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Thread: The Moorish Arch Chatsworth Street, Edge Hill, Liverpool

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Default The Moorish Arch Chatsworth Street, Edge Hill, Liverpool

    It was whilst working around the Edge Hill area of Liverpool that I became interested in what was below our feet as Edge Hill has a labyrinth of undiscovered tunnels and railway cuttings. The most significant discovery for me has been Moorish Arch site, at the beginning of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. George Stephenson

    Opened in 1830, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was the first intercity passenger railway system in the world that linked Liverpool and Manchester with the initial aim of transporting raw materials from the Port of Liverpool and East Lancashire at a time when 40% of the world’s trade was passing through Liverpool. At the beginning of the line was Crown Street Station which was opened as the world’s first public railway station in September of that year. The Council should hang their heads in shame for allowing Student accommodation to be built upon that site.
    Liverpool and Manchester Railway: Crown Street Station 1831


    ADVERTISING




    Liverpool and Manchester Railway:
    engine and examples of rolling stock 1831

    At the same time, Stephenson was asked to create something beautiful and ornate along the line. He chose an oriental style arch, the design of which has become to be known as Moorish. This was lovingly constructed over the line. This historically significant section of the railway now lies abandoned and the Moorish Arch has decayed beyond recognition. Recently, I found out that because of the massive amount of traffic along the line, it was widened to the detriment of the beautiful arch. Progress I suppose!
    Opening at Moorish Arch – crowds, trains, carriages. 1830

    1831 ENGRAVING MOORISH ARCH LIVERPOOL MANCHESTER RAILWAY


    Over the years various features have been excavated which have included the base of the Moorish Arch and the stone edged rope haulage channels used to haul coaches and wagons up from the docks. Excavations have also identified the remains of other original features which include a number of openings cut into the rock face can be seen on each side of the cutting. In 1980 British Rail handed the site over to the Edge Hill Railway Trust that has disbanded and access to this area is refused.
    The area can be seen along Chatsworth Drive just before reaching the old Chatsworth Council School (Smithdown Primary School). It’s easy to miss as a tall wall hides the drop from the bridge. I visited St. Anne’s, Overbury Street. The playground has a small brick removed from the wall that allowed me to take pictures.
    The site now but with a bit of Photoshopping to show what the arch looked like in situ

    The Moorish Arch Site 2014. The Steps

    The Moorish Arch Site 2014. Chatsworth Drive runs across the top.


    After all that, the Liverpool-end of the line hardly gets a mention anywhere despite the significance of the Ege Hill area.
    Further reading
    Official unveiling of Artist Andrew McKeown’s Edgehill Artwork Time Capsules by Local Liverpool Schools
    Moorish Arch Edge Hill Liverpool Not So Beautiful and Ornate Anymore
    Edge Hill and Crown Street
    Last edited by Kev; 05-28-2015 at 04:26 PM.
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    Pablo42 pablo42's Avatar
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    Nice one Kev.

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    Senior Member wsteve55's Avatar
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    First,you would have to identify who "They" might be,seeing the railway trust has gone! Williamson's tunnels has 2 organisations,who often dont see,eye to eye,and have had funding held up,or lost,due to this! But even so,the funding they do get,is relatively small,when you consider the plans they have,which will probably cost millions! It would be fantastic to see a visitor centre,or similar,that recognises Liverpool's pioneering railway system,with it's many "First's"!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wsteve55 View Post
    First,you would have to identify who "They" might be,seeing the railway trust has gone! Williamson's tunnels has 2 organisations,who often dont see,eye to eye,and have had funding held up,or lost,due to this! But even so,the funding they do get,is relatively small,when you consider the plans they have,which will probably cost millions! It would be fantastic to see a visitor centre,or similar,that recognises Liverpool's pioneering railway system,with it's many "First's"!
    Seem to find money for lesbian workshops though. Aint got nowt against lesbians, but really.

