The History of Liverpool - Liverpool City Region
The story of Liverpool is a long and fascinating one that stretches over 800 years,
from the moment King John II issued the Charter of Liverpool in 1207, to the present day regeneration,
the city has been an ever-changing, ever-evolving tale, rich with historical importance.
Described by many as the "World's First Global City", it has always been on the cusp of scientific change.
It is a true powerhouse of the United Kingdom and the mother of the extended city region.
The History of Liverpool Town
The name Liverpool is thought to be from Old English,
with 'Liver' from Lifer meaning Muddy, and 'Pool' from Pul meaning Pool of Water.
Put simply, 'A Pool of Water Rich with Sediment'.
Although, the definition of the name has been the subject of much debate,
with various other meanings being suggested, like 'Lower Pool of Water',
referring to the inlet of water which was a prominent feature in the small fishing village,
until the creation of the first dock.
The different versions of the name throughout the years include, Liuerpul in 1194, Litherpol in 1224, Leverepul and Leuerepul in 1229, Liuerpol in 1266, Liuerpoll in 1317, Lurpoill 1343, Lyuerpole in 1346, Leuerpoll in 1393, Lytherpole in 1445, Letherpole in 1545, Liverpoole in 1752.
The first chapter in the story of Liverpool began in 1207, when King John II issued a charter declaring Liverpool as a borough. Before this, Liverpool was a mere hamlet at the mercy of the main administration in the area, West Derby. It's believed that the small village may of been inhabited by fishermen way back in the 1st century, although little to no evidence remains of this period.
Whatever the case may have been, by the time the Domesday Book arrived in 1086, the small berewick of Liverpool was so insignificant, that it didn't even deserve a mention. Other areas in the vicinity did though, such as Bootle, Crosby, Kirkdale, Litherland, Smithdown, Toxteth, Walton, Wavertree and of course West Derby, which was the capital for the wider region.
The oldest mention of Liverpool dates back to before 1191, when Henry II made a Grant of Liverpool before handing it over to his son, John II.
For the most part, John II was a disappointment to others. After his father conquered Ireland in 1185, John's subsequent expedition to the emerald isle turned out to be disaster. When he became king of England in 1199, still emotionally bruised from his previous encounter with Ireland, he set about to find a suitable port to enable him to complete the conquest. Following an extensive search along the Lancashire coast, he opted for Liverpool as a main base of operations, a place where he could send over additional men and supplies. In 1207, he founded Liverpool as a Borough and issued a series of letters inviting settlers to the new port.
Liverpool consisted of just seven streets of no more than 200 people. They were, Bancke Street (now Water Street), Chapel Street, Dale Street, Juggler Street (now High Street), Moor Street (now Tithebarn Street), Peppard Street (now Old Hall Street) and Castle Street, where he'd built a castle in 1235.
Despite the early efforts of King John II, the population of Liverpool was little more than 500 by the mid-16th century.
In the second half of the 17th century, fortunes started to change. The growing population living in the town's 20 or so streets, saw the building of a new town hall in 1673. Liverpool found itself well placed to capitalise on the growth of the English colonies in North America and the West Indies. By the early 1700s, Liverpool had a population of around 5,000 and trade was booming. The building of the first wet dock in 1715 further accelerated its growth to supersonic proportions. With its population surpassing 20,000 by 1750, and 77,000 by the end of the century.
Liverpool's incredible growth saw no sign of abating, increasing further to 118,000 by 1821 and more than trebling to 376,000 just 30 years later. By this time, the gap in wealth between the affluent ship merchants and the poor immigrants in the town was at an all-time high.
One of the initial bursts in the population of Liverpool came from Wales, with as much as 10% of Liverpool being Welsh during this period, it quickly adopted the colloquial name of, the "Capital of North Wales".
Later however, the biggest portion of the huge influx of migrants were from Ireland, they came to escape the potato famine and were forced to live in squalid conditions once they arrived. As many as 25% of the town's populace had been born in Ireland at this time, together with immigration from many other areas of the globe, such as Africa, China, Europe and the Carribean, Liverpool's unique character began to forge.
The extreme poverty and cramped city life proved too much for some wealthy ship merchants, they began an exodus over the water, settling all over the Wirral Peninsula to pastures new.
Trade in Liverpool was phenomenal compared to anywhere else in the world, with 40% of the world's trade passing through the docks. By 1880, Liverpool's growth was so significant, it was granted city status.
The History of Liverpool City
When Liverpool was given city status in 1880,
the population of the new city had surpassed 600,000.
It began encompassing the outlying areas of Toxteth, Walton, Wavertree and West Derby.
At this time, Liverpool was a major city on the world stage. It was referred to as the, "Second City of the Empire" and "The New York of Europe", both in recognition of its importance and global reach. The wealth of Liverpool exceeded that of London itself, with Liverpool's Custom House being the single largest contributor to the British Exchequer. The rapid growth brought with it new institutions and tall buildings: The University of Liverpool in 1882, Albion House in 1898, The Port of Liverpool Building in 1907, The Tower Building in 1908, The Liver Building in 1911, The Adelphi Hotel in 1914, The Cunard Building in 1917. The familiar iconic skyline that we know and love today, started to take shape.
By now, other former outlying areas were consumed by the Liverpool sprawl: Allerton, Childwall, Everton, Fazakerly, Garston, Gateacre, Kirkdale, Little Woolton and Much Woolton.
By the 1930s, the area of the city had grown to super-sized proportions and the population reached a staggering 870,000 people. The pressure and strain that the huge population was having on the city was proving too much.
In order to redistribute the population, massive new housing estates were built in areas like Huyton and Speke.
Once the first Mersey Road Tunnel was opened in 1934, a new wave of people began settling on the west bank of the Mersey in the thriving towns of Birkenhead and Wallasey.
When World War II arrived, Liverpool played a pivitol role as the control centre for the Battle of the Atlantic. The city's significance as a major industrial powerhouse was evident in Germany's intent on crippling the chief port. There was eighty air-raids on Merseyside during the Liverpool Blitz, over 2,300 bombs were dropped, killing almost 4,000 people, completely destroying over 10,000 homes and damaging as many as half in the metropolitan area. The result of the bombings led to over 70,000 people being made homeless.
One ray of sunshine during the war, was the birth of four fabulous babies that would in time, go some way to healing the hearts of the ailing city.
After the war, a huge rebuilding programme was set in motion. The city's centre was redesigned, with an entirely new infrastructure set to reshape the city.
The Liverpool Masterplan extended further afield, with huge areas outside of the current Liverpool borders being designated to house its inhabitants. The newly designated new towns in Kirkby, Skelmesdale and later Runcorn, were built to house the overflow.
