To the East
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Introduction: Exploring the Yates and Perry Map of 1768
In the 18th century there were four major routes out of Liverpool to the east: to Everton and on to Clubmoor, via Low Hill to West Derby and two roads to Old Swan and on to Prescot and Warrington (the latter along the line of the M62). One road conspicuously cut across these outward routes: it connected Walton to Clubmoor and on across Blackmoor Moss to Prescot Lane, a line closely followed by the present day Queens Drive. This was a vast spread of farmland with a few ancient settlements and emerging gentrification by the wealthy and their mansions. The townships in this area at that time were Everton, Walton-on-the-Hill, West Derby (then a much larger area) and Croxteth Park.
In the text below, individual italicised words refer to entries on the map. Indented whole paragraphs in italic are quotations from original sources, as follows:
ROL   Recollections of Old Liverpool by a Nonagenarian, Anon., 1863.
HOE   The History of Everton, Robert Syers, 1830.
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   Town's End Lane (Byrom Street)
2   Causeway Lane (Richmond Row/Everton Brow/Village Street)
3   Netherfield Lane (Netherfield Road)
4   Church Street (Heyworth Street)/St. Domingo Road
5   Everton Road/Low Hill
6   Breck Lane (Breck Road)
7   Whitefield Lane (now largely lost except for Whitefield Road)
8   Breckfield Road
9   Boundary Lane
10   Sleepers Hill
11   Upper Belmont Road (Belmont Road)
12   Walton Breck Road
13   Lower Breck Road
14   Annfield Lane (Anfield Road)
15   Priory Lane (Priory Road)
16   Townsend Lane
17   Rakes Lane (Cherry Lane)
18   Lark Hill Lane (Larkhill Lane/Queens Drive)
19   Derby Lane
20   Broad Lane (now partly Lorenzo Drive)
21   Back Lane (Eaton Road follows most of it today)
22   Strawberry Lane (Strawberry Road)
23   Carr Lane (lost except for the north-eastern section)
24   Lower House Lane
25   Dwerry House Lane (Dwerryhouse Lane)
26   Stonebridge Lane
27   Croxteth Hall Lane
28   Croxteth Lane (Muirhead Avenue/Oak Lane)
29   Folly Lane (Islington)
30   Rake Lane (West Derby Road)
31   Rocky Lane
32   Tew Brook Lane (West Derby Road/Mill Bank)
33   Mill Lane
34   Green Lane
35   Castle Lane (Meadow Lane)
36   Dey's Lane (Deysbrook Lane)
37   Yew Tree Lane
38   Green Lane (Honey's Green Lane)
39   Jack Lane (Alder Road)
40   Black Horse Lane (Queens Drive)
41   London Road
42   Copperas Hill
43   Prescot Lane (Kensington, Prescot Road)
44   Edge Lane
45   Mount Vernon (Hall Lane)
46   Mill Lane
47   Long Lane
48   Pettycoat Lane (Broad Green Road)
49   Thomas Lane
50   Pilch Lane
Let us begin with the road to Everton. This left town along Town's End Lane and turned towards Everton village as Causeway Lane. On the way it passed a famous pub known as the Loggerheads.
  The road called Everton-brow has, from time immemorial, been the main passage from Liverpool to Everton; its first known name was Causeway-lane, afterwards it long went by the name of Loggerheadlane, and for the last forty years it has been styled Everton-brow, until recently, the lower or west end has been honoured with the more dignified title of the Crescent. This road was formerly narrow, and in poor plight. It may serve to give an insight into its former state, and also to shew some other points connected with the neighbourhood of that thoroughfare, to use the words of an elderly gentleman, who well remembered the circumstances of which he treats; "The communication (from Everton) with Liverpool was through a deep sandy lane, the cops or hedges on each side not being many yards asunder, nor was there any parapet or foot path to accommodate pedestrians: just within the limits of Liverpool, at a long low house, where the late Mr. Nicholson long resided, was a small ale-house, near to a dyer's pond - the latter surrounded with willows. This public-house was called the Loggerheads, and was of much celebrity in former days, which it first obtained from the civility of the landlady, and the choice and nourishing qualities of the viands and beverage she dispensed [...]" [HOE]
Everton was a popular area among city dwellers for rural walks. Numerous commentators mention the beautiful views (as they remain to this day).
