To the North
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Introduction: Exploring the Yates and Perry Map of 1768
Historically, the most important road out to the north of Liverpool was the one via Kirkdale and Walton-on-the-Hill to Ormskirk, which led on to Preston and ultimately Scotland. The Liverpool end of this road became known as Scotland Road. The other townships in this section of the Yates and Perry map were connected by a hotch-potch of roads, often having to avoid the numerous little streams that flowed down into the River Mersey and the surrounding marshes. The townships in this area at that time were Kirkdale, Walton-on-the-Hill, Bootle-cum-Linacre, Aintree, Netherton, Sefton, Orrel, Down Litherland and Great Crosby.
In the text below, individual italicised words refer to entries on the map. Whole paragraphs in italic are quotations from original sources, as follows:
HCP   History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster, Edward Baines, 1836.
HOL   History of Liverpool, William Enfield, 1774.
ROL   Recollections of Old Liverpool by a Nonagenarian, Anon., 1863.
SIL   The Stranger in Liverpool, Anon., 1812.
TDE   A Topographical Dictionary of England, Samuel Lewis, 1848.
In the key to the map below, the modern names of the roads are given in brackets unless the original name still stands.
1   Mile Lane (Great Howard Street)
2   Love Lane
3   Pinfold Lane (Vauxhall Road/Commercial Road)
4   Sandhills Lane
5   Bankhall Lane
6   Bevington Bush (now mostly Scotland Road)
7   Field Lane (later Bootle Lane, now Westminster Road/Hawthorne Road)
8   Litherland Road
9   Merton Road
10   Bootle Lane (Hawthorne Road).
11   Clayfield Lane (later Bootle Lane, now Breeze Hill)
12   Grave's House Lane (lost)
13   Irlam's Lane (Irlam Road)
14   Marsh Lane (now part of Stanley Road)
15   Linacre Lane
16   Marsh Lane (Church Road/Princess Way)
17   Crosby Road
18   Sefton Road
19   Orrell Lane (Church Road/Orrell Road)
20   Moor Lane (Church Road)
21   Watts Lane (Moss Lane)
22   Orrell Lane
23   Park Lane
24   Captain's Lane
25   Bull Lane
26   Black Bull Lane (Warbreck Avenue)
27   Park Gate Lane (lost)
28   Walton Road (now partly County Road)
29   Walton Lane
30   Spellow Lane
31   Barlow Lane
32   Priory Lane (Priory Road)
33   Church Road
34   Walton Village
35   Rice Lane
36   Hall Lane (lost)
37   Long Lane
38   Rakes Lane (Cherry Lane)
The North Shore and Mile Lane Windmill
The Tithe Barn
Bank Hall and Sandhills
Starting closest to the river, the first road north was a continuation of Old Hall Street called Mile Lane. This passed a windmill and petered out at Mile House because of the incursion of a tidal creek known as Beacon Gutter, also the name of a house there, which once marked the boundary of Liverpool. Branching off and leading to a barn was Love Lane, a popular area for city dwellers to go for country walks and other liaisons.
Branching off Tithebarn Street, where there had been a tithe barn since mediaeval times, was Pinfold Lane. This turned left at the end into Sandhills Lane to reach a house called Sand Hill (the road to the right towards Kirkdale no longer exists). The continuation of Sandhills Lane towards Bank Hall, ancestral seat of the Moore family from 1280, was Bankhall Lane, but beyond that the road over Bootle Marsh towards Bootle village has gone. Bank Hall was finally demolished, not long after the publication of the map, in 1778.
  At that time Bootle and Bootle Marshes were wild places, the roads execrable, and as for frogs (Bootle organs), the noise they made at night was wonderful. [ROL]
Sand Hill House
Bank Hall
Windmill at Bevington Bush
Further inland from Pinfold Lane was a continuation of Tithebarn Street called Bevington Bush. This was also the name of a village, with three windmills indicated on the map, named after a local area of woodland.
Bevington Bush was the main road to Kirkdale, which was a substantial settlement by the mid-18th century, though essentially nothing of the original village survives. It became the location of the Sessions House (there is still a Sessions Road), which later moved to St. George's Hall, and the vast House of Correction or jail (capable holding 800 prisoners), which was intended to be a more humane replacement for an earlier, reputedly squalid, establishment.