By now, a new cultural age had dawned on the city of Liverpool.
The city had become the epicentre of music for the wider world, a brave new Merseybeat resounded to all four corners of the globe. Flying the flag for Liverpool were four unlikely lads that soon became known as the greatest and most influential musical act of all-time.
While 'The Beatles' were leading the charge of the 'British Invasion' of America, back home, the city was experiencing its first real period of decline. The once thriving docklands which were the heartlands of the mighty port city, became a victim of the times, as the advent of containerism and the subsequent laying off of the dock workforce hit the city hard.
By the eighties, Liverpool was in serious trouble. Following the closure of several key manufacturers, the city's unemployment rate sky-rocketed to twice the national average, a sad period in the city's history that continued right up until the mid-nineties.
By the start of the 21st century, Liverpool was fighting back. A new spirit of optimism was sweeping its way through the streets of the old city. Liverpool's economy was not only on the mend, it was growing faster than the national average. It was beginning to shake off the tiresome misconceptions of the past, unfairly attributed to it during its most needed of times. A new Master Plan was set in motion, the city set about reinventing itself for the new millenia.
In 2004, the iconic waterfront was designated a World Heritage Site. That same year, the new Paradise Project began, a complete regeneration to one of the city centre's shopping districts. The £1 billion project has significantly boosted the local economy and lifted Liverpool into the top five most popular retail destinations in the UK. The new development was welcomed in 2008, along with the city's status as the 'European Capital of Culture'.
Yes Liverpool was back and more bolder than ever.
More regeneration projects have since continued the trend set forth by the new Paradise Project, with the brave new 'can do' attitude that the city's now adopted.
Other massive regeneration projects can now be found in: the Baltic Triangle area, the Commercial District, the Edge Lane Gateway, the King's Dock area, the Lime Street Gateway, the Mann Island area and the RopeWalks area. These are all major projects that are reinvigorating the city from within. One all-mighty project that will soon supercede all before it, is the Mersey Waters scheme.
The £10 billion project will once again put Liverpool firmly on the world map, rightfully reclaiming the title as the "New York of Europe".
History of Aigburth
The name Aigburth is made up from the Old Norse word 'Aig', meaning Oak Tree and
the Old English word 'Burth', meaning Hill.
Previous versions of the name include: 'Aykesberh' in 1200, 'Eikiberg', 'Ayberc' in 1242,
Haykebergh in 1327, Aykebergh in 1361, Ackeberth in 1537, Aykeberth in 1544 and Egberigh in 1600.
Liverpool Cricket Club in Aigburth, is home to the oldest amateur sports club in the city region, they were formed way back in 1807 and play their games at the Aigburth Cricket Ground. Up until the mid to late 19th century, Aigburth for the most part a rural setting belonging to the township of Garston. The incredible growth of Liverpool as a major city, saw it's population spill over to areas like Aigburth, with new housing being built to cope with the increase in people.
By the turn of the 20th century, Aigburth had become completely swallowed up by the metropolis.
History of Allerton
The name Allerton is of Old English origin, with 'Aller' deriving from
Alder, meaning a Plant belonging to the Birch Tree family,
and the word 'Ton', meaning Village.
It was known as Alretune in the 1086 Domesday Book,
when it was described as being divided into three parts,
with each part being owned by a 'Thain'.
Some time around 1,000ce, a young sapling first appeared on the scene that would grow up to be a grand old Liverpool landmark, witnessing the vast changes that would occur throughout its lifetime, that has until now, spanned across ten centuries. Nobody knows exactly how old the Allerton Oak is, but it is estimated to be over 1,000 years old, possible from the late 900s, if that's the case, then this grand old Liverpool tree has its roots spanning over three millenia.
In 1292, the modern name of Allerton first appears. Up until the latter part of the 19th century, the area was mostly rural, wealthy merchants began to buy up the land for their large homes.
In 1890, Allerton was made an urban district. By 1913, it became consumed by the county borough of Liverpool. Although the urbanisation of the district saw thousands of new homes built in the 1930's, Allerton managed to retain a good number of green spaces, most notably, Calderstones Park.
History of Anfield
The name Anfield comes from the terrain of the area, before it was urbanised by
the Liverpool sprawl.
It is derived from Old English, with 'An' deriving from the older word
Hange, meaning a Hanging Slope, and 'Field' from its older word Feld.
A former part of the town 'Walton on the Hill' (now Walton), Anfield was described as the hanging fields of Walton. Old versions include Hongfield in 1642, Honghfield and later Annfield in 1786. The modern day version of the name seems to have first occured on maps in the early 1800s. Today the name Anfield is synonymous with the football stadium in the district and its incumbent team, Liverpool FC. However, this wasn't always the case.
In 1878, Everton Football Club were founded under their original name, St Domingo's FC. The club's first three grounds were in Anfield, first on the south east corner of Stanley Park, secondly at Priory Road in 1882, before moving to the Anfield Road Stadium in 1884.
Between 1884 to 1891, Everton FC were the incumbent team at the Anfield stadium, even being crowned Champions of England there, until a rent dispute with the landlord John Houlding led to them relocating across stanley park to Walton. This left Houlding with an empty stadium. Unperterbed with his situation, he set about making a new team to occupy the stadium.
And so, on the 3rd of June in 1892, Liverpool Football Club were formed. To this day, Anfield has won more English football championships than any other district.
In 1895, the township of Walton lost its independence and became part of Liverpool Borough Council. Much of the housing built in Anfield arround this time were terraced houses, built to ease the overcrowding in the city centre. The district is currently being regenerated, with a lot of these old terraced streets being demolished.
History of Belle Vale
Most of Belle Vale's older history is merged with its neighbouring districts of Childwall and Gateacre.
It was a former part of the parish of Childwall and the township of Little Woolton.
Following the Liverpool Blitz during the second world war, over 70,000 people were left homeless and in desperate need of a place to live. Between 1945-1969, Belle Vale was home to the largest Prefab community in the country and one of the biggest in Europe. Over 1,000 pre-fabricated homes were built, housing over 1,000 familes over two decades.
Eventually, the bulldozers tore down the Prefabs and the old close-knit community that lived in the 'Tin Palaces' was lost. The families were rehoused in areas throughout Liverpool and designated new towns like Kirkby, Skelmesdale and Runcorn.
History of Broadgreen
The name Broadgreen is a hybrid of both 'Broad' and 'Green', as in Wide Open Fields.
The district is home to Liverpool's oldest surviving railway station and one of the oldest in the world. Opened in 1830, Broad Green Railway Station is on the world's first passenger railway line, the 'Liverpool and Manchester Railway'. Much of the housing in Broadgreen was built during the latter part of the 19th century, as the district became a part of the expanding Liverpool Borough.
