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Thread: Merseyside recollections

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    Senior Member Samp's Avatar
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    Default Merseyside recollections

    I thought I would post this thread for all you budding historians.

    When I was fourteen or fifteen, I used to read quite a lot on local history, I was never out of the William Brown Library or the local libraries for that matter.
    I am sixty eight now and on reflection of the books I read and the information I filed away in my head, several things spring to mind which I have not heard about or seen commented on in this forum or any of the numerous books which are churned out these days.
    I will itemize these memories and recollections, in the hope that they may spark off some interest and discussion.


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    1 When the Seaforth docks were being laid out the remains of a Roman road was discovered coming from the
    direction of the Wirrel.

    2 When the Birkenhead docks were being dug out the body of a Neolithic man was found.


    3 The coastline of West Lancashire extended about seven miles further out into the Irish Sea, and that a section of
    land from as far up as Morecambe and down to Anglesey, sank under the sea. As a result of this the Conway
    River was formed. That there are the ruins of a structure about three miles out in the Conway estuary and at low
    tides can be seen under the water.


    4 The petrified forest which is often mentioned at Hoylake at very low tides actually extended across to Formby,
    that the mouth of the Mersey as it is now did not exsist.

    5 That there are two lost villages under the sands of Formby, one of which was a thriving fishing village.


    6 A channel from the Irish Sea actually ran down the length of what is now Lord Street and the seaward side of
    Lord St and the area down to the beach was a huge sandbank.

    7 In a field behind the Bootle Arms pub in Melling can be found the remains of Roman settlement.

    8 That Meols in Hoylake where King William of Orange sailed to Ireland was used as a port as far back as the Romans.

    All this information I have read in books in the past. Two books that spring to mind are a book called ‘Ancient Meols’ and a book called ‘The North West Coastline’.
    Last edited by Samp; 01-19-2010 at 09:37 PM. Reason: Wrong title given.

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    Senior Member marky's Avatar
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    4. The sunken forest can be seen on the beach at Hightown, by the disused boating club.

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    Pablo42 pablo42's Avatar
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    There used to be the rremains of the sunken forest at Moreton. Not to far from the Alembic ship that was sunk into the sea wall.

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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Fascinating. thanks Samp, I wish I had your memory though. I read things then forget half of it.

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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Hi Samp

    I read a lot of local history when I was in Liverpool in the Sixties and also started my own unpublished "history" of the city and region based on what I read.

    I think we should be careful about what was "actual" and what was only rumored or unverified. The sunken forest on the northern Wirral coast at Meols etc and on west coast of Lancashire near Formby seems to have been real enough. As for the "remains of a Roman road" found during the laying out of the Seaforth docks, that's a new one on me although Robert Griffiths in his A History of the Royal & Ancient Park of Toxteth (original edition 1907) reported such a Roman road found in the area, as I recall, of Garston Old Road... or at least the paving of the road was said to be so regular that it had to be Roman. I am not sure it has ever been verified that it was actually a Roman road. There were also Roman coins found at Otterspool, so there do seem to have been Roman visitors to the area although the nearest Roman towns would have been at Chester, Warrington, Wigan, and Ribchester, with there being no actual Roman settlement, it seems, in the vicinity of Liverpool itself.

    All the best

    Chris
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    Senior Member az_gila's Avatar
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    Question but the Romans....

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hi Samp
    ....... There were also Roman coins found at Otterspool, so there do seem to have been Roman visitors to the area although the nearest Roman towns would have been at Chester, Warrington, Wigan, and Ribchester, with there being no actual Roman settlement, it seems, in the vicinity of Liverpool itself.
    .....
    Chris
    ...mined (collected, dug for?) salt in lots of places in Cheshire, right?

    So it would makes sense that they ventured to the nearest rivers...

    gil A

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    Senior Member Samp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hi Samp

    I read a lot of local history when I was in Liverpool in the Sixties and also started my own unpublished "history" of the city and region based on what I read.

    I think we should be careful about what was "actual" and what was only rumored or unverified. The sunken forest on the northern Wirral coast at Meols etc and on west coast of Lancashire near Formby seems to have been real enough. As for the "remains of a Roman road" found during the laying out of the Seaforth docks, that's a new one on me although Robert Griffiths in his A History of the Royal & Ancient Park of Toxteth (original edition 1907) reported such a Roman road found in the area, as I recall, of Garston Old Road... or at least the paving of the road was said to be so regular that it had to be Roman. I am not sure it has ever been verified that it was actually a Roman road. There were also Roman coins found at Otterspool, so there do seem to have been Roman visitors to the area although the nearest Roman towns would have been at Chester, Warrington, Wigan, and Ribchester, with there being no actual Roman settlement, it seems, in the vicinity of Liverpool itself.

    All the best

    Chris
    Thanks Chris. I cannot vouch for any of the information execpt to say that I did read it in books in the fifties. If you take into account there was a Roman presence at Anglesey as well as Chester, it is not beyound the possibilty that a road could have exsisted.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    It was always strange that the Romans ignored the deep Mersey in favour of the Dee. OK boats were small then and Chester got further them inland and nearer to North Wales where the Ancient Britons clustered and fought back. The Romans never conquered North Wales. The Dee at Chester was also wider with the estuary not as silted up as today.

    The Romans do not even mention the Mersey, which is strange for such a deep fast running river. One theory was that the Mersey Estuary was not there and was created by a large earthquake during the Roman occupation of England around 400AD.

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    Senior Member Samp's Avatar
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    The Romans do not even mention the Mersey, which is strange for such a deep fast running river. One theory was that the Mersey Estuary was not there and was created by a large earthquake during the Roman occupation of England around 400AD.

    [/QUOTE]


    This would tie in with the mention in the book 'The north West Coastline' regarding the extended coastline sinking!

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    I remember reading about the discovery of what was called,a roman road,in the Otterspool/Aigburth area,during the building of the promenade,though I have never come across any real evidence,or investigation of this.Another tale I read,in an old,out of print Liverpool history,was one of some type of vessel,complete with various artefacts, dug up around the area of the "Crown" pub,in Lime st, which seemed unlikely to me,bearing in mind that it's a hill,but the city's landscape has changed so much,over the centuries,that it wasn't impossible! Thing is,where's the documentation for this kind of stuff?

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Did the river Mersey once flow in the opposite direction to its flow today? The theory is that the Mersey was once a modest river running into the river Dee near Chester across the flat land between Stanlow and Chester and that either an earthquake or a shifting of sands at the present mouth of the Mersey caused the river to change its direction around 1400 years ago. “The evolution of a coastline: Barrow to Aberystwyth ” by William Ashton (1920) propounds this theory. The Roman mapmaker Ptolemy did not show the Mersey at all in his charts. This could be simply an error, as Ptolemy was said to have worked on the basis of information provided by sailors rather by direct observation. Or it could be an accurate statement of fact. Sir J. Allanson “It was in the sixth century that a great tidal wave overwhelmed parts of Winchester and Rye in Sussex and the land of Lyonesse, west of Cornwall was sunk.” The writer’s theory was that the land had sunk from 30 to 45 feet in the last fourteen centuries. “The Mersey’s outlet to the sea was not, down to a date which may have been anywhere between the fourth and ninth centuries, as it is now, along the pre-glacial depression between Liverpool and Birkenhead but it was a tributary of the Dee, which it joined just below Chester.” Picton said that if this was not an error “the estuary of the Mersey in its present form did not exist” at that time. The Chambré Hardman Archives and the Proudman Laboratory website also make references to this theory.
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
    Save Liverpool Docks and Waterways - Click

    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


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