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    Senior Member wsteve55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pablo42 View Post
    Seem to find money for lesbian workshops though. Aint got nowt against lesbians, but really.
    Yeh,but who,though!

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    The area would definitely benefit from a visitors center, maybe something attached to Edgehill Station. Access via there?
    Liverpool in Pictures/ YO! Liverpool has taken me over 10 years to develop and maintain.

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    Otterspool Onomatopoeia Max's Avatar
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    Why did they demolish the castle like arch?
    Gididi Gididi Goo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    Why did they demolish the castle like arch?
    Probably age,and was replaced with a more utilitarian design, as the railways became a less exotic form of transport?

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    Newbie Collins's Avatar
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    I lived in Jane Terrace off Kinglake Street Edge Hill 1945-1957 and the ventilation chimney in our terrace is still standing, Google Kinglake Street and take the yellow man for a walk, the chimney is behind railings about halfway up the street by small unnamed street crossing to Shenstone Street.

    I have a photo of the chimney and the terrace from LRO I was looking at photos of Kinglake Street, and was thrilled when I came across the photo of our terrace with our next doors motor bike parked in front of the chimney.

    Mary

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    Why did they demolish the castle like arch?


    There was what looked like three tunnels in the cutting. The right hand single track tunnel went to Crown St being 291 yards long. The tunnel went upwards to Crown St. As far as I am aware, along with the Wapping Tunnel, it is the second oldest rail tunnel in the world.

    The tunnel in the middle is the 1.26 mile long twin track Wapping Tunnel to Kings Dock, which went down from the cutting. It was the first tunnel ever bored under a metropolis.

    The left hand tunnel was for symmetry and only a few yards deep and was a storage area.

    There was a station in the cutting - the first Edge Hill station. The station move to the north of the Edge junction at the portal of the new Lime St tunnel portal. It is still there today and totally original.

    6 years after opening Lime St Station opened, rendering Crown St Stn redundant. The Crown St area was converted to goods - coal and agricultural. Trade increased and the single track right hand Crown St tunnel was too small.

    In 1846 a new short twin track tunnel was cut to Crown St to give extra capacity - it extended from the store room to the left of the tunnel. As the cutting now required the full width with 5 through lines, the Moorish Arch was demolished to give track usage to the full width of the cutting. The arch restricted the width.

    The tunnels were used until 1972. The 1846 tunnel is still used today as a headsshut tunnel and occasionally parks trains that can be seen from Crown St.

    The original 1830 Crown St tunnel has it Crown St portal covered over and landscaped. It is collapsing inside at the Crown St portal due to no maintenance.

    The Wapping tunnel may be reused for Merseyrail, and was to be used in the 1970s, only budget cuts prevented it. IT was to branch into the Northern Line tunnel at Central Stn. This maybe why they are reluctant to allow the public near the tunnel and cutting. If reused the Wapping tunnel will be the oldest used rail tunnel in the world, and the oldest of any underground metro system by 35 years.

    I wrote this wiki:
    http://www.liverpoolwiki.org/Liverpo...c_Rail_Tunnels



    Last edited by Waterways; 09-18-2009 at 12:33 AM.
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    Wha! They demolished it, only in 1946??? Huh,I shouldn't be surprised,as they(?) did a pretty good job with the rest of the city!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wsteve55 View Post
    First,you would have to identify who "They" might be,seeing the railway trust has gone! Williamson's tunnels has 2 organisations,who often dont see,eye to eye,and have had funding held up,or lost,due to this! But even so,the funding they do get,is relatively small,when you consider the plans they have,which will probably cost millions! It would be fantastic to see a visitor centre,or similar,that recognises Liverpool's pioneering railway system,with it's many "First's"!
    I'm confused... whey would the Williamson Tunnels groups (I assume you mean the Friends of Williamson Tunnels - the public group, and the Joseph Williamson Society - who run the Heritage Centre) loose money because of this railway cutting?