In 1903, the Highfield Infirmary was opened by the Liverpool Select Vestry, as a home for epileptics. The infirmary was renamed to the Highfield Sanatorium in 1922, when it was used as a treatment centre for tuberculosis sufferers. When the Liverpool Blitz damaged the city centre hospitals in World War II, Highfield Sanatorium was expanded into a large district general hospital under the new name, Broadgreen Hospital. The new hospital became responsible for a full range of medical and surgical acute services.
In 1995, 'Broadgreen Hospital NHS Trust' merged with 'Royal Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust', becoming the 'Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust'.
History of Childwall
The name Childwall is derived from the Old English words,
'Cild' meaning Child, and 'Wella' meaning Spring or Stream,
simply put, 'A Stream Where Children Meet'.
It's recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Cileuuelle. A variety of versions have been recorded over the years, including Childewell in 1094, Childewalle in 1212, Chaldewall in 1238, Childwall in 1261, Childewelle in 1291, Chaldewal in 1305 and Childewall in 1354.
Childwall Hall was built in the early 1700s and later Childwall Abbey on the site in 1780. The arrival of the Cheshire Lines Railway brought trains to the area in 1879 and the population of the small village began grow, albeit gradually. It wasn't until Childwall was incorporated into the Borough of Liverpool in 1913, that the area began to experience any major changes in population.
The urbanisation of Childwall occured throughout the first half of the 20th century, with it came an extensive road network that reshaped the district into what we see today.
History of Clubmoor
The name Clubmoor refers to Moor that dominated the landscape.
With it not being arable land, it was used to graze cattle by local farmers.
Up until the 20th century, Clubmoor was just a small hamlet. It wasn't until the 1920s that the area was developed for housing. Like other areas around this time, Clubmoor was selected as a location for new homes to be built, aimed at rehousing the crowded inner-city Liverpool inhabitants. The original Farmers Arms public house was built some time before the 1850s, as part of the new development, it was completely rebuilt on the same grounds. The last surviving part of the original mid 19th century pub, is the bowling green in the rear of the establishment.
In 1940, a train full of ammunition was driven away from the docks to avoid the bombs during the Liverpool Blitz. It was parked up on the North Liverpool Extension Line, near Townsend Lane in Clubmoor. Unfortunately though, moving the train proved unsuccessful, as one of the luftwaffe bombs hit the train, the explosion sent debris flying all around, killing nearby residents, including a landlord at the local pub. If it weren't for the brave actions of the train driver, George Roberts, and an off duty railwayman John Guinan, the disaster would have been catastrophic. They managed to detach the munitions end of the train and shunt it away, keeping it from catching fire.
After the Second World War, the open fields in Clubmoor were the site of a popular game of American Baseball. With crowds of kids from the local area turning up to witness the weekly match, taking place between the US Troops from RAF Burtonwood and RAF Sealand.
Some of the street names in Clubmoor are named after parts of America, perhaps in honour of the American troops based in the UK during and after the war.
History of Croxteth
The name is of Viking origin, it is believed to be an amalgamation of both 'Crocker' and 'Staithe',
with 'Crocker' being the name of a chief Viking invader and 'Staithe' meaning Riverbed.
It more than likely refers to Crocker's landing place on the River Alt.
Other variants of the name include, Crocstad in 1257 and Croxstath in 1297.
The original Croxteth Hall was built in 1575 and has been redesigned over the centuries, taking on various styles such as Tudor, Georgian and Baroque architecture. The Hall has been home to the famous Molyneux family for most of its existance, from its creation right up until 1972, when Hugh William Osbert Molyneux, the 7th and last Earl of Sefton died.
The 2nd Earl of Sefton, William Philip Molyneux, lived there during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, he founded both the Waterloo Cup and the Grand National. Both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert spent the night at Croxteth Hall, during a visit to Liverpool in 1851.
Large scale housing development didn't arrive in Croxteth until the 1950s, when new homes were built to house people from the overcrowded innercity areas like Scotland Road.
In the 1990's, part of the huge Croxteth Park estate was converted into one of the biggest private housing estates in Western Europe.
History of Dingle
The Dingle is named after the Dingle Brook, formerly called Dickinson's Dingle,
which runs through the inner-city district,
before entering the River Mersey at Knott's Hole.
Put simply, 'Dingle' means a Wooded Valley.
A former part of the Toxteth Park township, the Dingle was mainly a rural area, until the Liverpool sprawl consumed the district in the mid 19th century, when rows of terraced houses appeared to house the mostly Welsh community. The Dingle marked the end of the line for the Liverpool Overhead Railway, which began further up the coast at Seaforth Sands. Dingle Railway Station was the only terminal on the line that was built underground. The station and the entire railway line was closed in 1956, following a report into the structure indicating many repairs that proved too costly, for the company running the line.
One of the famous sons of the city, Ringo Starr, was born and raised in the Dingle. He first attended St.Silas Primary School, before moving on to the Dingle Vale Secondary Modern School in his teens.
The Dingle was also the location for the much loved eighties TV comedy, 'Bread', and the British Academy Television Award winning drama, 'Boys from the Blackstuff'.
The Florence Institute was opened as a boys club in 1890, it was built and completely funded by Sir Bernard Hall, the first ever Mayor of the City of Liverpool. He named it after his daughter who sadly died in Paris, at just 22 years of age. Known locally as just 'The Florrie', the Grade II listed building was renovated in 2013 and officially reopened by Prince Charles.
History of Everton
The name Everton is derived from Anglo-Saxon origin,
with 'Ever' from the word Eofor meaning Wild Boar,
and 'Ton' from the word Tun meaning Settlement.
Different versions of the name throughout history include, Euretone in 1086, Evretona in 1094,
Evreton in 1094, Euerton in 1185, Everton in 1201 and Erton in 1380.
Everton, like Liverpool, is an ancient settlement that was one of the six unnamed berewicks of West Derby. The area was mostly farmland until the late 18th century. In 1753, the famous Everton Toffee Shop was opened by Molly Bushell.
By 1787, Everton Village was beginning to attract a small population, mostly wealthy merchants from the growing Liverpool. In order to temporarily incarcerate the odd unruly drunk, a lock-up was erected in the village. The Grade II listed village bridewell is often referred to as Prince Rupert's Tower. This is in reference to Everton Village being the location for Prince Rupert's armed force during the English Civil War, some 143 years earlier.