Cottage in Kirkdale, 1862
The Sessions House, Kirkdale
The County House of Correction, Kirkdale
Blackfield House, Kirkdale
Bootle, Linacre, Litherland and Orrell
The road from Kirkdale to Bootle was Field Lane. Bootle village had grown from Saxon times around the important Bootle Spring, which became Bootle Water Works. The spring and the associated waterworks once supplied Liverpool with fresh water, and the present Waterworks Street and Well Lane recall those days.
  At Bootle-cum-Linacre are the works for supplying the town of Liverpool with water, from a spring which formerly discharged itself into the sea at Bootle Bay, after turning a mill within about half a mile from its source. [... an] act was obtained in 1799 [...] and water has since been brought from Bootle to Liverpool. [HCP]
The village was disposed about a square area bounded on three sides by Litherland Road, Merton Road (probably a later name) and Bootle Lane, and boasted a number of pubs: the Bootle Inn, the Stanley Arms Inn, the Bull Inn and the Jaw Bone Tavern. Clayfield Lane led east to Walton village past a land mark on the elevated ground there. The other road to the east, Grave House Lane, has been lost. Little remains of the original village, but the Old Hall on Merton Road, once a hunting lodge owned by the Stanley family, dates from about 1770.
By the early 19th century the local shore, where there was another its land mark, was attracting bathers and horse riding. Wealthier residents were moving into their newly built villas along the coast and Merton Road connected this area with the village. Irlam's Lane (a local family name) led on from Merton Road to Bootle Mills, where the little brook known as the Mill Stream that flowed out of Bootle Spring was dammed twice near to its outlet, the lower one powering a watermill (there is still a Brook Road here).
  Bootle cum Linacre lies near the sea on a very sandy soil and contains some well-built houses. A very copious spring of fine, soft, pure water rises near it, which about half a mile below turns a mill and soon after falls into the sea at Bootle Bay. [...] Linacre, a pretty rural village, is a distinct township, but a member of the manor of Bootle. It lies adjacent to the sea, on the west. [HOL]
  The ride along the beach is, in the summer, remarkably pleasant, and much frequented. The sands are hard and smooth, and the wind, especially if westerly, cool and refreshing. At the distance of three miles from the town, a road turns off inland, at Bootle mills, where are two good houses provided with accommodations for persons who resort here for the benefit of sea-bathing. [SIL]
  At this place are some works for supplying the town of Liverpool with water, from a spring which formerly discharged itself at Bootle bay, on the coast, after turning a mill within half a mile of its source. [...] Anciently there were paperworks and flour-mills at Bootle; the latter were destroyed by fire some years ago. The township is beautifully situated on the shores of the Mersey, at its mouth. [...] The beach is firm, of great extent, and much resorted to for bathing, and horse exercise. The village is well built; there are numerous elegant villas, and ranges of houses inhabited by the merchants of Liverpool, and some excellent hotels and lodging-houses with every accommodation for visiters. The expansive views of the sea, the Cheshire coast, mountains of Wales, &c., are highly attractive in this quarter. [TDE]
Litherland Road led from Bootle village to Linacre (the township was generally known as Bootle-cum-Linacre at that time). Linacre village was a tiny settlement located around the bend in Linacre Lane. Marsh Lane headed south a short way before turning over Linacre Marsh towards Bootle Mills on a road now lost. John Bibby, founder of the shipping line, was to have a house known as Mount Pleasant on Linacre Marsh. Returning home one night in 1840, he was attacked by highwaymen and robbed. They beat him unconscious and threw him into a nearby pond, where he drowned, but they only escaped with a pocket watch.
Linacre Lane went north over Rimrose Brook into Litherland, up to this time often known as Down Litherland to distinguish it from Up Litherland, an area to the west of Ormskirk now subsumed within Aughton. The village spread along and about Sefton Road. Marsh Lane headed towards the shore at the outlet of Rimrose Brook (soon to have a bridge with a hotel on the other side) and Crosby Road continued along Crosby Marsh towards Waterloo. The latter area was to become a major draw for the wealthy and their villas from about 1800.
Marsh Lane continued in the other direction into Orrell Lane and then Moor Lane. Orrell Lane itself turned right to Orrell village and Linacre Lane, which continued to Watts Lane and Orrell Lane. From Orrell village, Park Lane led to Orrell Lane, which became Captain's Lane at this point. Note also Bull Lane, Black Bull Lane (leading to the Black Bull pub), and Park Gate Lane named after Stand Park, presumably a deer park or similar that had lapsed back into the wild by this time.
