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Old Brook House, Smithdown Road, Toxteth, Liverpool
The Old Brook House stood on Smithdown Road close to Greenbank Road, closer to the city centre than the new building. It sat on what is now the corner of Lidderdale Road. The Upper Brook thus flowed probably flowed to the right of this picture
The old Brook House was built in 1754 by the Earl of Sefton. The date stone from the old building, for a long time affixed to the wall of the bowling green of the new building, was not found on a recent visit and search
Griffiths records that part of the Upper Brook was still visible above ground in the grounds of the pub from whence it flowed under Smithdown Road. With culverts and piping it is hard to say exactly what is the natural course, however contours and the present day depression in Smithdown Road give a good idea still.
There was a house called Dingle Vale long before the road of that name was laid out. This old house was located at the junction of Dingle Road with Dingle Lane, with entrances on both roads. Dingle Vale's garden extended up Dingle Lane, halfway to Dingle Mount. Dingle Vale was built before 1835 (1835 Map: S Jones).
(Photograph John Roles Collection, with permission).
1858 Kelly's: Misses Kaye, Dingle Vale. (n.b. numbered 24 Dingle Lane)
1881 Kelly's: William Scott, Dingle Vale.
1888 Map: Identified as Dingle Vale.
1894 Kelly's: William George Scott, Dingle Vale, 26 Dingle Lane.
1908 shown on OS map, though un-named on map. (6d)
1911 Kelly's: William George Scott, civil engineer, Dingle Vale, 26 Dingle Lane.
1926 Kelly's: William James Nangle, butcher, 26 Dingle Lane.
1934 Kelly's: William James Nangle, 126 Dingle Lane.
1936 Kelly's: number 126 no longer exists, the house is no longer listed by name (nor in any directories examined after this -1966).
The house, Dingle Vale, was then demolished. The name was given to a new road which connected Dingle Mount to Buckland Street. Dingle Vale Secondary Modern School, later Shorefields School, occupies all one side of Dingle Vale.
A terrace of 17 houses were built on the site of Dingle Vale and its garden. 152 to 164 Dingle Lane were built on the site of the house, with 130 to 150 Dingle Lane occupying the site of the garden. To confuse the issue, there was a plaque set into the pavement wall of the end house (164) which read;- "Borough of Liverpool. Erected by the Health Committee, 1865". (It isn't known to what the plaque refers, but it certainly isn't the date of the building of the present houses). In 1865 Dingle Vale was the last house in that part of Liverpool's boundary, and it has been suggested that the plaque refers to the sewers. There is another such plaque in Ullet Road, opposite Windermere Terrace, and at least one other, elsewhere).
In Dingle Road the bottom half of the gate pillars of Dingle Vale (the house) survive in their original position, with some sort of lintel placed on the top. It is often mistaken for a fireplace.
....with many thanks to Philip Mayer for this article and for ? photographs
The Lower Brook
The Lower Brook rose as the drainage from several ponds situated close to Edge Lane and to the east of what is now Botanic Park but which earlier in its history was the Botanic gardens shown on this map. These ponds existed as recently as 1902, perhaps later as ponds are still shown in the area in the 1960s (IF they are the same ponds that is). The original scan of is map, the 1849 City Engineer's map of Liverpool, was kindly sent to me by Richard Hawes of lancashire galleries. I have coloured this (and rotated it to save space). It suggests that there are two streams in the upper reaches of where the lower brook rose.
The historic course of the Lower Brook was severed by the Liverpool to Manchester railway lines at Edge Hill (shown left ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? with the word 'LIVERPOOL' along it). In the 1700s it continued and crossed Wavertree Road close to a house called 'Bridge House'. J. A. Picton, in 1875, records this as follows " ...1830.... Just where the railway crosses the road stood a farm-house and orchard called Bridge House, from the bridge over the brook forming the division between the townships. About half way from Edgehill stood an old picturesque cottage, originally called the 'Pump House' but subsequently converted to a tavern called the Halfway House, with a tea garden and skittles". Bridge house would have been found about (and below!) the middle of the present road bridge over the railway lines.