Prince Rupert's Royalist army camped on top of Everton Valley in 1644, from there he set about to destroy the Parliamentarian garrison holding Liverpool Castle. The battle became known as the 'Siege of Liverpool', while Prince Rupert was ultimately successful, his force endured a longer and more difficult campaign than was previosly anticipated.
In 1835, Everton became a part of the Borough of Liverpool, following this annexation, the population of the area increased dramatically.
The Liverpool Collegiate Institution is another Grade II-listed building in Everton, the neo-Gothic style former school was built in 1843. The red sandstone building was designed by the same architect as St.Georges Hall in Liverpool, Harvey Lonsdale Elmes. It remained as a school in one form or another until 1987, when it was closed down. Following years of dereliction, the building underwent award winning renovation in 2000, quite fittingly, to house the city's student population.
Indeed, most of Everton has been regenerated since the late 19th century. A lot of the old streets were ripped up to make way for Everton Park in the latter half of the last century. Looking into the 21st century, Everton's massive £150 million Jennifer Project is on course to completely revitalise the area into a thriving community once more.
History of Fazakerley
The name Fazakerley is derived from three Anglo-Saxon words, Faes-aecer-leah.
With 'Faz' from Faes meaning Border, 'Aker' from Aecer meaning Field,
and 'Ley' from Leah meaning a Clearing.
Put simply, 'An Open Field on the Fringes'.
The different versions of the name throughout the years include, Phasakyrlee in 1250, Fasakerlegh in 1277, Fazakerly in 1321 and Phesacrelegh in 1333.
Fazakerley was originally a part of Walton Town, up until around the 19th century, it was mostly just open fields with the odd village home dotted about the landscape.
In 1823, Fazakerley Hall was built and later the Fazakerley Hall Housing Estate. The urbanisation of the area came about at a rapid pace, in order to alleviate the overcrowding in Liverpool city centre. The Hartley's Jam Factory arrived in 1886 and became one of the main employers in Fazakerley.
At the end of the 19th century, Fazakerley Hospital (now the Aintree University Hospital) was built and in 1904, further expansion saw Fazakerly join the City of Liverpool.
Throughout the 20th century, new housing development has replaced most of the old estates constructed in the 1800s.
History of Garston
The name Garston is believed to derive from a mixture of both Old English and possibly
Norse Viking origin,
with 'Gars' from the word Gears meaning Arrows,
and 'Ton' from the word Tun meaning Settlement.
Basically meaning, 'A Place Where Arrows Were Made'.
Recorded versions of the name throughout the ages include, Gerstan in 1094,
Grestan in 1155, Gerston in 1201, Gaherstan in 1205 and Garston in 1265.
Early inhabitants in Garston date back to at least the 13th century,
when there was a prominant small agricultural community living in the area,
even erecting a significantly large corn mill.
By the end of the 17th century, the small village of Garston had grown to over 50 houses
and belonged to the parish of Childwall.
Although a small dock was built in 1793, Garston didn't experience a great deal of growth until the
With the aid of the 'St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway Company',
Garston's first major dock was built in 1846 to support the various trades in the region,
particularly coal, which came from the St.Helens coalfield.
The increased availability of work in Garston helped to grow the population further and by the middle of the 19th century, the population of Garston had grown to over 2,500 people. A passenger railway station was opened in 1874, connecting Garston to Liverpool, Warrington and Manchester. Two more major docks were built to support the growing industry, the second large dock was called the North Dock, this was constructed in 1866, the third was at the beginning of the 20th century, the Stalbridge Dock. By this time, Garston's population had grown to over 17,000 people and it became a part of the City of Liverpool. In the 1930s, Garston Docks were one of the main docks in the country, handling a variety of produce for the British market, most notably Bananas.
A national decline in docklands during the latter part of the 20th century severely affected Garston, as was the case with most parts in the city region that relied heavily on the docks for trade.
In the 21st century, Garston has begun to regenerate itself, with new quality housing estates and commercial parks built, like the 'Mersey Retail Park'. In 2006, a new railway and bus station was opened in Garston, called 'Liverpool South Parkway'. This is a main interchange for South Liverpool, connecting 'Liverpool John Lennon Airport' to the city region and beyond.
History of Gateacre
The name Gateacre is thought to derive from either Old English or Middle English,
with 'Gat' from the word Gata meaning Pathway,
and 'Acre' from the word Aecer meaning Field, although no one is certain of its origin.
Early references to Gateacre don't appear until around 1559, as the area we now know as Gateacre was split between the old townships of Much Woolton and Little Woolton. It began to grow in the latter part of the 19th century, as industry arrived in the area and later a new railway station. In 1913, it was incorporated into the City of Liverpool. During the 1950s and 1960s, as part of the redistribution of the population in inner Liverpool, huge housing developments emerged in the suburb. In 1969, it was declared a conservation area to protect the historic buildings in the area.
Today, Gateacre is an affluent suburb of Liverpool, with new high quality housing merged together with over 100 older listed buildings.
History of Kensington
The name Kensington is believed to have come from its namesake in London.
One of the first mentions of Kensington in Liverpool date back to around 1804.
It was around this time that wealthy merchants were moving out of
Liverpool to the green grassy suburbs,
to escape the crowded, cramped conditions in the centre of the Borough.
Before this, Kensington was a largely undeveloped area, based on a primary route out of Liverpool. One prominent eccentric businessman during the early 1800s was Joseph Williamson, known locally as the 'King of Edge Hill'. In 1805, Williamson bought land around Mason Street in Edge Hill. He first set about building homes in the area before moving on to build a complex network of underground tunnels, some of which extended under the streets of Liverpool for miles on end. The vast labyrinth of tunnels can be visited today, thanks to the 2002 opening of the award winning tourist attraction, the 'Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre', off Smithdown Lane.
Built in 1830, the 'World's First Passenger Railway' passed through Kensington's Edge Hill. The end of the passenger line was the next stop after Edge Hill, Crown Street Station, which was the joint 'Oldest Railway Station in the World', having opened on the same day as Manchester's former 'Liverpool Road Railway Station'. The 2 kilometre 'Wapping Tunnel' between Wapping Dock and Edge Hill Railway Station, was the 'First Tunnel in the World to be bored Under a Metropolis'.
In 1833, Liverpool's first zoo opened off West Derby Road in Kensington. It was called the Liverpool Zoological Gardens and featured many animals, including Antelopes, Lions and Tigers. The owner's son was killed during an expedition to Africa, whilst trying to capture a hippopotamus for the zoo. The Liverpool Zoological Gardens closed down in 1863, a new zoo bearing the same name opened in Walton two decades later.