Landmark near Bootle
The Old Hall, Bootle
Cottage by Black Bull Lane
Spellow Mill c.1820
The Old Grammar School, Walton
Walton and Aintree
The two routes from Kirkdale to Walton village were, as now, Walton Road and Walton Lane. They were connected by Spellow Lane, near which was Spellow Mill, an ancient structure that burned down in 1828. 'Low' in Liverpool placenames means a hill and Spellow means 'Speech Hill'; it was probably once a meeting place. The continuation of Spellow Lane to Field Lane was Barlow Lane. At Spellow Lane, Walton Lane bent to the right at Mare Green; the spelling may be an error - it is Mere Green in 1850 and there was a pond. Straight ahead here was Spellow House, ancient seat of the Fazakerley family, the grounds of which were later developed into the huge Bannerman's Nursery for trees; where the house stood is now Goodison Park football stadium. Further along Walton Lane, Priory Lane went off towards the house called Walton Priory. The two main roads were connected again at the village of Walton on the Hill by Church Road and Walton Village.
  This locality presents an extremely pleasing appearance, and abounds in handsome mansions and villas; from Walton Hill are most extensive views, including the town of Liverpool, the Welsh hills, and the mountains of Cumberland. Among the best houses are Walton Hall, the residence of Richard Naylor, Esq.; Walton Priory, that of Robert Ellison Harvey, Esq.; and several detached mansions on Breeze Hill. On the side of the Ormskirk road is the unique establishment of Charles Whitfield Harvey, Esq., the successful rearer of prize-cattle; and Spellow House, an ancient mansion of stone, is surrounded by a large tract of land, appropriated by Mr. William Skirving to the rearing of foresttrees and nursery-plants in general, including those of the most rare description. [...] The church, which, up to 1698, was the mother church of Liverpool, was mostly rebuilt in 1829, at a cost of 5000; and is a noble structure in the early English style, with decorated portions, and a tower and pinnacles. From its great elevation, it is a conspicuous object in the surrounding scenery, and serves as a landmark. The interior is very beautiful, with a stained-wood roof, and east and west windows of painted glass. [TDE]
Walton was a substantial township by the 18th century and had been an important religious centre back to the Norman Conquest and beyond. Walton parish originally included Liverpool, Formby and everything between Sefton and Childwall; Liverpool only became a separate parish 1698. Parts of the present St. Mary's church date from 1743 and there is an early 18th century sundial in the churchyard. Little else of the original village remains with the notable exception of the Old Grammar School, dated 1613, which replaced an earlier school of 1548.
  The parish church of Walton-on-the-Hill, dedicated to St. Mary, is situated in the village of Walton, on the verge of the great road from Liverpool to the north, on a gently rising ground. The present structure consists of a tower, which serves for a land-mark, a nave, side aisles or avenues beneath the galleries, chancel, vestry, and south entrance. The tower, which is strong but elegant, was raised in 1831-2 [...]. The body of the church, the most ancient portion of the remaining fabric, was re-erected in 1742, and is low and plain, with a sloping roof. [HCP]
The two roads out to the north of Walton village were Rice Lane leading to Warbrick Moor (Warbreck Moor - site of Aintree racecourse) and Ormskirk, and Hall Lane (no longer there) leading to Walton Hall, seat of the Walton family for many centuries from the late 12th century and finally demolished around 1900. This continued over Tue Brook to Long Lane. Heading east from Walton village was Rakes Lane leading to Club Moor (Clubmoor).
The windmill at Bevington Bush and Everton from Bevington Bush are from YO! Liverpool ( Many of the images are from the wonderful resource Ancestry Images, in turn sourced from Lancashire Illustrated, 1831/6 (County House of Correction, Kirkdale, engraved by W. Watkins after a picture by C. Pyne; Sessions House, Kirkdale, engraved by W. Watkins after a picture by C. Pyne) and Pictorial Relics of Ancient Liverpool, engraved by W.G. Herdman, 1843 (Bank Hall, Blackfield House, Cottage in Kirkdale, Cottage by Black Bull Lane, The North Shore, Sandhills House, Spellow Mill, The Tithe Barn). My thanks to all of the above. The engraving of the landmark at Bootle is from The History of Liverpool, Anon, 1810.
This is a non-commercial website that is intended entirely for research and educational purposes. If I have unintentionally breached copyright with any images, I hope that the copyright owner will tolerate my usage in the present context, otherwise I will remove the material. Modern colour photographs are by the author