The stream appears to have followed the line of what is now Spofforth Road and Webster Road. This line forms part of what was then a Parliamentary boundary - which I do not think is co-incidental - this happens frequently. In addition both of these roads run at a noticeable angle to the surrounding terraces, which, in every case within Toxteth, is an indicator of the presence of an ancient stream
As shown here (extreme left), the Lower Brook crossed Smithdown Road at what is now the entrance to Toxteth Park Cemetery, near Salisbury Road. This disagrees with Griffiths in 1907 (and others who have used his excellent works as a source) but I think that he is wrong. Griffiths gives Mulliner Street as the crossing point on Smithdown Road I find this totally implausible based on geography and contours.
The Mulliner Public House at the junction of Mulliner Street and Smithdown RoadLooking down Smithdown Road from Mulliner StreetMulliner Street is at one of the steepest downhill gradients on Smithdown Road and I do not believe that the Lower Brook would cross Smithdown Road here. To do so the brook would run sideways and slightly up, a downward running hill. Griffiths suggested crossing and direction is marked blue on the [clickable] pictures.
Looking down Mulliner Street from Smithdown RoadIf you visit the junction you will also notice that Mulliner Street slopes downhill away from Smithdown Road, so a crossing at Mulliner Street would not only need to flow sideways up a hill but would have to flow uphill along Mulliner Street to do so! A stream is more likely to have followed contours and been situated at the lowest point, which is is around the Cemetery gates. I have now satisifed myself that this is the crossing point. This was done by re-sizing the 1765, Earl of Sefton, map and overlaying it onto a recent OS map. Lining up portions of the streams still above ground and surviving road junctions shows the Lower Brook / Smithdown Road crossing to be by the Cemetery gates, the Lower Brook would flow close to Webster or Cranborne Road (perhaps Salisbury or Alderson Road) before crossing Smithdown Road. This is the lowest point of Smithdown Road here - I checked. (This is also the point where the boundary of Toxteth ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? switches from the Cemetery side of Smithdown Road to the opposite side, prior to diverting away from Smithdown Road for a short distance, rejoing at the present Brook House).
After passing under the cemetery, in a drain, it crosses Ullet Road somewhere near Cheltenham Avenue and enters what is now Sefton Park. It finally emerges above ground at The Grotto. It can clearly been seen there as a small open stream as late as the 1905 map and of course the water flow is still there regardless of how it enters the grotto pool. The watercourse is above ground now and flows through Sefton Park and into the head of the main boating lake. Here it merges with the waters of the Upper Brook, something that it always did at this point and this can be seen on the map, left. The combined waters leave at the far end of the lake and flow in a culvert under Aigburth Road and then flow more or less down the course of the old Osklesbrok through the very clearly shown 'Otterspool' and finally on into the Mersey.
(The right hand stream on the map opposite is the Upper Brook which has a file of its own, although you can pick out the crossing point at Smithdown Road (by the Brook House), the dammed pool which is now in Greenbank Park and the junction with the Lower Brook).
As a postscript to my disagreement with Griffiths' work, I have examined a variety of early maps, some of which show several interesting things. There is clearly a farm or smallholding at about the junction of Mulliner Street and Smithdown Road. There are also ponds on the Hartington Road side of Smithdown Road in this same area. The ponds and Hartington Road are higher than Mulliner Street and there is a suggestion on some that there could have been a small brook here. This is not the Lower Brook, but would have crossed Smithdown Road in the reverse direction to the Lower Brook and thus it would flow down Mulliner Street, down the observed gradient. The course appears very straight and it may have been a channel or ditch which provided water for the smallholding.
Toxteth Fire Station - Ivanhoe Road
The station in Ivanhoe Road opened in April 1895.