In 1885, Edge Hill College was founded on Durning Road by a group of Liverpool philanthropists, it was England's first non-denominational teacher training college for women. The college became too big for its surroundings and in 1931, moved to its present site in Ormskirk, to the north of Liverpool. The college was given university status in 2006 and still bares the same name, in honour of its historical roots, Edge Hill University.
In 1958, 'The Quarrymen', formed by John Lennon, which later evolved into the Beatles, recorded their first disc in Kensington. Percy Phillips owned a studio at 38 Kensington called, Phillips' Sound Recording Services, it was here that the recording took place. In 2005, a blue plaque was unveiled to commemorate the former studio, above the door reads, 'Birthplace of The Beatles'.
Around 1980, a number of streets were named in Kensington in recognition of The Beatles connection to the district, they are: John Lennon Drive, Paul McCartney Way, George Harrison Close, Ringo Starr Drive, Epstein Court, Apple Court and Cavern Court.
Since the turn of the millenia, Kensington has had a huge influx of money invested into the area. It is largely occupied by 19th century Victorian terraced houses, although the recent regeneration has seen a lot of these older homes replaced with contemporary housing and smarter street layouts.
History of Kirkdale
The name Kirkdale is believed to be from Norse Viking origin,
with 'Kirk' from the word Kirkia meaning Church,
and 'Dale' from the word Dalr meaning Valley.
Put simply, 'A Valley with a Church'.
At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, Kirkdale was recorded as 'Chirchedale',
later versions include, Kirkedale in 1185 and Kierkedale in 1200.
Kirkdale was one of nine places within the West Derby Hundred that was of significant importance in the 1086 Domeday Book, the other areas were, Bootle, Crosby, Litherland, Smithdown, Toxteth, Walton, Wavertree and of course West Derby itself, which was the most significant.
Kirkdale remained mostly rural until throughout the 1800s, even being a popular holiday retreat for people needing a break from the heavily industrialised Liverpool. Kirkdale was officially incorporated into the Borough of Liverpool in 1835, the area quickly became urbanised as people relocated out of the growing metropolis. In 1848, the first railway station appeared in the suburb, Kirkdale Railway Station, later followed by two others in 1850, Bank Hall and Sandhills railway stations.
Just one year on from the arrival of the third railway station came a wave of docks in the district. The three Wellington Docks, Sandon Dock and Sandon Half Tide Dock were all built in 1951, followed by Huskisson Dock in 1852 and Canada Dock in 1859.
This rapidly changed Kirkdale, to the benefit of Southport further up the coast, as it became the new destination of choice for local holiday escapees.
Kirkdale was incorporated into the Borough of Liverpool in the 1860s, not long after, the rich merchants who had previously settled into the area began to move on to new suburbs further afield, leaving the hard working classes to fill the void. Rows of Victorian terraced streets were built to house the workforce for the docks and the new industries that arrived in Kirkdale and neighbouring Vauxhall.
After the Liverpool Blitz in the 20th century, what was left of the squalid rundown houses was completely redeveloped. As a result, a lot of Kirkdale inhabitants moved on to other areas in and around the city, the remaining community in the area was never the same again. Today, Kirkdale is again a regeneration zone, as it reshapes itself for the 21st century.
History of Knotty Ash
The name Knotty Ash is thought to come from an old lone, twisted ash tree that grew near Thomas Lane
in the area.
Formerly a part of Walton on the Hill, Knotty Ash developed as a place where people would frequent
on their travels to and from Liverpool.
The 17th century Turk's Head and the Knotty Ash Hotel would have both been places for coaching parties to stop off during their journey.
Some of the old houses built in Knotty Ash around the time of the 18th century were quite small, like Little Bongs, these quaint little cottages may have been the inspiration for Ken Dodd referring to Knotty Ash, as the home of the Diddy Men.
In 1836, a brewery was built in Knotty Ash by Joseph Jones & Company, however, it still remained a rural outlying area for most of this period. By the 1860s, the population of the village had grown to around 2,000 people, as it was beginning to feel the affects of the growing City of Liverpool.
A former township that has since been consumed by Knotty Ash is Thingwall, which around this time consisted of just Thingwall Lane, Thingwall Hall and Thingwall Farm. Much of the district was developed since the 1930s, with new residential estates built to house Liverpool's inner city population.
History of Mossley Hill
Not much is mentioned about Mossley Hill prior to the 20th century,
as the area was considered a part of Aigburth until that time.
One of the main institutes in the city region is Liverpool College,
it moved to Mossley Hill from Everton's Shaw Street in 1907.
In 1932, the Liverpool Zoological Park opened in Elmswood Road. Unlike any zoo you'll find today, you could purchase any of the animals they kept there, for the right price of course. There were a variety of different species at the zoo, Bears, Birds, Buffuloes, an Elephant, Lions, Snakes, a Tiger and various Reptiles. The favourite attraction of all though, was one of the Chimpanzees called 'Mickey', he was described as the 'The Smartest Chimpanzee in the World'. Unfortunetly for Mickey, he was shot dead after escaping the zoo in 1938. Not long after, the zoo was closed down.
Another notable school in the Mossley Hill is the Dovedale Primary School, it's famous for being the school where both John Lennon and George Harrison attended. The former member of The Quarrymen, Peter Shotton was another attendee at the school, along with seasoned news broadcaster Peter Sissons, comedian Jimmy Tarbuck and sometime later, The La's musician John Power.
John Lennon made another place famous in Mossley Hill in 1966, when he co-wrote Penny Lane with Paul McCartney. The world famous street is a popular tourist attraction for visiting Beatles fans from all over the globe.
Another claim to fame for the district, is as the birth place of the multi-award winning actress Kim Cattrall. She won the prestigious Golden Globe Award in 2002 for her portrayal of Samantha Jones, in the hugely successful romantic comedy 'Sex and the City'.
In 2001, Yoko Ono donated £15,000 to John Lennon's former junior school, Dovedale Primary School, for school refurbishments.
History of Netherley
A former part of the township Little Woolton, Netherley remained mostly rural until the late 1960s,
when large scale housing developments brought inner city people to Netherley.
The area was one of many in the city region allocated to rehouse people from the rundown areas in
however, much of the earlier social housing in the district was of poor quality.
In the 1980s, rows of the original flats and maisonettes in Netherley were demolished, replaced by more contempory homes, a shopping centre and leisure facilities. Today, a large part of the district is still green undeveloped land, protected by the Green Belt policy. This has somewhat hindered the mainly residential district, which is in desperate need of an industrial zone to attract businesses to the area.
History of Norris Green
The name Norris Green is taken from the previous land owners in the area and its description.
With 'Norris' from the Lancashire Norris family who owned land north of West Derby,
and 'Green' from the fact that it was mainly lush green agricultural land
used to feed the local population.
