as his name is Roscoe. I also have a colleague with the surname Earle, but I don’t think I’ll look that one up.

    Reply

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