This was one of the most famous of toxteth's industries and it produced high-quality earthenware and porcelain from about 1793 to 1841. "This pottery, the largest ever established in Liverpool, was founded in 1796 on the site of some old copper works on the south shore of the River Mersey at Toxteth Park". The story is however a little more long winded!
In 1793 Charles Roe's Copper works was closed and the land was offered for sale. This was in 1794, as the advertisement (below, left) shows, although the lease on the land commenced in 1792. This may account for the varying dates given for the beginning of the pottery.
Foundation : The land was bought by Richard Abbey (1720-1801) and a small pottery was established here soon afterwards. Abbey, was born in Liverpool, at Aintree and was apprenticed to one John Sadler as an engraver in the firm of Sadler and Green. Whilst working under Sadler he produced many notable designs for mugs, jugs and tiles. After leaving Sadler, Abbey moved to Glasgow, as an engraver at the potworks. Later he was similarly employed in France. He then returned to Liverpool where at the age of 70, he went into business for himself in partnership with a Scotsman named Graham.
New owners : Messrs. Abbey and Graham, made a success of their factory at Toxteth Park and sold it to a consortium named Worthington, Humble and Holland. Abbey retired to Aintree, where he died in 1801.
no large version availableno large version availableHumble and Holland called their pottery 'Herculaneum' in the way that Josiah Wedgwood had chosen to call his new colony 'Etruria'. 'Herculaneum' and a variety of crowns were stamped on their products thoughout the history of the pottery, although not, apparently, on all of the early wares.
Humble and Holland engaged as foreman and manager, a skilled thrower, Ralph Mansfield of Burslem and with him about forty men, women and children were hired from Staffordshire and brought to Liverpool. The buildings acquired from Richard Abbey were enlarged, the arrangements remodelled, new ovens and workshops erected and houses for the workmen were erected. The little colony was peopled in the middle of November 1796 and the expanded works were opened on the 8th December 1796 which is the date usually attributed to the start of the Herculaneum Pottery proper.
The Potters: Forty or so of these potters and their families, led by skilled thrower, Archibald Mansfield from Burslem, arrived en masse on 11th November 1796 and were escorted by crowds and bands of musicians. The potters occupied houses which were specially built for them. It is suggested that Park Terrace in Grafton Street between Beresford Road and Thornton's yard, were some of these. The small houses which formerly stood between Wellington Road and Harlow Street in what was Chapel Place, off Grafton Street, were known locally as `The Potteries' (see entry in Gore for 1858) and may also have been some of the houses for which the potters drew lots on their journey up the canal and river to their new homes. At that time of course, houses and buildings stood on land which has since been cleared to make way for the Railway and the Docks.
Pearlware 1829The first productions were blue-printed wares. Dinner, toilet, tea, and coffee services, punch-bowls, mugs and jugs were made. This blue-printing may have been a practical adaption of what fate bestowed in the form of copper residues from Roe's works which are said to have tinged the early wares blue. Soon after cream-coloured ware, which was then fashionable was made and later, terracotta vases and other articles were produced. The cream-coloured or Queen's ware, is considered of fine quality and as well crafted as any available.
In 1800 and again in 1806, the manufactory was considerably increased, as was the number of partners in the firms. Much of the pottery was exported to the USA and Canada.
It was not only cheap quality goods that were made here, as examples in the Liverpool Museum show. Fine porcelain was made and indeed continued to be produced, from now until the time of the closing of the works. The plate, (above, left), is Pearlware from 1820.
In 1833, the Herculaneum Pottery Company was officially dissolved and the property sold for ?25,000 to Ambrose Lace.
The remaining stock was then sold, as a clipping the Liverpool Mercury Feb 22nd 1833 shows. Ambrose Lace in turn leased the premises to Thomas Case and James Mort, who carried on the business for three more years.
no large version availableDuring this period a Liver bird was added to the factory markings. It was during their tenureship that a notable dinner service was made for the Corporation of Liverpool. It was blue-printed, and had on each piece the arms of Liverpool engraved.