It remained an important area for food throughout much of its existance, until it was designated a development area in the 1930s to rehouse as many as 30,000 people from inner city Liverpool, who were at the time, living in poorly cramped housing near the city centre.
The massive housing plan, for the most part, was thrown up with little regard for the residents needs. Many of the new inhabitants to the area were moved in before they'd even built roads, street lights and facilities. All of the homes built were three bedroom houses, leaving some families with spare rooms and others overcrowded.
By the time the large scale estates were built, the vast green space that once occupied the land was almost completely gone. This has had a detrimental affect on the residents quality of life in the area, unlike the neighbouring West Derby, which still has many green areas available.
A lot of the property in the area was improved upon in the 1970s and large parts have been completely demolished in the 21st century. The recent regeneration has seen major investment in the area, with many new homes being built to finally revitalise the community that has been neglected for far too long.
History of Old Swan
Old Swan gets its name from the first public house built in the area in the late 18th century.
The Three Swans Inn was built around 1775,
sometime later came two more inns bearing similar names.
This led to people referring to the older public house as the 'Old Swan'.
Over the years, as the area grew, the old inn became synonymous with the surrounding area,
thus becoming, Old Swan.
During the late 18th and early 19th century, Old Swan was a main stopping place for coaches going to and from Liverpool. The old coaching inn would have been a main stay along the way, with nothing much but fields for miles around.
As was the case with most outlying areas in the 19th century, the rapid growth of Liverpool eventually caught up with it. In the late 19th century, a variety of different industries moved to the area, replacing the trade lost when coaching traffic subsided, due to revolutionary developments like the Liverpool to Manchester Railway. The increased industry was enough to attract more people to Old Swan and many terraced streets were built to house its growing population. One large residential building built in 1939 was St.Oswald Gardens, it was demolished in 2002, as a new Tesco superstore was introduced to the area.
The future prospects for Old Swan look good, with a significant upsurge in retail units at the nearby Edge Lane Retail Park, expecting to bring around 1,500 new jobs to the area.
History of Speke
The name Speke is believed to derive from the Old English word Spec, meaning Brushwood or Dry Twigs.
It was mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086 as Spec, and later Speke in 1252.
Most of the early references to the area refer to Speke Hall, which was built in 1530 by William Norris, a member of the same family that gave its name to Norris Green.
In 1920, Speke International Airport was built to support the large city of Liverpool, it later grew to become the second busiest airport in the United Kingdom. The airport declined after the Ministry of Civil Aviation in London, took away most of its control in the 1950s, leading to its closure sometime later. The site of the former Speke International Airport features the 'Oldest Surviving Aircraft Hangar in the Country', which today houses the David Lloyd Leisure Centre, the old terminal building is now a Marriott Hotel.
Speke remained a scarcely populated small village until 1932, when the City of Liverpool bought the land for residential development, the population of the district rose from less than 500 people, to over 25,000 by 1960. One of the new residents to Speke was George Harrison, who moved to Upton Green in 1949 when he was six years old.
The new Speke International Airport was opened in 1967, which later changed its name to Liverpool John Lennon Airport, in honour of another famous son of the city.
The area declined during the last part of the 20th century, as many major businesses moved out of the area, however, new projects in recent years are reversing that trend and reinvigorating the district.
The History of Toxteth
The name Toxteth is thought to be of Viking origin, from the old Scandanavian personal name Toki and
the old Norse word Stod, meaning Landing Place.
Put simply, 'Toki's Landing Place'.
It was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Stochestede,
other variations throughout the years include Tokestat in 1207, Tokestath in 1212,
Toxstake in 1228, Tokstad in 1257, Toxstath in 1297 and Toxsteth in 1447.
Toxteth was one of nine places within the West Derby Hundred that was of significant importance in the 1086 Domeday Book, the other areas were, Bootle, Crosby, Kirkdale, Litherland, Smithdown, Walton, Wavertree and most importantly West Derby, which was the main administrative place for the area.
Before the Norman Invasion of 1066, Toxteth was divided into two manors, with each owned by Bernulf and Stainulf. Following the conquest, the land was given to an early ancestor of the Earl of Sefton. Around this time, the large area of Toxteth was made into a Royal Deer Park, which it remained up until 1592. The 2,300 acre Toxteth Park was huge, encompassing the village of Smithdown, St.Michaels Hamlet and stretching as far as Wavertree. After it ceased to be a park, settlers moved into the area, forming Toxteth Village.
As the area quickly became urbanised in the 19th century, the Corporation of Liverpool acted quickly to save part of the former park as an open space. In 1867, they purchased 375 acres of land and held a competition for architects to design a new modern park. In 1872, Sefton Park was opened, designed by the winning designers, French landscape horticulturalist Édouard André and Liverpool architect Lewis Hornblower, the latter had prior experience working on both Birkenhead Park and Princes Park. Today, Sefton Park is a Grade I listed park on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, the highest grade awarded.
During the 1870s, over 4,000 new homes were constructed in Toxteth, there were rows upon rows of terraced homes stretched along streets named after Welsh towns, valleys and villages. Known locally as the Welsh Streets, they were built by the Welsh architect Richard Owens and occupied by many of the Welsh migrants that moved to Liverpool.
The extensive urbanisation of Toxteth continued unabated throughout latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
From the 1950s, Liverpool, particularly Toxteth, received a lot of immigration from the Caribbean and the Indian sub-continent. Unfortunately for a lot of the new residents in the district, much of the housing at the time was considered unfit for purpose, coupled with a fall in the work availabilty in Liverpool during the decline of the docks and other industries, the area took a turn for the worst. It all came to head in the early 1980s, when extreme poverty and poor policing led to civil unrest on the streets of Toxteth.
The aftermath of the event left some people feeling positive for the future, perhaps for the first time in a long time, unfortunately though, promises by successes incumbent governments have been filled with nothing but hot air. While policing in Liverpool has improved immensely, other solutions to the issues that led to the riots have failed to materialise. There has been gradual improvement achieved over recent years, but there's certainly a lot more investment needed in the area.
History of Tuebrook
Tuebrook takes its name from the Tew Brook that flows into the River Alt,
which then empties into the Irish Sea at Hightown.
It is believed to be from Old English and means, 'A Meeting Place By a Brook'.
Most of the brook has been diverted underground since the beginning of the 20th century, although parts of it can still be seen at the back of the old cinema and near Long Lane. An old name for the tributary is Tubrucke, from the 16th century. Apart from a small collection of houses along the main thoroughfare in Tuebrook, the area was still mostly rural agricultural land in the 1850s, it didn't start to develop until around the end of the 19th century. By the beginning of the 1900s, Tuebrook was beginning to take shape, with the arrival of the familiar terraced streets patterned inbetween main roads.