  There were several very pleasant country walks which went up to Low Hill through Brownlow Street [...]. We used to go to Low Hill and thence along Everton Road, on each side of which was a row of large trees, and we returned by Loggerhead's Lane, and so home by Richmond Row. I recollect very well the brook that ran along the present Byrom Street [one of the streams feeding the Pool], whence the tannery on the right-hand side was supplied with water. [ROL]
  The agreeable village or suburb of Everton, denominated, from the salubrity of its air and the pleasantness of its situation, the Montpelier of Lancashire, is seated on a bold eminence opposite to the bay of Bootle [...]. The prospects are very beautiful; and from the western parts of Everton Hill may be seen the fertile lands of Cheshire, the mountains of Wales, the river Mersey, and the expanding Irish Sea with its numberless vessels. From its proximity to Liverpool, it has become the residence of many respectable and wealthy families; numerous streets and crescents have been formed, and the township is studded with handsome detached mansions and villas. [TDE]
Liverpool from Everton in 1797
In the summer it was the delight of holiday-makers. A day's "out" to the Beacon, at Everton, was a very favourite excursion. The hill-side on Sundays used to be thronged with merry people, old and young. The view obtained from Everton Beacon-hill was a view indeed. And what a prospect! What a noble panoramic scene! I never saw its like. I do not think, in its way, such an one existed anywhere to be compared with it. At your feet the heather commenced the landscape, then came golden corn-fields and green pasture-lands, far and wide, until they reached the yellow undulating sand-hills that fringed the margin of the broad estuary, the sparkling waters of which, in the glow and fullness of the rich sunshine, gave life and animation to the scene, the interest of which was deeply enhanced, when on a day of high-tide, numbers of vessels might be seen spreading their snowy canvas in the wind as they set out on their distant and perilous voyages. In the middle ground of the picture was the peninsula of Wirral, while the river Dee might be seen shimmering like a silver thread under the blue hills of Wales, which occupied the back ground of the landscape. Westward was the ocean, next, the Formby shore attracted the eye. The sand-hills about Birkdale and Meols were visible. At certain seasons, and in peculiar states of the atmosphere, the hummocks of the Isle of Man were to be seen, while further north Black Combe, in Cumberland, was discernible. Bleasdale Scar, and the hills in Westmoreland, [were to be] dimly made out the extreme distance. [...] The eye moved then along the Welsh hills until it rested on the Ormeshead and travelled out upon the North sea. Below us, to our left, was the town of Liverpool, the young giant just springing into vigorous life and preparing to put forth its might, majesty and strength in Trade, Commerce and Enterprise. [ROL]
Liverpool from Low Hill c.1840
Everton Brow in 1800 showing the lock-up
Everton Brow in 1843
Cottage in Everton Village (the Toffee Shop?)
A little further on up the hill from the Loggerheads pub was Molly Bushell's toffee shop dating from 1753 and from where the famous Everton Mints originated. Nearby was the lock-up, built in 1787. It was known as the Stone Jug (or sometimes the Stewbum's Palace) and was used for minor offenders who would be released the next day or detained awaiting appearance before the local magistrate. It became associated with the containment of disorderly drunks.
An amusing story about the lock-up is recounted in [HOE]. At the time it was built, the High Constable required specially made locks and bolts to be fitted. The local smith saw to this but, as the official and his deputy were inspecting the security arrangements, he locked them in and walked off. Their shouts eventually alerted passers-by, who arranged for their release, not before some choice jokes had been exchanged.