In about 1836, Case, Mort and Co. was also dissolved to be succeeded by Mort & Simpson, who traded until the pottery finally closed in 1841 caused by competition from the Staffordshire potteries. This was the end of Liverpool's last pottery.
Reference material :-
Smith, Alan: Illustrated Guide to Liverpool Herculaneum Pottery (Barrie & Jenkins, London, 1970)
Jewitt's Ceramic Art of Great Britain 1800-1900
Gore's Directory 1858
St Bedes - Hartington Road / Fern Grove
The original St Bedes on this site was opened for worship in 1886. It was designed by J Cutts and A McMurdo.
That church was largely destroyed by fire in 1919 and a new church designed by R Stubbs opened in 1924. This intricate brick and stone Gothic church dominates this section of Hartington Road at the junction with Fern Grove and Arundel Avenue.
South Liverpool Tuberculosis Clinic Park Road
The Tuberculosis Consultative Committee came into being in 1912 to report on the prevention and treatment of T.B. in Liverpool and the Institute opened in May 1913. It remained in use until the start of WWII.
The institute was a grand, Georgian building with a large garden to the front. There were similar large buildings on either side of the institute.
Dingle Bank Cottages
Philip Mayer records that these were built by James Cropper, on the shore, for workers on his Dingle Estate. Note the distant view of Dingle Point just above the railings, right of screen.
Much of the Dingle Estate was demolished by the Docks and Habour Board in 1919 to provide land to expand their Dingle Oil Jetties and Petroleum Stores. The riverside walk visible here was obliterated.
Later still the Otterspool promenade (northern extension) and finally the 1984 garden festival destroyed all traces of this area which now lies buried, under what has become Riverside Drive, close to the Britannia Pub on the waterfront.
The Old Tide Mill Toxteth
Robert Griffiths (1) writing in 1907, more or less at the time of the maps used on this site, says that 'The Old Tide Mill stood at a point almost directly opposite the junction of Northumberland Street and Sefton Street, on the shore, and its site is now occupied by the approaches to the new Brunswick Dock'. A little further, in the centre of the shore, there stood in solitary grandeur a high building known as The Tall House.
Mere Bank - Ullet Road
Douglas Horsefall who was associated with St. Agne's Church on Ullet Road built a house for himself near to the church, this was Merebank. It was built in 1886 and designed by, R.Norman Shaw, in the half-timbered and tile-hung Wealdon style - apparently with a largely classical interior.
Horsefall died there 1936.
In the late 1950s and early 60s I remember this as a partly ruined house that one walked along side of the side of to get to Sefton Park, however Merebank was eventually demolished by Liverpool Corporation in 1965.
The Royal Ampitheatre - Queens Square
A view from an engraving by Harwood dated as above, this shows the Royal Ampitheatre on Queens Square (not to be confused with the Theatre Royal on Williamson Square, nearby). Queens square is shown in the background whilst a view showing what you might see if you were seated in the carriage, would have you looking along Great Charlotte Street
The site if this theatre is said to have been on, or close to that, of The Fall Well (an ancient spring and water source), but in 1826 John Cooke bought the site to accommodate his circus shows, plays and concerts. Cooke's new circus opened here that year and was followed in 1830 by an entirely new building. This was properly known as Cooke's Royal Ampitheatre of Arts and is shown here. This is the building where, in 1849, Jenny Lind gave a concert to assist the opening of a new hospital in toxteth, The Royal Southern.
The Royal Ampitheatre was later redesigned and partially rebuilt, opening as The Royal Court in 1881.
That building lasted until 1938 when it burned down, after which it was replaced by a new Royal Court Theatre on 17th October 1938, this survived the blitz which destroyed much adjacent property and stands to this day.
Infectious Diseases Hospital - South Hill Road
Varyingly named, it appears on the 1905-08 map series under the above name, and in Gore's directories as 'City Hospital' or 'City Hopsiatal (Park Hill)' at the Dingle Road end of South Hill Road, though without a number. It is not found in, or prior to, 1881. It is not recorded in Gore for 1926 nor after this date. Little is yet know of this hospital, however Gore for 1894 records the following snippet of its history.