In the 1980s, Tuebrook Market was opened for the first time, it has remained a main port of call for many bargain hunters in north Liverpool ever since. Located to the north east of Newsham Park, the traditional market and car boot sale has something for everyone, from fresh food to Everton and Liverpool football souvenirs.
Parts of the old terraced streets in the district are a regeneration zone, with work being carried out by Liverpool Mutual Homes.
History of Vauxhall
The Vauxhall district has a history quite like no other,
it was once home to one of the biggest multi-cultural communities the UK has ever known.
'Scottie Road', as it became affectionately known, was a true melting pot of different
cultures, helping to forge the distinctive dialect we hear on the streets of Liverpool today.
The road that gave its name to the community was built in the 1770s,
for people travelling north to Preston and further afield to Scotland.
In 1803, Scotland Road was widened to deal with the extra traffic and
homes were built either side to house the growing population of Liverpool.
This marked the birth of the 'Scottie Road' community. Over time, more residential and industrial developments were added, as local Lancastrians and people from Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Scotland and Wales settled into the area. Before too long, Scotland Road became a city within a city, with a densely packed, overcrowded population. The cramped squalid conditions gave rise to extreme poverty and poor health for most of its inhabitants. Regardless of the circumstances people found themselves in, Scottie Road became one of the most close-knit communities the world has ever known.
By the late 1800's, the sheer volume of people living in the community was at a breaking point. Liverpool's place as the second city of the vast empire of the United Kingdom, meant that there was no shortness of new people settling in the city.
In the years between 1847 and 1851 alone, nearly 300,000 people arrived in Liverpool and Scottie Road was the final destination for most of them. At this time, a quarter of all people in Liverpool were born in Ireland.
Towards the end of the century, large parts of Scottie Road were being demolished by the Liverpool Corporation, as they desperately tried to get a handle on the situation of the disease ridden streets. They built England's first council houses in 1869, aiming to solve the dire living standards and poor health in the area.
Other parts of the vast mini metropolis were regenerated, Victoria Square was built in 1885, followed by Juvenal Street Dwellings, Gildarts Gardens, Arley Street Dwellings, Dryden Street Dwellings, Adlington Street Dwellings, Kew Street Dwellings, Kempston Street Dwellings, Hornby Street Dwellings and Eldon Street Dwellings. But in all honesty, it was like putting a plaster over a leaking dam.
It wasn't until the 1930s when the Scottie Road community began to break up, as many of the homes were demolished as slums and replaced with high-rise flats. Corporation initiatives like the Liverpool Masterplan relocated large numbers of people to the new suburban areas of the city and across the water to the Wirral. The Liverpool Masterplan continued right through the middle of the 20th century, with new town areas created in areas like Kirkby, Skelmesdale and Runcorn.
Further developments at the end of the 20th century saw more large scale regeneration of the area, with the community led creation of the Athol and Eldonian Village.
If any area of Liverpool has a claim to be the birthplace of the world famous Scouse Accent, it's here, where the old Scottie Road community once flourished.
The History of Walton
The name Walton is thought to derive from Old English,
with 'Wal' from the word Wald, meaning Forest,
and 'Ton' from the word Tun meaning Settlement.
Simply put, 'Wooded Settlement'.
There is also strong evidence to suggest that the first part of the name actual
The fact that Walton was one of the older settlements in the region supports this theory,
as like most of western Britian, it was occupied by the Celtic Britons before the Norman Invasion.
When the Anglo-Saxons arrived in the area, being Germanic tribesman,
they referred the natives as 'Walha', 'Walas' or 'Wealas', meaning foreigner.
This has similarities to the naming of both Wallasey and Wales.
At the time of the Domesday Survey in 1086, the settlement was called Waleton and later Walton in 1305.
Walton was one of nine most notable places within the West Derby Hundred at the time of the Domeday Book, the other areas of significance were, Bootle, Crosby, Kirkdale, Litherland, Smithdown, Toxteth, Wavertree and most importantly West Derby, the main administrative centre for the region.
For a long time after the Norman Conquest, Walton was a township called 'Walton-on-the-Hill'. It developed as a relatively large town and up until the 17th century was considered a more important settlement than Liverpool. The change was all the more evident once Liverpool built its first wet dock. It wasn't long before the town of Walton was feeling the effects of Liverpool's exponential growth.
In 1861, there was over 3,500 people in Walton and nearly 700 of them were unfortunate detainees in the newly built 'Walton Gaol', later called HM Prison Liverpool. Not long after this, rows of terraced streets arrived in Walton to house the railroad workers, as the town was starting to experience the full force of the Liverpool sprawl.
In 1869, the Walton Workhouse was established to help feed and teach practical skills to the poverty stricken poor.
In May 1885, the Liverpool Zoological Gardens opened on Rice Lane in Walton. On the grand entrance to the park were two big bronze Liver Birds, perched above the gates to the gardens. The 20 acre site was named after a previous zoo that had closed in Kensington 20 years earlier, it wasn't a success though, the company fell into financial difficulties by the end of the year and the animals were sold in 1886, less than a year after officially opening.
On the 24th of August in 1892, Everton Football Club moved to Goodison Park in Walton. The club were the Champions of English football and a real catch for the area. They arrived from the other side of Stanley Park after a rent dispute with the landlord at Anfield, famously leading to the formation of their fiercest rivals.
Walton's Town Hall was built in 1893, it was later demolished in the 1960s to make way for inner city ring road, the Queens Drive fly-over.
In 1895, Walton eventually lost its independence and was annexed by the City of Liverpool. The Queens Drive Baths opened in the district in 1909. It was an impressive olympic standard sized pool and was even the location for the record of the 200 yard breaststroke, set in 1929 by the British Olympic swimmer Marjery Hinton.
During the early parts of the 20th century, more council housing was built in Walton to support huge swathes of people relocating from the slum areas of the city.
In the 1930s, Walton Workhouse became Walton Hospital. Famous for being the birthplace of Paul McCartney, the hospital was rundown by the end of the 20th century and demolished as part of the regeneration in the area, it was replaced by a retail park and almost 150 new homes.
History of Wavertree
Wavertree gets its name from the aspen trees that still occupy the land.
It comes from the Old English words Waefre and Treow, meaning 'Wavering Tree'.
There have been many different versions of the name down the years,
with Wauretreu in the 1086 Domesday Book,
Wavertrea in 1167,
Wavertre in 1196 and Wartre in 1381.