    What has this got to do with Williamson Tunnels? Are you saying that funding that should have gone to the tunnels has gone to this... what is the funding for... it's a big hole in the ground.


    Quote Originally Posted by wsteve55 View Post
    Wha! They demolished it, only in 1946??? Huh,I shouldn't be surprised,as they(?) did a pretty good job with the rest of the city!
    Hmm... when did the 'chimneys' come down on the original arch was that in 1946? Why are there no photos of them? It's quite a tragedy something this interesting has gone.

    PS: Reading over this i'm not sure i've made sense... i'm still confused...
    Last edited by fortinian; 09-18-2009 at 01:29 AM.

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    Hi Fortinian,
    I just became aware of the antagonism between the 2 groups,and thier arguments about who should get any money,that might be available! I think that led to some exasperation(?) on the part of the,then, prospective funder,the council! This was a few years ago,but it seems they still dont get on!? As for the "moorish arch",I think that would be a different kettle of fish,as there would be no logical connection to these organisations, other than the fact, it's a tunnel like structure!

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    Senior Member fortinian's Avatar
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    Thanks wSteve55, i'm aware that there were two groups and they often didn't see eye to eye... as you say there is no logical connection with the tunnels and the Chatsworth cutting/tunnel/Moorish arch.

    I just wondered if it was another campaign by the Friends of Williamson Tunnels to do something about it. I remember they had a campaign a while back to save the old stables on Smithdown Lane. http://www.smithdownlane.com/ - slightly more tunnels related but not really linked to Joseph Williamson... the stables where built long after his death.

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    Local Historian Cadfael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortinian View Post
    Thanks wSteve55, i'm aware that there were two groups and they often didn't see eye to eye... as you say there is no logical connection with the tunnels and the Chatsworth cutting/tunnel/Moorish arch.

    I just wondered if it was another campaign by the Friends of Williamson Tunnels to do something about it. I remember they had a campaign a while back to save the old stables on Smithdown Lane. http://www.smithdownlane.com/ - slightly more tunnels related but not really linked to Joseph Williamson... the stables where built long after his death.
    I've only put the finishing touches to the above website about 2 days ago after a re-write.

    Just a brief one with the two groups, it's a very long story discussed many times. There are two groups simply because at the start of the interest in the Tunnels in the 90's, one person went off on a tangent and decided to form a group. The plans that they put down didn't favour all of the tunnels so FOWT was then made by another interested party of people.

    The two groups ran side by side - and still do - and there is no problems with either groups now, simply because we are working together to secure digging on the council owned 'Williamson's House' area. The only reason that the two groups are still going is that they both have slightly terms of contract and hence cannot form in to one group - with both having charitable status too, each have their own funding, one for Paddington (fowt) and one for the Stable Yard (JWS).

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    Senior Member wsteve55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadfael View Post
    I've only put the finishing touches to the above website about 2 days ago after a re-write.

    Just a brief one with the two groups, it's a very long story discussed many times. There are two groups simply because at the start of the interest in the Tunnels in the 90's, one person went off on a tangent and decided to form a group. The plans that they put down didn't favour all of the tunnels so FOWT was then made by another interested party of people.

    The two groups ran side by side - and still do - and there is no problems with either groups now, simply because we are working together to secure digging on the council owned 'Williamson's House' area. The only reason that the two groups are still going is that they both have slightly terms of contract and hence cannot form in to one group - with both having charitable status too, each have their own funding, one for Paddington (fowt) and one for the Stable Yard (JWS).
    Hi Cadfael'
    that's definitely good news then, as I think the whole tunnels entity,is an underused marvel of the city! I only mentioned the friction between the 2 groups,after being told about it,by several of the members of one of the said groups,but this was,a few years ago!

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    Nice update on the website Cad. As for the Williamson Tunnels stuff... it's off topic here, but it seems like the future looks rosy.

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