Walking with Sarah in late August 2018 and remembering the same walk with Wirral historian and teacher Stephen Roberts in 2013, following our winter day out from February that year. Places visited many times over these years, none more so than the Orangery.
No snow today as I showed Stephen 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.
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.
Along Allerton Manor’s carriage way and across the golf course.
And the house, as it was:
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.
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.
Obviously 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.
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.
Next we cross Menlove Avenue again, stopping briefly at the cemeteries.
Before we get to our final grand house of the walk.
Little 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.
The walk around Lost Liverpool nearly done now.
Next its lunch, at friendly and splendid Onion on Aigburth Road.
And after lunch? Well how about another walk?
Next calling in at what we now have of the Garden Festival.
And crossing into St Michaels we find this. The carefully preserved logo of the 1984 International Garden Festival.
A good day’s walking.
Years pass and all of these places and their stories are frequently visited. Like on this sunny afternoon late in august 2018, with summer almost ending, when Sarah and I are once again at The Orangery. Beautiful still, despite the story of its creation. A story of us all and the place we call home.
Lost Liverpool then. A history of here and a walk through time that I take every time I want to think about the future of my precious place, this Liverpool.