The little square at the top of the hill marked the centre of Everton village, which was beginning to emerge out out rural obscurity by the late 18th century.
  It was only at a comparatively late period that Everton emerged out of a state of rudeness [...]. In the latter part of the last century, a few settlers from the neighbouring town of Liverpool were the first to introduce genteel manners and a polish into Everton society: a few eminent, and some humble merchants of that great commercial town, desirous of relaxation from business, settled themselves on Everton-hill; where, with every advantage of a rural residence, they were still not too far removed from the town's conveniences, and at hand and ready, when required, to aid or conduct their commercial enterprizes. [...] It requires not the inspiration or the gift of a prophet, to predict that Everton is destined to be a place of great consequence; the obscurity, insignificance, and humility in which it lay for many ages past, will shortly be contrasted with proud prospects and brilliant events: its late green sward is fast being covered with magnificent mansions, and multitudes of more humble dwellings. [HOE]
On the village square stood Prince Rupert's Cottage, his headquarters during the Seige of Liverpool in 1644; it was demolished in 1845.
The lock-up as it is today
Everton village square c.1840
Prince Rupert's Cottage c.1840
Everton Beacon
The two roads from Everton to Kirkdale were Netherfield Lane (meaning the 'upper field') and Church Street/St. Domingo Road. St. Domingo was the house of George Campbell, a West India merchant, who made his fortune in sugar from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. He built a sandstone villa there in 1758 and became Mayor of Liverpool in 1763.
  The road from Low-hill to Everton is pleasant and rural. [...] As a village it can boast of a higher antiquity than Liverpool itself, but its present respectability is but of a very recent date. A favourite resort of opulence, it has now an assemblage, of elegant villas, many of which are on a very extensive scale, and connect, with architectural taste, beauty of situation, a commanding prospect, and the decorations of rural scenery. Turning on the left by the Cross, down the hill, and winding round the coffee-house on the right, two roads present themselves, both of which run along the declivity of the hill parallel to each other. The upper one is the most eligible, though at first the most unpromising. After riding a few paces the view opens in a most beautiful and striking manner. Immediately on the left the town of Liverpool is displayed nearly in its full extent; on the right is a range of elegant houses, with shrubberies and gardens disposed in excellent order and good taste; and in front a most extensive view of the estuary of the Mersey, the sea, the extremity of the Wirral peninsula, and a partial view of the northern coast of Lancashire. [...] Quitting Everton, a winding in the road deprives us for a time of this pleasing scene, but it opens again with additional grandeur, especially at high water, at the termination of the ridge of the hill, near a [...] beautiful house which has the appellation of St. Domingo. [SIL]
St. Domingo Road passed Everton Beacon, a fire beacon that may have dated back to the 13th century and in 1588 was lit to warn of the approach of the Spanish Armada. It was gutted by fire in 1782 and finally blew down in a storm in 1803. On its site, the innovative cast iron framed St. George's church was completed in 1814.
St. Georges's Church, Everton
Low Hill c.1840
Moss Cottage
Norris Green
Low Hill, Anfield, Clubmoor, Norris Green and Tuebrook
Going south out of Everton, Church Street became Everton Road and then Low Hill as far as Prescot Road (see below).
Running east from Everton were Breck Lane and Whitefield Lane (Breck was an old word for uncultivated land). These were crossed by Breckfield Road/Boundary Lane running from Sleepers Hill to Rake Lane (see below); the Odd House marked on the map seems to have later become Breckfield House. Boundary Lane probably got its name later from the extension of the city boudaries in 1835 to include Everton, Kirkdale and part of West Derby. The other roads cutting across were Upper Belmont Road, Walton Breck Road, Lower Breck Road (with a house of that name), Annfield Lane and Priory Lane.