"An infectious diseases hospital, erected on land belonging to the Mersey Docks and Habours Board, at Park hill, Dingle, Toxteth park, was opened September 23rd 1884, and is available for 160 patients, 4 wards having been added in 1890; during 1892 439 patients were admitted : the hospital is under the management of the Hospitals committee of Liverpool."
Brunswick Wesleyan Methodist Chapel - Moss Street
This engraving was first issued by Fisher, Son and Co. in London in 1829 entitled The Brunswick Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, its shows the chapel's ionic portico. It was engraved by Richard Winkles (fl.1829-1831) from an original study by the brothers and landscape painters George and Charles Pyne and was originally produced for their father W. H. Pyne's part-work "Lancashire Illustrated" (London: 1828-1831).
The chapel was designed by William Byrom and although it is said that it was erected in 1811, in fact records begin a year before this, in 1810. Records exist on FamilySearch.org - Family History and Genealogy Records for 1810-1837, the batch number to view all of these is C088341. It was located on Moss Street directly opposite Finch Street, however Finch Street later changed its name and became Kempston Street. At the time of its erection this was an area of open countryside with 'detached villas and pleasant gardens' and Gage's map supports this. The Liverpool Review described this as a 'superb place of worship' and described the interior as being of a 'novel and unique formation, it's shape being that of a perfect amphitheatr</i>e' (which can be seen on the map). Picton observed that the building was 'sadly marred by the absurdity of placing the entrance doors outside the portico on each side, exposed to the weather'. It originally had a three-tiered pulpit and The Review suggests that is was called Brunswick as a gesture of loyalty to the Royal house - whatever the truth of this it may be noted that the chapel was sited virtually at the end of Brunswick Road.
(The Wesleyan Methodist church was formed in the 18th century from religious societies founded by John Wesley and his preachers. It suffered many secessions, but was the largest Nonconformist denomination in the 19th century. In 1932 the Wesleyan Methodists joined with the Primitive Methodists and the United Methodists to form the Methodist Church of Great Britain. (source : GENUKI: UK & Ireland Genealogy) ).
Low Hill Cemetery (Necropolis)
The new Cemetery at Low Hill was opened when the first burial took place, on February 1st 1825, later its name was altered to "Necropolis". Figures quoted at the time stated that it occupied 24,000 square yards cost nearly ?8,000. It was run by Trustees known as the Committee of Proprietors of Low Hill General Cemetery, the Trusts being defined in a deed of 9th March 1825. The cemetery was designed by John Foster Junior (1787-1846), Liverpool Corporation architect and surveyor and the grounds were laid out by Mr. Shepherd, then Curator of the Botanic Gardens. The cemetery was apparently largely used by nonconformists.
By 1896 the numbers of burials in the Necropolis were causing serious problems in the surrounding area and it was said to be impossible to perform a burial without exhuming previous graves. The corporation negotiated the purchase and closure of the site. Owners of unfilled graves were given gifts of land for new graves in Everton Cemetery. Closure was in 1912 and the site, at the junction of Everton Road, Brunswick Road, Low Hill and West Derby Road was to be landscaped. Public gardens were completed in 1914 on the site and on 22 April 1914 the Corporation re-opened the site as an ornamental garden, using a small portion for street widening. A photograph taken at this time by the City Engineers department shows wide pathways around the gardens with formal flower beds in between. There was a fountain and several gazeboes and shelters for the visitors. The main entrance to the new park was from West Derby Road.
Liverpool records office holds extensive records under 352 CEM/1 and CEM/2 and several photographs taken by the City Engineers department around the time of closure records date from opening in 1825 to closure in 1912 and consist of Burial registers, order books, registers of graves, day books, cash books and items relating to the closure of the cemetery.
Source: Toteth.net [no longer available]