Wavertree was one of the nine most important places within the West Derby Hundred at the time of the Domeday Book, the other areas of significance were, Bootle, Crosby, Kirkdale, Litherland, Smithdown, Toxteth, Walton and West Derby, which was the main administrative centre for the wider region.
Wavertree was just a small village in the early 1700s, with as little as 50 homes in the area. As Liverpool grew, rich merchants moved out to places like Wavertree to escape the dirt and grind of the industrious metropolis.
Throughout the 18th century Wavertree's own population began to grow and new buildings came with it. In 1796, a lock-up similar to the one built in Everton nine years earlier, was built to control the local drunks in the area. Before it was built, villagers used to take it in turns to be the Constable of the village. As a Constable, they had to detain any lousy drunks inside their own homes over night. This was no free solution though, as Constables could claim two shillings off the village for the privilege. It was decided after a village meeting that a lock-up would be the way forwards, so they voted in favour of building the small bridewell. It remained in use until 1845, when Wavertree Police Station was opened. In 1872, Wavertree Town Hall was built to house the local health board.
In 1895, the village of Wavertree became a part of the city of Liverpool. By now, the population of Wavertree was quite substantial, as rows of terraced streets were built to house its new occupants.
In 1906, the Blue Coat School moved Church Road in Wavertree, the Grade II listed building was designed by the same architects that built the famous Port of Liverpool building on the Pier Head, Wolstenholme & Thornely.
In 1943, George Harrison was born at 12 Arnold Grove in Wavertree, where he lived for the first six years of his life. In 1952, the small yellow sandstone octagonal lock-up that has become a symbol of the area in recent years, was designated a listed building.
In 1979, Wavertree Village became a Conservation Area and the triangular village green where the 18th century lock-up stands is the only remaining piece of common land in the city.
In the mid 1980s, Wavertree Technology Park was built, creating over 1000 jobs for the area, the Wavertree Technology Park Station opened at the turn of the millenium.
In 2013, the successful Blue Coat School was ranked as the 7th best school in the country.
History of West Derby
The name West Derby is thought derive from Old Scandanavian words, with 'Diur' meaning Deer,
and 'By' meaning Settlement or Farm.
Put simply, 'A Deer Farmstead'.
In the Domesday Book of 1086, it is referred to as Derbei and later Derbeia in 1153. Around this time, it's believed that the 'West' prefix was added to it, to differentiate it from Derby in Derbyshire, so in 1177, it appears as West Derbie.
West Derby's historical significance can not be underestimated, as it was the main administrative area for the whole of the West Derby Hundred. The area that the West Derby Hundred covered was from the River Ribble in the north, to the River Mersey in the south and as far inland as Leigh. It included modern day Liverpool, north Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St.Helens, north Warrington and West Lancashire.
As the judicial centre and capital of the wider region, West Derby had a motte and bailey castle, where the parent manor ruled from. The castle had a 200ft diametre motte and was the principle fort in the region, until the arrival of Liverpool's own castle in 1235. This marked the downfall of West Derby's castle, as many of the early settlers into Liverpool Castle were sourced from the West Derby fort.
West Derby Castle was abandoned in 1297, by 1347, it was left in ruins, parts of the castle were excavated by the Liverpool University in 1928.
One of the oldest buildings in Liverpool today is the West Derby Courthouse. The Tudor courthouse was built in 1586, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First. The red sandstone Grade II listed building was restored in 2005, it is the only freestanding post-medieval courthouse in Britain.
West Derby remained an idyllic rural village some distance away from Liverpool until the Victorian period, when the expanding city began surrounding the old settlement.
In the 1850s, Lord Sefton rebuilt parts of West Derby, he built several large mansions and added a new village square. Soon after, many of the rich merchants from Liverpool moved into the area, erecting large extravagant buildings themselves.
By this time, Liverpool's sheer size and importance superceded the relatively small village of West Derby. Parts of the old West Derby Hundred capital were annexed by the new powerhouse in 1895, as it slowly devoured the former township. By 1928 the job was complete, as the last remaining area known as West Derby Rural was incorporated into the city. By the 1930s, many of the old mansions that once adorned the village were demolished, in favour of smaller-sized private housing.
In 1914, the ground-breaking Alder Hey Children's Hospital was founded. The hospital is one of the largest children's hospitals in Europe and has always been at the centre of medical advancements throughout its existance. In 1941, Alder Hey introduced 'The First Neonatal Surgical Unit in the World', and in 1944, it was the 'First Hospital to Test Penicillin', saving a child from Pneumonia.
In 1959, the legendary Casbah Coffee Club opened in West Derby. The 300 capacity venue was created by the mother of Pete Best, one of the founding members of the Beatles. The Quarrymen played there numerous times, the band featured John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ken Brown. When the Beatles went to Hamburg in 1960, they invited Pete Best along, as they didn't have a drummer at the time. The club closed down in 1962, but is still remarkably well-preserved and was been awarded English Heritage's Grade II listed status in 2006.
History of Woolton
The name Woolton is believed to derive from the Old Scandanavian personal name 'Wulva',
and the word 'Tun', meaning Settlement or Village.
Put simply, 'The Village of Wulva'.
At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086,
Woolton is called Uluentune.
Woolton became two seperate areas around this period, with each area owned by a Thain,
what we now know as Woolton became 'Much Woolton',
and the area in modern day Gateacre became 'Little Woolton'.
Other names for Much Woolton after this time were Mikel Wolverton in 1301 and
Miche Wolleton in 1429.
Throughout much of its existance, Woolton remained a small settlement centred around a village cross. As Liverpool grew into an industrial metropolis, many of its rich merchants left the inner city area, seeking refuge in the more quiter surroundings away from the heavily industrialised zones. Woolton typified this and became a magnet for upper class settlers.
The main trade in Woolton had always been agriculture, but in the early part of the 19th century, the first of Woolton's many quarries opened up in the area. Over the years, the stone extracted from the quarries has been used in the construction of many of the listed buildings that see in and around Liverpool today. By 1913, the expansion of Liverpool caught up with the village of Woolton and it was annexed into the city. That same year, to commemorate its new status as a part of Liverpool, the village cross was restored.
In the mid 20th century, Woolton was home to a young boy who would grow up to be one of the most famous people in the world. John Lennon lived in a home called Mendips on Menlove Avenue in Woolton. In 1956, John Lennon with his friends Pete Shotton, Eric Griffiths and Colin Hanton formed a band appropriately called, 'The Quarrymen'. The band would later be called 'The Beatles' in 1960, when new members like Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Stuart Sutcliffe had joined.
Although the village has been somewhat swallowed up the mighty city of Liverpool, it has still, even to this day, managed to maintain the feeling of village life.