The road on to Club Moor (Clubmoor) was Townsend Lane. Here Rakes Lane came in from Walton and continued to Old Swan as Lark Hill Lane and Derby Lane. There was a villa known as Lark Hill, the grounds now being the site of Larkhill Estate Gardens. On Derby Lane there was a cottage dated 1642 called Moss Cottage that still survives. Townsend Lane continued as far as Broad Lane by a property called New Hall. Off to the right was Back Lane leading all the way through to Knotty Ash.
Left at Broad Lane was Strawberry Lane with Carr Lane branching off it. Carr Lane passed through Dwerry House Green and crossed Lower House Lane/Dwerry House Lane to meet Stonebridge Lane/Croxteth Hall Lane. A dwerry house is the old word for a dyer's house. Broad Lane continued through Norris Green (a country house - the steps are still there) and Almond's Green to West Derby village, with Croxteth Lane leading off to Oak House.
The most direct route from Liverpool to West Derby was Folly Lane/Rake Lane/Rocky Lane/Tew Brook Lane/Mill Lane. Folly Lane was named after the folly that once stood at the end nearer the town. Rake Lane passed the house called Upper Breck and then Rocky Lane passed Newsham House, Farm and Cottage - an area that later became Newsham Park. At Tew Brook was the Jacobean Tue Brook House, dated 1615; it is still there, the oldest dated house and one of the oldest inhabited properties in Liverpool. There are some more old cottages further down on the other side of the road. The area was named after the brook that flowed (and still does in parts) from Old Swan to the River Alt at Fazakerley. At Mill Lane stood Mill House, which later became Mill Bank.
  This locality, from its elevated situation and the salubrity of the air, is chiefly inhabited by Liverpool merchants, whose numerous mansions and villas adorn the scenery. Tue-Brook Villa is an elegant building in the Italian style; it is appropriated to insane persons of the wealthy classes. Here is a powerful steam-engine connected with the Green-Lane Waterworks, which partly supply the town of Liverpool. [TDE]
Green Lane connected the centre of Tew Brook village on Tew Brook Lane to Old Swan.
The Folly
Tue Brook House
West Derby Court House
West Derby Village Cross
The Elizabethan House at Croxteth Hall
West Derby and Croxteth
West Derby was the most historically important of the outlying villages. The area was attractive to early settlers as it had fresh water from sandstone strata, food from the deer that proliferated and a defendable position. It appears to have been a Roman settlement. At the time of the Norman Conquest, West Derby was an important administrative centre when Liverpool itself was almost non-existent. The West Derby Hundred covered all of south-west Lancashire from the Ribble estuary to the whole length of the Mersey. Edward the Confessor had a castle and hunting lodge in West Derby village.
A motte and bailey castle, rivalling Lancaster castle in importance, was built in the 11th or 12th century, though it was in ruins by the early 14th century. There was a 1586 court house for the Hundred Court that survives; it is one of the oldest intact buildings in Liverpool and the only freestanding post-mediaeval courthouse in Britain. The house opposite it dates from the 17th century and there are other old cottages around. Only in ecclesiastical matters was Walton of superior importance. West Derby village was part of the Parish of Walton-on-the-Hill and had a chapel of ease to Walton from at least 1360. The present Victorian cross stands on the site. The church of St. Mary came later, dating from 1856.
  In the Saxon era West Derby was probably the capital of the hundred; and a mound of earth, removed some years ago by Mr. Gascoyne, indicated by its name, Castle Hill, the site of the ancient castle. The parish [...] stands on rising ground, commanding beautiful views of the surrounding country. [...] The district abounds in elegant modern mansions and villas. [TDE]
The road from West Derby village past the site of the castle was Castle Lane, which, by the early 19th century, led to a house called Grove House. The lake in the grounds of this house survives at Old Lodge Close.
Croxteth Hall was the property of the Molyneux family, the Earls of Sefton, from c.1475 until the death of the last earl in 1972. The oldest surviving part is the Elizabethan house built by Sir Richard Molyneux in about 1575-1600, which could be one of the earliest known brick buildings in Lancashire. Following the completion of the Queen Anne Wing and the demolition of Sefton Hall in 1702, it became their principal seat.
