A walk in Woolton

It’s Rambler5319 today with a really interesting walk around Liverpool. Enjoy!

I decided to do a walk in the Woolton area of Liverpool. There turned out to be far more of interest than I expected so will split and do a part 2 next week. It is probably one of the oldest areas of Liverpool. Some believe the name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon Wulf’s “Tun” (Tun can mean farmstead) although the earliest written records date from the Domesday Book (1086). The area had a quarry and the sandstone from it was used to build a number of local mansions. However the most famous building for which it supplied the stone is Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral located near the city centre.

There are a number of interesting things to see in Woolton. However we’ll start the walk with somewhere we’ve been before (invisible blog 4.7.12): a house at 20 Forthlin Road.

And here’s the sign outside. Yes it’s where Paul McCartney grew up.

From here it’s about a mile and a half (30 mins walk) into the Woolton area and our first stop is 251 Menlove Avenue. The house is called “Mendips” and some of you will know why it’s famous. For those that don’t here’s the pic with the info.
The house itself is here.

Due to the bright sunlight the blue plaque is only just about visible above the middle window of the 3 in the downstairs bay. The wording says: John Lennon 1940-1980, Musician & Songwriter, lived here 1945-63. (John was born in 1940 and moved to his aunt’s house in 1945.)

Next stop is just 5 mins away, round the corner and up the hill (Beaconsfield Rd) a bit. And here it is:

Some of you will recognise the name on the gate posts. The original gates were taken away in May 2011 by the Salvation Army and put into storage and just inside the current red ones is this sign:

The manufacturers of the replacement replica gates donated them to the Salvation Army but also advise on the sign that they can make you a set to order to fit your own driveway/garden. The original stone posts as you can see have been well and truly graffitied over many times. Although it has a history dating back to the 1870s, Strawberry Field didn’t open as a Salvation Army Children’s Home until 1936. The annual garden party which took place in the grounds was eagerly attended by the young John Lennon. Its name was made famous when Lennon wrote the song Strawberry Fields Forever in 1967. The song formed half of a Double A-Side Beatles’ single with Penny Lane. The record reached No.2 in the UK charts, being kept off the no.1 spot by Engelbert Humperdinck’s ballady type song Please Release Me!

From here we go further up the hill to the first turning on the right. This is Quarry Street.

You might also remember in blog 4.7.12 I mentioned John Lennon’s School being Quarry Bank so with Quarry St and the quarry in Woolton it is not hard to see how one of the pre-Beatles groups he formed was called The Quarrymen; McCartney joined in 1957 & Harrison in 1958. Incidentally, since 1998, after reforming in 1997 for a 40th anniversary performance, there are still 3 members of the original Quarrymen line-up performing under that name.

A bit further down Quarry Street we pass a hairdresser’s shop. I mentioned in blog 8.8.12 that I like the way hairdressers “pun-ify” their names and this one in Woolton was very good. Here’s the pic:

Do you see what they did there? Mane-iacs! I liked it anyway.

Just a few yards further on and there was another old sandstone building, this one erected in 1873:

Next to it in the same stone was another door with “Police Office” above the entrance. Definitely harking back to a bygone era.

A bit further down and I came to the rock face which was clearly the perimeter of the old quarry. The sandstone wall had been unstable at some time and has been strengthened by having rods driven into the cliff face with a flat plate bolted on the end to try and prevent it giving way. I’m not sure I’d like to live at the bottom of it. Here’s a close up of one of the strengthening rods:

Just beyond the wall are some steps leading right up to a path running across the top of the cliffs.

Because of the high walls on the path it was difficult to get a pic of the houses actually inside the old quarry but here is my attempt. You can see the vertical walls going down and the roofs of the houses below.

The path is actually named as Mill Stile and used to lead to Woolton Mills. In 1863 the Corn Merchant and Millers partnership using the site was dissolved and I’m not sure what became of the buildings after that. Residential accommodation now occupies the area but obviously the street namers decided to look back in history for something to reflect its historical usage. Well done them!

Here’s the sign:

After coming to the end of the path we turn right along Church Road. A little way along we will come to St Peter’s Church but I’ll leave that till Part 2, next week, when we’ll finish the walk with some more pics of interesting stuff around the village.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Very nice write up, loved all the beatles references


  2. […] remember we finished last week (21.11.12) having come along the narrow path called Mill Stile and were just about to turn right into Church […]


  3. […] week, I went to Liverpool to visit friends and family and thought I’d follow one of Rambler5319′s walks as the recent one, around Woolton, looked really […]


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