Other roads around West Derby village were Dey's Lane, Yew Tree Lane and Green Lane. In the area known as Blackmoor Moss, whose name survives in Blackmoor Drive, were Green Lane, Jack Lane and Black Horse Lane.
10 Almonds Green
Cottage on Town Row
Croxteth Hall
The Queen Anne Wing at Croxteth Hall
London Road and the Gallows Mills in the 18th Century
Copperas Hill in 1797
Old houses on Prescot Road
Old Swan and Knotty Ash
The other main route out of Liverpool to the east was London Road, which divided into two near the top of Copperas Hill. The two branches were each a sequence of roads leading up to and including Prescot Lane (the Road to Prescot and Warrington) and Edge Lane respectively. Joing the two at the Liverpool end was Mount Vernon by Vernon's Hall, which was demolished in 1888. Both roads led to Old Swan. Between them about half way along was a mansion called Fairfield, home of soldier and Sheriff of Lancashire Edward Falkner, from which the modern district takes its name. Heading from Old Swan towards Wavertree were Mill Lane and Long Lane.
Old Swan was an important stop-off on the old coaching and pack horse route from Liverpool to Prescot and Warrington. The first pub here was called The Three Swans from the coat of arms of the local Walton family. Shortly after, two further Swan Inns were built, referred to by the locals as The Old Swan, The Middle Swan and The Lower Swan. Eventually the whole area became known as Old Swan. The present Old Swan Inn is the oldest of those remaining, partly 18th century with a taller extension of the 19th century. It is the only remaining building from the 18th century village. On the opposite corner, the Red House stands on the site of the original Three Swans.
Beyond Old Swan the road forked to Prescot and Warrington respectively. Prescot Lane led to Knotty Ash and beyond, with Pilch Lane off to the right. The Warrington road was Pettycoat Lane, which went past houses called May Place and Wavertree Nook to Broad Green and beyond. Connecting the two villages was Thomas Lane.
The Old Swan
Little Bongs
Off Thomas Lane was a mansion called Summer Hill, surviving as Thingwall Hall, an 18th century house that was extended around 1790 and remodelled by Harvey Lonsdale Elmes (of St. Georges Hall fame) in 1846-7. Thingwall was an ancient township that had lost its identity by the 18th century. The name is Old Norse for assembly field and the small hill was a major meeting place or parliament for Viking communities (who had begun to settle here in the early 10th century) from the entire region.
Knotty Ash took its name from an old gnarled ash tree that once stood in the village. It retains a few late 18th century houses from the old village days, notably on Prescot Road and at Little Bongs (bong means bank or hillock).
  The situation of this locality is very beautiful, and its air salubrious; it contains several handsome mansions, and some of the principal merchants of Liverpool have seats and villas here. [TDE]
Croxteth Hall, engraved by W.S. Wilkinson after a picture by C. Fielding, was published in The History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster by E. Baines, 1836. The picture of Norris Green is from A Sense of Place. The engraving of Everton Brow in 1840 is from De Quincey in Everton. The painting of the Gallows Mills on London Road is from A History of Liverpool by Ramsay Muir, 1907. Many of the images are from the wonderful resource Ancestry Images, in turn sourced from Lancashire Illustrated, 1831/6 (St.George's Church, Everton, engraved by J. Thomas after a picture by G. & C. Pyne) and Pictorial Relics of Ancient Liverpool, engraved by W.G. Herdman, 1843 (Everton Beacon, Everton Village Square, Everton Village cottage, Everton Brow in 1843, The Folly, Liverpool from Everton in 1797 from an original drawing, Copperas Hill in 1797 from an original drawing, Liverpool from Low Hill, Low Hill, Prince Rupert's Cottage). My thanks to all of the above.
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.